Each year, the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) holds a Climber competition acronymed SPEC and each year they get more and more ambitious in their goals. This year for instanace, they had a 1,200 m long tether held up by balloons. Climbers are powered by batteries and scores are awarded based on speed, payload, etc.
The competition was held this past August 6th through the 9th, but they have not posted results or pictures yet. Several people from the JSEA, including JSEA President Shuichi Ohno, attended the just-completed ISEC Space Elevator Conference and they brought a verbal summary as well as a video they created, summarizing the competition. As soon as that is posted, I’ll link to it here. There is a very scant summary of the competition here (note, this website is in all Japanese – if you need it translated, open it with Google Chrome).
Of note, one JSEA’s major purposes in attending the ISEC Space Elevator Conference was to begin the effort to turn this into an international competition. While this competition is held in Japan each year, only once or twice has something similar happened in Europe and, since the ending of the NASA/Spaceward Space Elevator Games, nothing like this has happened in the US.
There were a lot of people interested in this concept and a lot of discussion followed. The bottom line is that there appears to be enough enthusiasm here to support these Games, but a ‘champion’ must be found – someone willing to take on the considerable organizing challenge this represents. If you are interested in heading this up or assisting in any way, please contact ISEC President Dr. Peter Swan.