Kiwis become world's best tree climbers - 14th Aug 2013

Team Kiwi 2013 - James Kilpatrick, Nicky Ward-Allen and Scott Forrest. (photo by Mark Roberts) By Simon Wong [3 News Online Reporter] Tuesday 13 Aug 2013

Three Kiwis have climbed their way to the top for the second time, taking out world titles for competitive tree climbing in Canada in treemendous fashion.

Scott Forrest, the 2011 World Champion and current Asia Pacific Champion, regained his world title while Nicky Ward-Allen, the current New Zealand women's champion, was crowned the world women's champion for the first time.

James Kilpatrick, the current New Zealand men's champion and former Asia Pacific champion, finished third overall.

Ward-Allen and Kilpatrick also won the head-to-head footlock event – a timed 15-metre ascent up a free-hanging rope.

The New Zealand team took out the overall team prize.

New Zealand Arboricultural Association president Bruce MacDonald says it is great to repeat the team's 2011 success and "shows our climbers are consistently among the best in the world".

The country's arborist industry is in a "golden age" with the latest wins and also with a New Zealander as President-Elect of the International Society of Arboriculture, Mr MacDonald says.
Professional tree climbing competitions are made up of five separate disciplines which give competitors a cumulative score.

Top tree climbers then compete in a climb-off up a "particularly challenging tree" to decide final placings.
Kiwi climbers firmly planted their roots in the competitive climbing scene when Chrissy Spence won the first of her three world titles in 2005.

Since then Kiwis have regularly ranked highly in international competitions.
There has been no word on whether the team will go for the tree-peat at the next world championships.


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