Posts Tagged ‘sports climbing’

Hello climbers!

Recently I have been training for the lead season again. I find it fun to transition my boulder strength into endurance, which means getting totally pumped in the forearms.

The summer weather has motivated me to climb more. I have been climbing a few weeks in a row now to gain endurance. Yesterday was the perfect moment to test myself during the kickoff for the national lead competition.

The two qualification routes went quite well, I collected enough points to advance to the finals.
The first qualification felt relatively easy to me. I think most of the competitors topped this route. The second qualification route felt more bouldery than the first route and was set on a vertical wall.

The final route began with a run start. Nowadays you are seeing a lot of these running problems set on boulders. It was the first time I saw this set in a route. The setter took a small risk there, but fortunately it went well because everyone managed to pass this first part. Anyway, I didn’t want to do this move statically, so I ran and jumped towards the next two holds 🙂 Fortunately I managed to grab the huge jugs and could cruise most of the time in the finals route.

Unfortunately I didn’t top out the route but I enjoyed the climb a lot. I just missed the podium by ending up 4th. Instead of 3 competition routes I climbed almost 10 routes that day and had a lot of fun. In my opinion, having fun is an important factor during a competition day.

Check out the results here. All photos are copyrighted by NKBV.

Would you like to compete too? Sign up here.
See you on the next lead qualification! 😀

September 3rd 2017 – Lead 2 Mountain Network Amsterdam
October 15th 2017 – Lead 3 Grip Klimcentrum, Nijmegen
November 5th 2017 – Lead 4 I-VY Climbing, Sittard

Just about a week ago I participated in the sports national championship.

I had a really relaxing day and I was looking forward to shine and climb. Once I entered the venue in Amsterdam, I was escorted to a separate entrance of the building straight into the isolation area. Before my warm up I enjoyed a take away filled with noodles and fish. Nom nom nom.

The audience was receiving a speech from the climbing federation, while all the competitors were warming up in the isolation.

After 3 hours of iso, we were introduced to the audience and we finally could have a look at the route.

I was impressed by the route! It was a total volume festival. It looked awesome, all I wanted was to get past the big volumes and climb the upper part of the route. The upper part of the route suits my style using heelhooks, compression between hold and pinches. I was hoping I could give everything in this route!

Here is an overview of the route while Casper was climbing.

After 6 minutes of reading the route, we had to go back into the isolation area. I was keeping myself warm and pulled my Petzl Sitta harness and my La Sportiva Skwama’s out of my bag. Once I got on stage, all I wanted to do was to climb and enjoy the route.

In my head I was thinking: “Okay relax, don’t zip on the volumes, look for the right footholds, don’t mess up the sequence and keep on breathing. I visualised a kneebar, now it’s time to execute it. I will put my right foot on the high foothold and drop my knee into the volume.

This works well, now enjoy the route a bit and keep on climbing. I passed the big volumes, bump up with my left hand to the blue side doughnut, then pinch the big volume with my right and make a left heelhook and go for the undercling. Ooh sh*t no, I’m all stretched out between the yellow volume and the blue undercling and suddenly I am stuck in the route!! I can’t go back, if I go back I will miss the hold, if I will match the undercling, it will be game over, there is too much pressure on my right foot, why is this hold set so high above my head?!

Hopefully you understood a bit of what was going through my head. I had mixed feelings about my performance. I could climb a little bit, however I couldn’t give everything in the route as I was hoping for. It was such a pity.

I was not yet pumped, instead I got stuck halfway in the route, ended up stretched out and fell. It was too early to fall in the route. Maybe I should have used a different sequence or maybe I wasn’t strong enough?

Anyway, I enjoyed the route a lot and ended up on the 7th place. The audience gave me a lot of energy. Thank you for supporting me and congratulations to everyone who managed to end up on the podium!

I love the photos. All the credits goes to Zout Fotografie and NKBV. Hopefully next year I can perform at my maximum during the nationals in the brand new Neoliet gym at Utrecht 😀

Hey everyone!

Yesterday was the big show in Amsterdam. I hope all of you had fun to see the best competition climbers at work! If not, watch it here again.

Livestream lead nationals 2015

This championship was an important day on my calendar. Since I entered the lead competition, I was serious about competing, wanting to fight and win. I marked this day as a highpoint to see how fit I am at the moment.

Warming up in the iso for 2 hours seemed no problem. Despite my fever, cold and cough last week, I could set my mind to relax and focus on this one route.

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When I arrived at the gym, I was really curious what kind of route Tonde had set for us. My first impression of the route was: this route is set for me, this is all about compression, a lot of volumes, awesome!! The holds looked big, maybe one crux near the long snake hold into an undercling, but with good feet work I should be able to manage that. I used my monocular to check out the holds on top.

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The beginning was hard to see, because I was standing just below the route, moving to left or right didn’t really improve the view.
In short, the route looked really cool. I couldn’t wait to climb in this ambiance, with so many people cheering, among supporters and friends!

Walking back to isolation, my head was set to competition mode. It was time to wear my harness, pick the right shoes and wait for my turn.

Once I entered the gym, I was really looking forward to climb! I didn’t want to climb too fast or too slow. The first 3 draws were no problem at all. I was even able to find a good rest position in the beginning by sitting on this huge volume with my foot. From here I moved onwards to the next volume. The next step was a big move, where I moved my right hand first and went for a jump.

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Photocredits: Sytse van Slooten

Once my feet didn’t get any pressure anymore it felt like I was pulled away from the wall. I didn’t see the hold on top of the volume, just a vague tickmark. It happened all too fast before I realized what had happened. I was back on the floor.

My thoughts right after the climb: What the F@##!%$#@%!$#!!??@

I wanted to express my feeling by screaming out loud, throwing my shoes against the wall or throw away my chalkbag, but no I’m not like that and so I remained calm 🙁 I was really disappointed in myself. I should’ve jumped with 2 hands, one aiming for the tickmark, the other aiming for the corner of the volume.

When I untied the rope, Ulf told me the same had happened to him. I was hoping no one else would struggle so early in the route. There are risks taken if a route is set like this. A risky show element is fun for everyone, however in my opinion not so early in the route. I think the crowd would have been more entertained if they could have seen the climbers fight all the way in the route!

After my performance it was Gerke’s turn. He trained a year for this and I was hoping for him he wouldn’t struggle at the same move. Unfortunately, he fell at the same volume, making exactly the same mistake. I felt really sorry for him. Fortunately, the rest of the climbers could manage this move easy without any trouble.

I was wondering what the audience was thinking. I let everyone down; my family, my friends and my supporters. I wasn’t able to fight or enjoy the route. At that moment I had so many questions going through my mind. Is this what I have trained for the past few weeks? I spent many hours in the gym for this. Does this mean I am weak? How far would Ulf, Gerke and I get if we all passed this move? Was I able to top the route if I managed that move? Did I climb too safe? Did I make a reading mistake? I don’t know, but I do know that I wasn’t fucking pumpy or could fight before I fell out of the route. The way I deal with my performance during and after the competition is also part of competition climbing. 1 tiny mistake and you’re out of the game.

The route was set magnificently, no doubt about that. After the competition I had a short evaluation with chiefsetter Tonde Katiyo and asked him about his thoughts. In short: he felt sorry for us but he was satisfied about the route.

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In the end the learned lessons are: better luck next time and perhaps walk into the space of the audience to check out the holds of the route.

I ended up 8th yesterday which doesn’t satisfy me at all. Click here to view the results. I still feel disappointed about my result, knowing that this was just a snapshot. Instead of a highpoint, it felt like a lowpoint to me. In the week before the nationals I was doubting about participating because I had a severe cold. So in that respect I’m happy that I was part of the nationals. However, I
would have loved to have climbed higher and show how far I could have gotten.

Anyway, thank you for all the love and support. I hope I pleased the crowd and I’m happy for the climbers who were able to fight, shine and climb yesterday!

Merhaba climbers! I’m back on Dutch soil! It’s nearly Christmas time and I’d like to share my holiday story with you.

2 days after the national competition I entered the airplane at Schiphol. I was hoping for some sunny weather during winter. It was an escape from cold Netherlands. I was thinking of Spain or Greece or Turkey. I picked the latter 😀 and I think it was a good decision.

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Photo: Geyik Bayiri – Sarkit

Nowadays you’ll need to register for a visa in advance. You can do that online here.

From Schiphol I flew to Istanbul and from there to Antalya. A flight from Amsterdam to Istanbul takes about 3 hours. From Istanbul to Antalya is just 1,5 hour. In Turkey I went to Geyik Bayiri, which is a familiar climbing spot 30 minutes away from Antalya. Many campsites offer a pickup service from the airport, which was quite convenient. You can arrange that in advance by contacting the campsite. I visited this place for a few weeks and was really looking forward to it!

The first day was a rainy and cold day when I arrived in Geyik Bayiri. It was my first restday. Speaking of restdays, I stayed 22 days and had 4 real rest days 😀

During my climbing days, I visited several crags in Geyik Bayiri: Sarkit, Trebenna, Dragon and Mevlana. When you stay in Geyik Bayiri, you won’t need a car. Within 20 minutes by foot you can visit these areas. For sunny hot days I’d recommend Trebenna. On cloudy/mid sunny days it’s good to visit Sarkit / Dragon. When it rains you can still climb in Mevlana. This area will stay dry for a long while. I also visited a new area Çidtibi and some local climbing areas which aren’t in the topo guide. For these area’s you’ll need a car and some motivated (+local) climbers.

I met some new climber friends in Jo.Si.To Guesthouse Camp. It’s the basecamp where I stayed for 3 weeks and where many Germans, Americans, Swiss and Dutch climbers met.

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Photo: Impression Jo.Si.To

Compared to Climbers Garden, which is 10 minutes further down the road, Jo.Si.To is ran by German expats and has nice hot showers and good value meals are served, whereas Climbers Garden has Dutch owners and has a slightly better wifi, warm common kitchen and a really good restaurant where the steak is superb. I ran into Jeroen Kuipers at Climbers Garden, it was good to catch up with you again!

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Anyway, I will stop comparing campsites and continue about my climbing adventures! During winter I was looking forward to climb in the sun. In advance I was checking the weather and it was between 10 – 15 degrees. I’m not fond of climbing when it’s too cold and can’t feel my fingers though. However, when it’s between 10 – 15 degrees in Turkey and the sun is shining, the conditions are perfect. In my opinion, 12 degrees + sun / cloudy is perfect to climb in a t-shirt! In the evening when the sun is gone, it can cool down fast.

I was super motivated and climbed 4 sometimes 5 days in a row before I had a real rest day. I used some active rest days as well, which means that I just visited Mevlana or Sarkit and climbed just 1 or 2 routes.

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Photo: Packing for a restday – Climbing Technology

It’s quite funny when you wake up in the morning. Most of the climbers won’t say:

heey goodmorning

but instead they’ll ask you:

Heey are you climbing today? Where will you go today?

During a real rest day, I visited a local market to do some groceries (Sunday).

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It is easy to hitchhike towards the local market. I got picked up by a lorry driver and a Turkish lady dropped me off at the campsite. It’s also nice to have some tea and ekmek (bread) there.

Every now and then it was also pouring rain, which means no one is able to climb.

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Photo: Weather forecast with a lot of rain in one week 🙁

Obliged rest day. All the rocks are so wet, it’s ridiculous to see waterfalls on the rocks.

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Photo: My yellow tent kept me dry

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Photo: Rental tent enjoyed the swimming pool

Even the campsite are flooded, there are rocks on the roads everywhere and the roads are sometimes over flooded. On such a rainy day, it’s nice to go to Antalya by car and visit a cinema 🙂

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Photo: Ordinary mall in Antalya

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Photo: Turkish delights

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Photo: Dinner out at Alabalik restaurant

Some extra information: A power failure can always happen in Geyik Bayiri, always bring a headlight with you. Antalya doesn’t have much climbing materials for sale or a climbing shop. It’s good to know this in advance so bring enough chalk with you.

At Jo.Si.To I met some climbers who were really nice. Daniel Schmid, Jürgen Bormann and Sven Albinus. It’s good to climb with Daniel, because he has the same height and therefore we could work together in same routes. Jürgen is one of the bolters in Geyik and knows a lot about the areas. Sven is nice and really fond of Mammut. I climbed with them most of the time and had oodles of fun together.

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We also met Tobias Haug (camp owner) and Duygu Yarsar – insanely strong and technical climbers – who took us to Çidtibi.

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Photo: Tobias & Duygu

When Tobias is behind the steering wheel, he can be a rally coureur 😉 you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat all the time. Çidtibi is about 20 minutes driving and has an altitude of 1000 meters. This world class crag is amazing! When it rains in Geyik Bayiri, it’s possible to climb in Çidtibi. It can be cold during winter, but nevertheless the climbing is so cool! The wall in the Canyon seems endless, super overhanging and contains a lot of perfect tufas. As some Germans say, these routes needs some ‘traffic’. It’s so new and feels like breadcrumbs which makes it nice for onsight climbing. Tobias has bolted a few lines there since 2002.

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Photo: Çidtibi – Having fun in the Canyon

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Photo: Çidtibi – Madame Bleue – 8a+

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Photo: Çidtibi – Madame Bleue – 8a+

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Photo: Çidtibi – Je suis cuite – 8a+

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I didn’t climb so many times as I wanted in Çidtibi. At some time it started to pour rain, that everything in Geyik Bayiri was impossible to climb. Even Çidtibi was all wet except for a few routes near the cave.

I also visited a super big cave on 1000 meters altitude. This cave isn’t mentioned in the new topoguide. It’s not easy to access, because you’ll need a car and hike up for 1 hour.

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Photo: Mega cave

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Photo: Panorama view from the cave

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Tobias recommended me a route which was in the cave. He bolted this line and it’s called Aaron – 8C, named after his son and such a steep line. I figured out the sequence and was able to make all the 60 moves until the end.

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Photo: Workout in Aaron – 8C

All I had to do is to link it together and hope it would stay dry for the next few days. Unfortunately the rain messed up my plan 🙁 and I’ll have to save this sweet line for my next climbing trip…

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After seeing and working in such a cool route I didn’t want to pick any other hard projects. So the rest of the time I enjoyed climbing around Geyik Bayiri since these 2 spots were wet. Probably next year it will be dry again. I do have to mention that the grades in general are quite easy graded, which feels good though. In my opinion, all the routes that I climbed up to 8a are a bit under graded. Perhaps I just love the 3D climbing style, which makes it a bit easier for me. Anyway, if you’re interested in my climbs, click here.

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Photo: View from Mevlana

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Photo: Restday in Mevlana

Saturday december 13th when Daniel, Jurgen and Sven left, I felt a bit upset. I climbed in Sarkit that day when it was nice and sunny. I had to find new belaying buddies.

A little highlight of the holiday I’d like to share with you is Donkey Jump. Duygu introduced me to this local crag Eşek Uçtu (Donkey Jump) which also isn’t in the topoguide. It’s like a 7 minutes drive from Jo.Si.To but still you’ll need a car though.

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Photo: Impression of Eşek Uçtu

In the morning the sun is warming up the wall, after 12 o’clock noon the wall will be in the shadow and it can become quite cold. The last 4 days I spent my time there and she showed me this line called Enjoy the Silence. This line contained every style. Starting on a vertical wall, roof climbing, overhang, sidepulls, knee bars, crimps, pocket and so on – in my opinion a steady 8B of 35 meters, it has more hard moves than Over The Top.

As my holiday came to an end I was getting pretty close on climbing this line. The day before I left Turkey, 4th climbing day in a row, I barely had skin left on my fingers. Unfortunately I couldn’t climb it and cleaned some quickdraws at the top. I knew I could climb this route, I just needed a good rest. I should come back well rested for this. That evening I went to Climbers Garden with Geiske and Will for a nice steak. We celebrated the end of the climbing holiday. During dinner Geiske suggested me to go climb in the morning and I should give it another try. I have nothing to lose. Why not? Well, because I don’t have a car and the next morning I should pack and leave to the airport at 11.00. But then again, why not??

After dinner I ran back to Jo.Si.To and asked Tobias and Duygu a favour.

Do you have plans the next morning, if not, would you please like to belay me one more time in Enjoy the Silence?

Duygu thought I was making a joke.

Come on, it’ll be your 5th climbing day in a row. Are you serious?

I nodded my head and said yes I’m serious. Tobias will have to work and it was all up to Duygu. She asked me 5 minutes to think it over and then walked to me.

Okay tomorrow morning you’ll be ready at 8.30 AM. 1 condition: promise me that you’ll climb the route.

My answer:

Yes of course! I will promise you that 😀

I was so happy and started to pack some luggage in advance.

The next morning I was up early to pack my tent and my luggage. During breakfast I started to wear my harness to save some time. At 8.45 AM Duygu showed up and we drove off to the rocks. The weather was 10 degrees. It was a bit humid and cloudy. I set my alarm to 10.30 to get back to Jo.Si.To.

I warmed up in Game of Thrones, until I got cold fingers and feet and felt a bit pumpy. Then the sun started to shine a little bit on the rocks. It kind of felt like a competition, climbing early in the morning. And then I looked at the route one more time, took some quickdraws with me to set the end of the route. Duygu played some music: Daft Punk – Lose yourself to Dance, while belaying me.

I started my climb, felt super and passed all the cruxes super solid. I nearly finished the route and knew I would send it and then suddenly a hold broke off! It was a tiny flake which was quite essential to climb the end of the route. I crimped this flake and now it was gone. I fell after 30 meters and couldn’t believe this. WHY?? I was so pissed! I’m so sorry for breaking off this hold though! I went back in the route to find another solution, instead of this flake, there was a super small crimp. It should be possible to use this mini crimp!

When I came down on the ground, it was 10.00 o’clock. Duygu said it was a super good run and thought I would send it. She looked on her phone and said I still have some time left…
I rested for 15 minutes and knew this would be my last climb of the holiday. Time was ticking. I knew I could climb all the cruxes. I felt super excited and really wanted to send it. I was ready to climb one more time. Music on: Daft Punk – Get Lucky. Everything went solid again, I enjoyed the view over Antalya as I was resting in my final attempt.

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Photo: View from Eşek Uçtu over Antalya

I told her I will be fast so we still have some time for a coffee at Jo.Si.To. I used Tobias’ and Duygu’s beta for some moves. From toehooks to heelhooks, drop knees, and knee bars. I was running in the crux and was a bit nervous about the small crimp. I kept my head cool and sent the route just on time! I will never forget this experience. It was 10.29 when I clipped the anchor and Enjoyed the Silence!!

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Photo: Just Enjoyed the Silence – 8b

I was so happy 😀 ! It was the perfect time and place to be and such a nice end of this holiday. Special thanks to Duygu for supporting me until the end!! We drove back to Jo.Si.To at 10.45 where I changed my clothes, enjoyed a latte macchiato with Duygu and packed my luggage into the bus to the airport. Goodbye Tobias, Duygu and the rest of Jo.Si.To! Thank you for the sweet time together.

Arriving at the airport, I couldn’t believe my holiday passed by so fast. I was also looking forward to my home again. And some rest during Christmas and spend time with family and friends.

Anyway for now, I hope you enjoyed my story and some day I hope you’ll visit Turkey too. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy & healthy 2015! Hopefully next year you’ll climb more than this year, stay motivated and injury free, improve and last but not least enjoy climbing!

Monk-DustYesterday the 6th edition of Dust open competition was held at Monk Bouldergym! I was quite excited cause I managed to sign up last minute.

I didn’t climb the last few days to save up some energy and some climbing skin on my fingers. I prepared my lunch at home and arrived at the gym 5 to 10. The doors weren’t open yet, but I was psyched to climb! I knew Monk would use new holds and a bunch of new volumes.

When I entered I was one of the first climbers. I received a T-shirt. There was a box full of pencils and topoguides. Monk was ready to receive a lot of climbers today! There were 90 boulders set in total, all spread over the gym.

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I started to warm up on a few easy boulders on the training wall. After that I searched for some vertical wall problems. In my mind I had prepared some strategy to tackle all the problems. My goal for today was to climb as many problems as I could including hard problems.

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After 40 boulders I decided to take short lunch break. It was already quite dusty which was no surprise if you have 250 other climbers around you. After my lunch break I changed climbing shoes. I tried some hard problems. Some of the hard problems took longer than expected, other problems I managed to climb in 1 or 2 attempts. This year some of the 7b and most of the 7c problems were set hard. I tried a few attempts in one lime 8a boulder, but it took too much effort and quite some skin. I was decisive and continued to climb less hard problems.

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At 3 P.M. I wasn’t tired yet. Status from this point: managed to climb 68 boulders so far!

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So I still had 22 boulders to go. Sometimes it takes a while to wait in line because it was too crowded. It was so cool to climb on new holds. I like the new Made by Monk holds in particular the pockets.

Anyway, I was glad I still had skin left on my fingers. The last 2 hours I didn’t climb that many problems. I ended up with 73 boulders out of 90! My best 8 problems had a score of 5800 points. I was wondering if that was good enough to end up in the top 10.

To me it was a daily challenge to climb as many problems as possible. Surprisingly I wasn’t that tired yet. Anyway, I knew there were other climbers trying to climb all the problems as well. Elko was one of them. He managed to climb 1 more boulder, well done!

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When it was time for the price ceremony, I was quite surprised. During the competition I saw Rustam Gelmanov cruising through these hard boulders. He seems really fit to me. I knew Rustam was the best climber of the day, however there was another guy from Belgium who claimed to have climbed all the 90 boulders! That means this guy had won the hardest category and also the most boulders of the day. I think this is just a super lame way to win a price. Why did I just say that? Well, I saw a lot of people climb. The hard boulders are quite obvious however I didn’t see him climb any of them. Usually I don’t care about the results, but to be honest I don’t believe you can climb the hardest boulders and all of the boulders in a few hours.

@Belgian guy: If you climb all the boulders, just like you claimed last year, then I will be happy to climb along with you next year. Obviously I lack technique and power, therefore you can show me how you tackle the hardest problems. Please do contact me. If you climb all the hardest boulders, why won’t you join the boulder Worldcups this year? I’m sure you can win easily 😉

Back to results. I ended up 3rd 2nd in All you can climb category and ended up 7th 6th in the overall score ranking. It was an amazing day with fun boulders.

Update February 3rd 5 P.M.: Did you compete too? Check your result here.

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I’m glad these boulders will stay for a while so I can finish the rest of the boulders on my list. Thanks for the great time everyone. I enjoyed a day of climbing! See you around in Monk.

Last Friday I woke up at 6.30 AM and went back to sleep for another hour.

At 8 AM I had breakfast on the first floor. In the breakfast room there were a lot of Austrians too. Nikki and Wouter were already having breakfast.

After breakfast we went to pick up Tabitha and drove to the climbing venue. The routes were set outside in the big overhanging gym.

There were a lot of new holds, which made me curious!

The first for me was a yellow route and the second route was a black route. The first part of the route went well and I managed to climb until the roof.

From there I had a pocket with my left hand, clipped a quickdraw and went to another pinch for my right. I changed my foot position and crossed under to another pinch. From here I had to slab to this huge hold with a hole in it. But I didn’t get that far, cause I slabbed next to the hole! I thought the tickmark was going a bit more to the left. It was such a pity, cause I know I could do so much better than this. So far my first route. I had to make up for this in my second route.

At 3 PM was my second route with black holds. It was set on the right side of the climbing gym. This route looked funny. I was relaxing and climbed my way up until I got my right hand on this sloper hold.

It was only the 8th hold I think. I matched it quick and placed my left foot on this huge hold. From there I figured I should go dynamic to a pinch which was quite reachy. It didn’t work out for me. During my movement I suddenly stopped. I don’t know why. I was mad at myself. It went so good until this far move.

I should have locked off my right arm and I know I could have reached it with my left hand but I didn’t. I was copying this Korean guy I saw before and it didn’t work for me.

I ended up last in the ranking. This was a performance to forget very soon! I don’t know what to do. I do feel super motivated to train harder now. The rest of the event was nice. Nikki and Jorg advanced to the semis which was a good performance. Jorg even made the finals and ended up 6th!

Video: Going down like a boss

Check my Facebook page to see the other 80 photos of the event. After the finals I had some free dinner and played some soccer with Jorg and the Austrian team 🙂 I do have a note on how to improve the competition next time in Puurs. I think the speaker of the event should either work on his speaker style or turn off the microphone. The rest of the event was super!

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