Tree-climbing: Event scales tree heights

Twenty-two tree climbers from New Zealand and around the world assembled in Stratford's Victoria Park on Sunday for the Taranaki Open Tree Climbing Competition.

The competition, now in its third year, mirrors international competitions including the world championships where Taranaki Open organiser Nicky Ward-Allen placed second last year.

"It's a great way to introduce new climbers to the sport," said James Kilpatrick from Tauranga, the New Zealand and Asia Pacific tree climbing men's title-holder.

Ward-Allen also said it was marvellous so many climbers had travelled to climb with the Taranaki locals. "We had eight climbers from Europe, and one each from Asia and North America, and groups from Auckland and Wellington."

The competition is based on five events: work climb, throwline, speed climb, foot lock and aerial rescue. The Open was won by 2011 world champion Scott Forrest, originally from Kawerau, with Ward-Allen best of the locals; Englishman Joe Fairclough was best of the overseas competitors.

- Stratford Press

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