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Pictures: First for the UK as giant climbing wall to be erected over River Exe on the Quay this summer

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

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A giant climbing wall is set to be erected over the water on Exeter Quay this summer.

Exeter will play host to the UKs first artificial Deep Water Solo Climbing Competition on the 30th and 31st August 2014.

The event, which is set to bring the elite of the international climbing community to the city, is one of the fastest growing and most visually exciting areas of the sport.

The competition wall will be erected in the city’s canal basin. Climbers will attempt to navigate routes upwards and across the feature without the aid of ropes, using the water beneath them to drop into when they can no longer climb.

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The event will be managed by Exeter’s Quay Climbing Centre, with support from some of the largest names in the climbing industry. “We are in a unique position at the Quay of being the only indoor climbing wall in the UK that is situated next to a body of water suitable for this type of outdoor climbing event – the canal basin provides the perfect water space and the large open area of the Piazza Terracina offers a great arena for spectators to view the competition up close” said Paul Russell, Centre Manager for the Quay Climbing Centre.

Hundreds of spectators are expected to attend the event, which will also attract national and international sports media coverage. The world’s first artificial Deep Water Solo competition was staged in Spain in 2010 and attracted over 4,000 spectators as well as the elite of the climbing community.

Neil Gresham, one of the UK’s leading climbers, said: “This event is one of the most exciting things to happen on the UK climbing scene in years. Deep Water Solo climbing is one of the most visual and free forms of climbing you can experience. This will not only be fantastic for the sport of climbing in general but will do wonders to promote it locally in a region that has a lot to offer those looking for a Deep Water Solo adventure. I can’t wait for my chance to go to head to head with Britain’s best climbers!”

Exeter city council has provided strong backing for the event since it’s conception, recognising the huge boost it could bring to the city’s tourism economy.

Councillor Rosie Denham, Portfolio Holder for Economy, said: “It is really exciting to have the UK’s first Deep Water Solo Climbing competition in Exeter bringing top international climbers of all ages to our city. The event is set to become a major event in the city’s cultural calendar.”

Entre-Prises (UK) have will build the Climbing Wall for the Competition; they will also be sponsoring the event along with climbing equipment manufacturers, La Sportiva, DMM and the other lead sponsors.

The competition weekend will be split between the qualifying rounds that will take place on the 30th and the finals will which take place on the 31st. There will be an elite (invitation based) category and an open categories (open and under 16s) to ensure that the even is inclusive to the wider climbing community as well as being a showcase event on the national climbing calendar. Visit www.quayclimbingcentre.co.uk for more details.

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