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SPb Drytooling Cup 2019: The language of courage

This photo story is from a distant beforeCovid year. The end of another reality and world, when the borders were open for everyone, and people did not hide behind masks. More precisely, they were hiding, but at least behind the invisible. The story of how for the first time in my life I hunted with a camera for a new animal - foreign athletes - it happened on December 20-21 at the St. Petersburg International Drytooling Cup 2019.

To get to the venue of the competition, I had to overcome real obstacles - in the middle of the city I got into a swamp. "It's Peter, baby!" In fact, it was a stunning orientation on Yandex maps. So, as a nice bonus, I got a whole day of work in the cold with wet feet and a chill. “Is not hard enough environment for you, Jane? Create difficulties!” I joked and laughed.

The event took place on the territory of the Fire and Rescue College.
After the habitual landscapes of mountains and rocks, the iron-paneled structure did not look very life-affirming against the background of the cloudy December sky of the northern capital and other urban buildings. But this was't the main thing, the main thing is the people ..

I had not previously took pictures of drytooling on artificial relief, so all the names and faces were unfamiliar to me. And this nescience is the most beautiful period when you are still completely unlimited by the frames of titles and life stories in the moment of your perception of a person, pure and impartial in assessing him here and now, in your sincere desire to penetrate into his essence, taking each shot.

Athletes gathered from half the globe: representatives of Russia, France, USA, Japan and Korea. The start list included 11 women: Maria Zaikovskaya, Anastasia Astakhova, Lindsay Hastings (USA), Alexandra Sedova, Angela Tomczik (USA), Daria Glotova, Ekaterina Vlasova, Corey Buhay (USA), Maria Nefedova, Alena Vinnikova, Haruko Takeuchi (Japan ). And 18 men: Dmitry Maslov, Artem Khvostov, Kwon YoungHye (Korea), Thomas Gehrlein (USA), Wesley Fowler (USA), Lev Sushanek, Artem Bazegsky, Masato Nakajima (Japan), Evgeny Zaika, Denis Yarikov, Etienne Poteaux (France ), Ivan Chernykh, Sergey Tarasov, Ilya Kurochkin, Nikolay Kuzovlev, Arseny Kurmaev.

"Where does this feeling come from?" I thought about it, making another shot without taking my eyes off the picture on the other side of the telephoto lens, 

"That feeling that is born inside every time an athlete safely gets to the TOP through thorns?

A Desire. Huge, flaming and all-consuming, leading and tearing apart the nature of human and existence - that's what sparkled in these pupils, dilated with fear and bodily agony. Desire to win. Competitors, themselfs, the track - it didn't matter.

Beyond the line. Here desire turned out to be stronger than fear - fear of falling, failure, uncertainty - stronger than fatigue, stronger than pain. It was not suppressed, not extinguished, not lost, ignored or condemned. It was sung, cherished, nurtured, and sharper.

It was bravery ..

And courage did not speak different languages. It doesn't matter - in brown, blue or gray-green eyes - I saw how lightning flashed and spread, breaking space, - it was human will, which took shape in the swift decisiveness of each next movement of the instrument.

According to the results of qualification, 8 women went to the finals, which took place at dusk: Maria Zaikovskaya, Alexandra Sedova, Angela Tomczik (USA), Daria Glotova, Ekaterina Vlasova, Corey Buhay (USA), Maria Nefedova, Haruko Takeuchi (Japan). And 8 men: Dmitry Maslov, Kwon YoungHye (Korea), Wesley Fowler (USA), Artem Bazegsky, Etienne Poteaux (France), Sergey Tarasov, Ilya Kurochkin, Nikolay Kuzovlev.

The pedestal was divided:

1st place - Ekaterina Vlasova and Kwon YoungHye (Korea)

2nd place - Haruko Takeuchi (Japan) and Nikolay Kuzovlev

3rd place - Maria Nefedova and Ilya Kurochkin


Thanks to the chief director and organizer - Andrey Varvarkin. Supported the competition and provided a tempting prize fund: TOP POINT, Outdoor-Center Tramontana, Sport-Marathon - respect and honor!

All my photos from SPb Drytooling Cup 2019 you can view here: the beginning1 day2 day.



Look at Video by Alexander Chekylaev:

P.S. Photo with Sergei Tarasov in edition of Natalia Kandakova :)