This past Saturday, May 5, 2018, CTPA held its 14th annual CT Tree Climbing Competition. This year’s competition was held at the CT Veterans Healthcare & Residential Facility in Rocky Hill. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the veterans themselves were great hosts, while the climbers and others who participated were more than happy to share their love of trees and of tree-climbing with such a great audience.
Twenty-three climbers took part in the competition – 21 men and 2 women. The location and its trees were right for the role, including the beautiful view provided down towards the Connecticut River. The competition was also an opportunity to give the many attendees a first look at the Healing Garden being constructed by CTPA.
As in every tree climbing competition, this year’s contest had its moments of drama, grace, bravado and fun. Drama, perhaps, was watching two relative new-comers to the CTCC, Melvin Garcia and Cassandra Bryant, make it to the Masters Challenge round for the first-time, and each do an excellent job. Grace is a word that could certainly be applied to Brick Reilly as he flew through each one of the preliminary events, with smoothness and skill. As Brick is not from Connecticut, he was not eligible to participate in the Masters Challenge round. He is sure to be a challenger in any future tree climbing events he enters.
Bravado, perhaps, and most definitely fun came in the form of Kyle Davidson, the ultimate champion in the men’s division, who wore a headset during this Master’s climb, so that he could broadcast to the audience as he paced himself through this difficult event. In the Master’s Challenge, the competitor is given wide discretion as to how he or she approaches the climb, including choosing the means of setting the line and of ascent, as well as the order in which the climber reaches each of the assigned stations. There was drama, also, as people waited for the final scores from the men’s Master Challenge. No one knew for sure, before the totals were announced, that Kyle had outscored Tim Reynolds, as both climbs were done efficiently and with clear professional skill.
An equal as highlight of the day came earlier in the afternoon, when the climbers, volunteers and spectators met with the veterans resident in the Healthcare Facility and presented them with t-shirts. Throughout the day there had been plenty of opportunities for the veterans and the participants to interact. The t-shirt giveaway was just a nice way to tie together that tie together the fun and excitement of the day with the gratitude that all wished to extend towards the veterans they met.
The results of the Masters Challenge are as follows:
First Place – Kyle Donaldson, Danielson, CT
Second Place – Tim Reynolds, Watertown, CT
Third Place – Melvin Garcia, Bridgeport, CT
First Place – Cassandra Bryant, Stratford, CT
Congratulations all, on a great competition!
More Pictures will be Forthcoming.
See Last Year’s Results