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Highlights from the 2012 NZ TCC

Richard Tregoweth - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Legends Foundation trustee and TCC chief score keep Neal Harding has provided a running commentary, YouTube clips, an excellent review and full results for the 2012 NZ tree climbing competition via the Legends blog.

Consequently, there is no need for Treetools to repeat the info on this site so we thought a highlight of the weekends events might be in order.

Not taking anything away from James and Nicky in winning the event there are a number of interesting aspects to the 2012 NZ TCC.

First up the venue.

Prior to the event there was quite a bit of grumbling from climbers about the Wellington Botanic Gardens as venue for a National TCC. The trees were too small, they were boring, it's all been done before, etc, etc.

But the 2012 NZ TCC technicians, which included 'Legends' Scott Forrest and Chrissy Spence, Freddie Hjelm, Paul Kenny and Jelte Buddingh, did an amazing job in creating a challenging (and interesting) event for both competitors and spectators.

No complaints there!

Next up - the new guys! Peter Boyle and Mick Winstanley.

Back in January Treetools predicted big things from Peter Boyle - see previous blog post here.

And boy, did Peter deliver, placing fifth overall.

While there were no individual event placings for Peter he produced solid climbs over both days - which says something for the effectiveness of the ITCC scoring system.

Rookie of the Year Mick Winstanley was the standout climber at the 2012 South Island Regional TCC back in September, winning that event overall. Placing sixth in his first National event is a fantastic effort - Mick has to be pleased with that result.

Noel Gallagher. Aaaah remember Noel Gallagher?

He's the poor guy who was first up on the Secured Foot Lock in the 2011 NZ TCC in Masterton.

The local media had talked up the event and crowds flocked to watch on the Sunday morning. The Foot Lock was set up, center stage, just off the main street so there were plenty of vantage points for members of the public.

Most of the spectators had no idea what they were actually looking at but when Noel left the ground they got the general idea.

For those of you who do not know Noel, he's a big unit - not fat at all, but certainly not your typical tree climber in terms of physique.

And it has to be said - one year ago, Secured Foot Lock was not Noel Gallagher's greatest strength, but he won the hearts of the crowd for his physical strength and sheer determination to ring that damned bell.

2012 is another story altogether - Noel was up that rope like a rat up a drainpipe blitzing his boss, Hamish Fraser, in the process! What a turnaround in performance, and to beat Hamish is icing on the cake!

Now to the Masters.

James and Drew, climbing with ease and style produced many 'tricks' from their bag of goodies - there is no denying they are both excellent tree climbers.

But Clay Winter is something else. His 'Masters' climb was pure simplicity and a real pleasure to watch - a working tree climber at his very best - and Clay's second placing in the New Zealand TCC reflects those skills.

And then there is the Single Line Work Positioning debate, the Unicender and Climb Everything.

Yes, Zane was a naughty boy but his Unicender Aerial Rescue was thoroughly entertaining. And certainly the highlight for Day One - see the previous blog post here.

Johno Smith's story is the second edition to the Unicender debacle… but his will require a separate blog post!

Mik Winstanley Christchurch
A jaded Mick Winstanley contemplating his Secured Foot Lock on Sunday morning - Druids Hill, Wellington Botanic Gardens.

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