Red Bull Branched Out tree climbing championships set to involve 100 competitors

Climbing: The Branched Out Championships challenge arborists and athletes. Inset:Beau Reynolds, Josh McGovern, Adam Martin Photo: Provided

Climbing: The Branched Out Championships challenge arborists and athletes. Inset:Beau Reynolds, Josh McGovern, Adam Martin Photo: Provided

A1 Tree Service will field a team of climbers in this this year’s Red Bull Branched Out tree climbing championships in Pioneer Park on Thursday September 20. 

Wellington’s Adam Martin and Dubbo’s Beau Reynolds and Josh McGovern will all be competing against the nearly 100 other climbers and arborists from around the world.

The trio will be looking to win the coveted men’s championship from defending champ Sam Hardingham, who is set to defend his title when the climbing challenge kicks off on Thursday 20 September.

The potential winnings include a prize pool of over $20,000 in cash and over $50,000 worth of equipment. 

We're hoping to do well, we've been training like crazy.

Beau Reynolds

The three competitors have been fans of the tree climbing championships ever since they became aware of the event, and are optimistic that their knowledge will see them to victory, according to Beau Reynolds. 

“We’ve been training every afternoon we’ve been able to. We’ve even set up a similar tree to the ones in Pioneer Park,” Mr Reynolds said. 

Prizes and titles aren’t the only thing drawing the competitors to test themselves. 

“I’m keen to learn stuff off the guys who are professional climbers and not just arborists,” Mr Reynolds said.

“Some of these guys are coming from as far as Europe, so that’s a little intimidating, but it is cool.”

Sam Hardingham is the previous year’s champion in the men’s division, he’s just one of 97 other competitors that will be going up against the local team during the competition. 

He’s been competing in tree climbing since 2015 and has been working in the arborist industry since 2005.

He got his start as an arborist pruning trees in southern England and trained further in New Zealand before moving to Australia where he currently resides and works as part of a tree climbing service in Newcastle.

“I’ve been training hard for the upcoming competition and I’d like to do well again this year but  the most rewarding part is getting to climb with like minded people and enjoy the community atmosphere of Arboriculture,” Mr Hardingham said.

Like Beau and many others, Hardingham is hoping that the competition will help him learn more about the skills that arborists and climbers need.

“Like all tree climbing competitions the atmosphere is very supportive and encouraging. Competitions are a great place to share skills and techniques to use. The sense of community and willingness to improve standards encourages me to attend,” Mr Hardingham said.