adidas Rockstars 2012 – FINALS
Five… four… three… two… one… LET’S ROCK! This is what every finalist heard before they started climbing a boulder and simultaneously we can call it the essence of the whole event. An amazing setting, impressive wall, creative routesetters, great organization and, the most important aspect, dedicated competitiors. What more can you expect?
The best six women and men were challanged to do their best and meet the expectations of the audience gathered at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. In the women’s final we could see Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Therese Johansen, Alex Puccio, Juliane Wurm, Katharina Saurwein and Akiyo Noguchi. The group of male competitors that qualified to the final round included such names as Jan Hojer, Jon Cardwell, Rustam Gelmanov, Jeremy Bonder, Guillaume Glairon Mondet and Sean McColl. Both women’s and men’s first problem was a sort of a good warm-up before subsequent challenges. Men got a precision dyno and a mantle at the end, whereas girls were served with pyramid volumes requaring balance and technique. The second boulders were of a totally different style. This time, the girls had to manage the dyno and do a tricky move to the top hold.
Relax Sean, I'll tell how to do it...
(photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)
And men? Do you remember the video with Dani Andrada doing a one-finger pull up in the Ali Baba cave in Rodellar and Dave Graham making a comment „Dani is an animal”? That’s exactly how you can describe the second men’s final problem. The inspiration of the famous Spanish climber was clearly visible as one every finalist was swinging from one two-finger pocket to another. But it seemed like the sequence was not a problem at all. The trick was the following heel hook and a final mantle. Here, the crowd’s favorite was definitely a natural born showman, German Jan Hojer, who completed the boulder totally laid-back and with nonchalance, laying down on the very top of the wall and taking a short rest before touching the square marked as the top with his both hands.
Jon Cardwell and the Dani Andrada style
(photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)
After the first round including the two boulders five best girls and three men proceeded to the struggle with the 3rd problem which when it comes to girls fullfilled its role perfectly as only Akiyo Noguchi managed to make the most of her strenght and technique, succeeding in her flash attempt. Alex Puccio’s first attempt made everybody think she was going to send the boulder any minute as she missed the last hold before the mantle. Unfortunately, the American could not repeat the sequence, still, the bonus hold reached in the 1st try was enough to secure the place in the superfinal. The favorite after the first round, in which she flashed both of the boulders, cheered by her compatriots, Juliane Wurm looked quite uncomfortable on the huge yellow volumes and ended the event ranked #3.
Alex Puccio looking strong on the boulder no. 3 (photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)
In the case of men, the boulder number 3 appeared to be way too easy and a tie-break challenged was necessary to select the best two. The routesetters did their best and built the boulder at a short notice using one of the women’s. Guillaume Glairon Mondet, Jon Cardwell and Sean McColl had to face a tricky beginning and a long move to a nasty sloper in order to top out.
"Gigi" Mondet makes the 3rd boulder looking easy (photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)
Sean sending the 3rd boulder (photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)
As it turned out later on, it was as nasty as it looked. "Gigi” Mondet decided to use the argument of height as he’s one of the tallest competitors in the whole World Cup Series. Unfortunately and despite the crowd’s suport, the move to the sloper appeared to be just too massive for the French. The audience went crazy as the subsequent competitor, Jon Cardwell did a totally sick dyno to the volume and reached the bonus hold in the first try. But also the American, being the under dog of the competition, as he qualified into the semis at the 19th place, did not manage to stick to the pinch. The one who made this mission impossible possible was noone but extraordinarily strong Sean McColl. Not only did the Canadian do the dyno easily but he also flashed the whole problem reaching the sloper quite smoothly.
Sean McColl doing what the others can't do.
The massive move to the sloper on the tie-break boulder
(photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)
The crown went mad once again and after a short break including an amazing performance of the beatboxing trio, the Sideburn rock band came back to the stage and everything was ready for the superfinals. First came the girls. The duel between the Japaneese master of technique and composure, Akiyo Noguchi and the superstrong American rock boulderer, Alex Puccio was expected to be extremely exciting. And it definitely was. The moment the initial countdown before the beginning of the duel ended, Alex just jumped onto the wall, rushed from one hold to another and pushed the buzzer after just 20 seconds. That’s what one can call nothing but speed bouldering. Akiyo also flashed the boulder but as she admitted afterwards she would definitely have to speed up during next year’s event.
Despite the fact the men’s „super boulder” looked much harder, hardly anyone could imagine the events proceeding in a different way than they actually did. The truth is that that evening noone could be an appropriate match for Sean McColl. „I was struggling with the dyno and saw Sean already topping out!”, these words of Jon Cardwell’s after the superfinal round seem to explain everything. The Canadian completed the „super boulder” in the insane time of 15 seconds!
We rock, don't we? (photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)
Both Alex and Sean unquestionably deserved this year’s adidas Rockastars titles and did not hide their happiness during the awarding ceremony. Apart from all the competitors, the ones who also should win the audience’s recognition are the organizers of the event, who really put their hearts into it and had worked hard already weeks before and throughout the whole weekend to make it as great as it really was. Thank you so much guys!
This year’s adidas Rockstar event made us all look forward to the 2013 edition! Simply can’t wait!
In anticipation for a set of pics from the whole final round, check our our gallery from the superfinal!