New England Chapter ISA Tree Climbing Championship
June 1, 2019. Warwick, RI. Thirty-seven climbers—thirty-two men and five women—and more than sixty volunteers, along with friends and family, gathered at the Masonic Youth Center for the 30th Annual New England ISA Tree Climbing Championship. First, we need to thank Henrik of Henrik Tree Service and Ken Brodin from Kong USA for introducing us to this AMAZING location! The trees were exceptional and the view of Greenwich Bay was incredible.
Set up commenced at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 31st. Bucket trucks donated by Davey, Bartlett, and Stanley were essential in getting the trees ready for a full day of climbing. Volunteers from all over New England and beyond came out to prune, prep, and set the trees for each climbing event, including the Kids Climb.
Friday afternoon, the thirty-seven climbers arrived for gear check—an essential step in the competition. Any gear deemed unsafe is relegated to the Disqualified Equipment bin and can be picked up at the end of the competition.
Competitor and accomplished trumpeter, Brian Carpenter, kicked off the day early on Saturday with renditions of both the Canadian and US National Anthems in honor of our Canadian climber and the President of the New England Chapter, Rick Harper, who is also from Canada. Rick welcomed all of the climbers, thanked all of the volunteers, and expressed to the sponsors how the entire event would not be possible without their generous support. Tree Climbing Championship (TCC) Committee Chair, Bruce Duffy, sent everyone off with some stern words about safety and a hearty message of good luck to all competing that day.
Exhibitors set up their booths. Shelter Tree Care Products, Arborwear, Morbark, Kong USA, and SingleOps lined the green in front of the competition trees. At 10:00 a.m. the Kids Climb kicked off with help from students from Bristol County Agricultural High School. Twenty-five kids participated in the climb over three hours.
Climbing events included Ascent, Speed Climb, Aerial Rescue, Throwline, and Work Climb. The preliminary rounds took us deep into the evening with an Aerial Rescue event that was long and arduous. The climbers persevered and the results came back for the Masters Challenge. Jake Slade, Tim Reynolds, and Kyle Donaldson would compete for the spot of top male competitor while Kate Odell, Hailey Bond, and Nicolette Eicholtz would compete for the top women's spot. The Master's Challenge commenced.
The evening pressed on and dusk had long settled in when the winners were announced, Nicolette Eicholtz and Kyle Donaldson would represent the New England Chapter ISA at the International Tree Climbing Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee in August! Brian Carpenter was awarded the Spirit of the Competition Award - awarded to the best competitor, voted on by the event judges.
TCC Committee Chair, Bruce Duffy would like to thank all of the climbers, volunteers, judges, techs, timers, and sponsors for another incredible event. Thanks to all that came out to cheer on New England's top climbers!