The first round of the A5 British Bouldering Championships took place at the Kendal Wall in the Lake District today. With a sizeable chunk of time having elapsed sice the thrilling finale to the last competition in Birmingham in March, and the early timing meaning that very few local league competitions have taken place yet, it was always going to be an interesting showdown. In the womens event Lucinda Hughes consolidated her reputation as a force to be reckoned with, edging out Abigail May and Rachel Seymore into first and second respectively, but a whole bunch of youngsters, headed by Emma Twyford, were hot on their heels. In the men´s event a few upsets occured during the unusually stiff qualifying round, but most of the old faithful´s managed to get through. However the biggest upset of all came towards the end when Malcolm Smith, last years champion, recently crowned second in the world, and obvious favourite, made a couple of uncharacteritic errors allowing Gareth Parry to snatch victory with an impressive scorecard, boasting all 5 final problems in just 5 attempts! Marc Croxall, always there, but often not quite finishing on the podium, managed to edge out fellow compatriot Tom Sugden into fourth place. Preston will host the second of the three rounds in two weeks time. Let´s see if Gaz can hold on to his lead with another clean sheet.