2022 New England Chapter ISA Tree Climbing Championship
June 18, 2022. Framingham, MA. Thirty climbers—twenty-six men and four women—and more than forty volunteers, along with friends and family, gathered at Farm Pond Park in Framingham, MA for the 31st Annual New England ISA Tree Climbing Championship. Thank you to New England ISA president, Doak Marasco, and TCC Chair, Bruce Duffy for finding us this gem of a location. Special thanks to Chris McGinty, Superintendent, Framingham Parks and Rec, and his crew for all of their support.
Event set-up commenced at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, June 17th. A last minute donation of a bucket truck from Stumpy's saved the day as it was essential in getting the trees ready for a full day of climbing. Volunteers from all over New England and beyond came out to prune, prep, and set the trees for each climbing event, including the Kids Climb.
Friday afternoon, the thirty climbers arrived for gear check—an essential step in the competition. Any gear deemed unsafe is relegated to the Disqualified Equipment bin to be picked up at the end of the competition.
Thanks to a very generous sponsorship from RBI/Shelter, volunteers and climbers enjoyed an amazing reception at the SKYBOKX 109 Sports Bar and Grill! The reception featured high-stakes flaking competition with the winners taking home the rope bag and the rope!
On Saturday June, 19th, competitor and accomplished trumpeter, Brian Carpenter, kicked off the day early on Saturday with renditions of both the US National Anthem and the Canadian National Anthems in honor of our Canadian climber, Thomas Blight and sponsor and volunteer, Peter DeVries of Courant. Bruce Duffy welcomed all of the climbers, thanked all of the volunteers, and told the sponsors the event would not be possible without their generous support. Duffy sent everyone off with stern words about safety and a hearty message of good luck to all competing that day.
Exhibitors set up their booths amongst the preliminary events including Shelter Tree Care Products, Courant, Lewis Tree Experts, The Spicy Noodle Company, and Kong USA. At 10:00 a.m. the Kids Climb kicked off with help from volunteers including students from Bristol County Agricultural High School.
Preliminary events included Ascent Event, Speed Climb, Aerial Rescue, Throwline, and Work Climb. The preliminary rounds featured skilled and practiced climbing arborists. Some of the events required a enormous amount of skill, others a large amount of grit and this year's participants did not disappoint. By mid-afternoon, the results for the Masters Challenge were announced. Ryan Torcicollo, Tim Reynolds, and Kyle McCabe would compete for the spot of top male competitor while Stella Dee, Olivia Davis, and Morgan Parent would compete for the top women's spot. Guest climber from Canada, and overall event winner, Thomas Blight, also completed the Master's Challenge.
As the air cooled and dusk settled in, the winners were announced, Stella Dee and Kyle McCabe would represent the New England Chapter ISA at the International Tree Climbing Championship in Copenhagen, Denmark in September, and Stella Dee, Kyle McCabe, and Ryan Torcicollo would represent the Chapter at the North American Tree Climbing Championship in Saint Paul, Minnesota in August*! Dan Severino was awarded the Spirit of the Competition Award - awarded to the competitor with the best attitude, voted on by the event judges.
TCC Committee Chair, Bruce Duffy would like to thank all of the climbers, volunteers, judges, techs, timers, and sponsors for another incredible event. Thanks to all that came out to cheer on New England's top climbers!
*Editors Note: Based on their availability, those representing the New England Chapter ISA at the International TCC will be Kyle McCabe and Morgan Parent. Those representing the New England Chapter ISA at the North American TCC will be Kyle McCabe, Tim Reynolds, and Olivia Davis.