Sackville woman qual­i­fies for in­ter­na­tional tree climb­ing cham­pi­onship

Sackville Tribune - - EXTRAS -

Sackville’s Becky Aurell will com­pete in the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Ar­bori­cul­ture’s 2017 In­ter­na­tional Tree Climb­ing Cham­pi­onship in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., this sum­mer. Aurell is pic­tured above tak­ing part in last sum­mer’s At­lantic Tree Climbers’ Com­pe­ti­tion.

Still, she doesn’t set high ex­pec­ta­tions when go­ing up against world-class climbers.

“Ba­si­cally, if I’m not in last

place, I’ll be re­ally pleased.”

Com­peti­tors from around the world will com­pete in five dif­fer­ent events: work climb, se­cured

foot­lock, be­layed speed climb, throw­line and aerial res­cue be­fore top climbers are se­lected for a fi­nal cu­mu­la­tive event.

They range from as­cend­ing a tree as quickly as pos­si­ble to res­cu­ing a dummy from the branches, with marks awarded for con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion and ef­fi­cient re­sponse as if it were a real emer­gency.

Becky’s fa­ther, Kevin An­der­son, runs Wood­pecker Tree Care in Sackville and says while he’s never dealt with an emer­gency like that, the skills tested in the com­pe­ti­tion are the same he uses ev­ery day in his busi­ness – only faster. The work can look dan­ger­ous, and cer­tainly can be with­out the proper tech­niques, but he says it is of­ten mis­con­strued as more haz­ardous than it ac­tu­ally is.

He looks for­ward to the com­pe­ti­tion, but doesn’t ex­pect a podium fin­ish ei­ther. Peo­ple at these big events are both very se­ri­ous and very strict, with many rules in­volved, he says. Climbers are scored on their speed, tech­nique and safety through­out the climbs, los­ing points for any un­safe or im­proper ac­tions.

While all the climb­ing may look stren­u­ous, proper use of equip­ment keeps it from be­ing as ex­haust­ing as it looks, he says. Still, not just any­one could do it.

“If you don’t have the tech­nique, it could kill you,” he says with a laugh.

Prior to the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, Aurell will take part in a train­ing event in Con­necti­cut on May 6.

KEVIN AN­DER­SON PHOTO

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