This year the arborist championship took place on June 12 and 13 in Prague, Czech Republic. The event was organized by the European Arborist Committee, in collaboration with the Czech subsidiary of ISA (International Society of Arboriculture).
Varied and complementary disciplines
The competition brought together 55 professionals, mainly from Europe, but also from New Zealand and North America, all coming to compete in different categories:
- bag throw
- FOOTLOCK ascent
- work climb
- speed climb
- aerial rescue
Each of these activities tested climbing skills, agility, secure passage within a tree, and a variety of techniques for rescuing a colleague in difficulty.
Only the best climbers passed the first day's elimination round.
The next day, the Masters challenges were prepared by James Kilpatrick and Scott Forest, two well-known arborist specialists. The trees they chose were much higher and with longer branches than the local trees: a difficult spot, perfect for testing the contestants.
The selection criteria were not only based on the speed of the participants, but also on their respect for safety and on their techniques.
The jury chose two winners per discipline (men and women), and the Masters winners are the same as last year's:
- Women: Anja Erni (Switzerland)
- Men: Jon Turnbull (Great Britain)
Petzl is an official sponsor of this competition and was on location to chat with participants, to answer their questions, and to offer them an opportunity to test new products.
The quality of the competition and the beauty of the gardens of the Château de Pruhonice attracted hundreds of impressed visitors. As for the participants, they will certainly not forget the particularly challenging conditions: 36°C in the shade of the trees.
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