Dmitrii Sharafutdinov wins the Rock Master 2012 Boulder Male Competition

Place 11 climbers in front of 5 really difficult bouldes. Allow them to work the problems. Then throw them into a competition with the KO System: at every problem the worst climber is eliminated.

Dmitrii Sharafutdinov wins the Rock Master 2012 Boulder Male Competition 3 attempts are allowed for each problem and the sheet is wiped clean at every new step of the way, up to the final problem where a mere three athletes remain. A formula which is almost cruel, just like a K.O.

This was the closing competition of the Rock Master Festival and 11 athletes had risen to the occasion. Jure Becan (Slo), Stefan Scarperi (Ita), Mauricio Huerta (Mex) and Jernej Kruder (Slo) had earned their place after coming all the way from the Open, and they were in good company in the form of reigning bouldering champion and vice champion Dmitrii Sharafutdinov and Rustam Gelmanov.And also Jakob Schubert (Aut), who had just untied as the winner of the Lead Duel after an authentic vertical marathon of two fantastic Lead performances (which netted him 2nd overall). And of course there was one of Italy's best, Lucas Preti, „veteran“ Klemen Becan (elder brother of Jure), Lukas Ennemoser (Aut) and Nicky de Leeuw (Ned).

The comp got underway with of a sort of test of power applied to balance. A start which was not particularly devastating, but nevertheless everyone knew: even the slightest mistake could cost dearly and result in immediate exclusion. This first problem would filter three competitors and Gelmanov, Schubert, Preti, Jure Becan and Huerta played safe by topping out first go. Sharafutdinov and Klemen Becan sent this second go, while Ennemoser just managed the send on his third attempt. Despite climbing high Scarperi, de Leeuw and Kruder saw their hopes dashed and were eliminated.

Problem #2 was for masters of balance and suppleness, breaching the enormous round yellow volume was a real test. But not for Sharafutdinov who flashed it, and neither for Gelmanov and Jure Becan who managed to send it second go. Klemen Becan, Jakob Schubert and Lucas Preti held their nerve and topped out on their last go. Total suspense, a fantastic show. To which Scarperi bid his farewell despite climbing high.

Now it was time for problem #3. Only 6 climbers remained. The theme at this station was balancing up the smooth, parallel volumes followed by some powerful lock-offs and a great finishing dyno. This was immediately interpreted perfectly by the usual suspects, namely Sharafutdinov, Gelmanov and Schubert. For their part, Klemen Becan and Preti managed to climb past the dodgy moves but missed out on the top and finished joint equal on the same hold. So 5 climbers qualified for the next problem and they all waved goodbye to only Jure Becan who had reached the same height in 3 attempts, instead of their 2.

Boulder #4 required magic combined with special, bear-like strength to get through the compression start. These were just the ingredients which an inspired Gelmanov managed to pull out of the hat on his second attempt. The crowd responded with a standing ovation. Klemen Becan managed the start, continued up high but fell just short of the top. Sharafutdinov didn't manage the send, and fared only slightly better than Schubert and Preti to qualify for the 5th problem. Which meant that Preti and Schubert, unfortunately, were out of the running.

Problem #5 was spectacular and impossible. A dyno of which dreams are made of. In this case the crux was a long double-dyno leftwards; load like a spring, leap, „bounce“ off the smooth intermediate volume and then land on the next volume which, obviously, is extremely difficult to stick at speed. A great problem, in the truest sense of the word.

Sharafutdinov, Becan and Gelmanov gave it all they had but their three attempts netted them nothing: a flight, a slight touch of the hold and… an abrupt landing on the mattress down below. Then came the turning point. After having changed the hold slightly the climbers could now battle it out to the bitter end. And Sharafutdinov, finally, stuck the hold. Despite not climbing much higher, he had done more than enough: he won the Rock Master Boulder 2012, while Rustam Gelmanov placed 2nd and Klemen Becan 3rd.

Results men Rock Master Boulder

Dmitrii Sharafutdinov RUS
Rustam Gelmanov RUS
Klemen Becan SLO
Jakob Schubert AUT
Lucas Preti ITA
Jure Becan SLO
Lukas Ennemoser AUT
Mauricio Huerta MEX
Stefan Scarperi ITA
Nicky de Leeuw NED
Jernej Kruder SLO