LockCon: tired but very satisfied!

You are used to me publishing something on this weblog every sunday (or when I am busy on Monday). Well … don’t worry, I will keep that up. But las weekend was a true demolition derby, and on sunday I was fully wrecked, I just could not write sooner. And I am still recovering (and very busy with my daytime job as I will fly to Dubai on Friday for a trade show).

First of all I would like to thank all that attended and helped out at LockCon! As always it was quite the experience and we did mange to make it the best Sneek event ever. And I am already wondering what we can offer next year….

Barry Wels

For me the ultimate LockCon experience was the impressioning championships on Saturday evening. You might remember six weeks ago I finally managed to become ‘Meister’ at the German games in Cologne. And now my German friends were out for revenge (in a very sporty manner). SSDeV president Steffen Wernéry prepared packages filled with fifty blanks and practice locks, and send them out to the members that could help stop the Dutch invasion. The message to the members was clear: bring back the title to Germany! On top of that he offered the SSDeV member that would beat me and my record time (5:13 minutes) a rare and beautiful watch made by Abus in the shape of a discus lock. All this caused the games in Sneek to be the one with most participants ever (around 35?). And all the big names were there trying to win the title and watch.

As I wrote before, I did not lose any sleep over all this. The sleep I lost was about the many other worries as the event needed my full attention to bring it to a happy end. So I did not get a chance to practice impressioning at all and just had to rely on my basic skills. The only thing I could do was arrange an hour orso in private just before the games to do some sort of warming up (opening a few locks).

To keep a long story short: I won again! And again it was the first time ever a ‘non-German’ won a locksport game in the Netherlands (yes, that is a shame ;). In 5:32 I managed to open the lock. Second was lockpick legend Arthur Meister in six minutes and a little bit. The third person was André Matuschek in little over 15 minutes something. Fourth was Dr. Manfred Bölker and fifth was Eric Schmiedl (toool.US). Please excuse me for not having the exact times and people opening the lock present, but things have been pretty hectic here and I can’t find the notes I made …

What was really special is Steffen Wernéry showed the ultimate proof of true sportsmanship: He was kind enough to offer me my own bounty and gave me the Abus watch at the closing ceremonies on Sunday evening. A very nice gesture that I appreciate a lot! And since I like a little challenge, I am offering the watch myself now to the person who manages to win a game and break the speed record in one of the two 2009 impressioning games. To be continued …

And I apologize for being selfish and just write about the impressioning games for now. I will soon try to write a follow up on the unforgettable LockCon event, and report about the many presentation and Dutch Open lockpick games (Medeco locks in the finals). And Steffen Wernéry shot some spectacular video of the impressioning games. It will take him some time to edit it, but I am looking very forward to seeing and sharing it ….

But for now I just need to catch up lots of sleep ….

17 Responses to “LockCon: tired but very satisfied!”

  1. Schuyler says:

    Incredible event, Barry. Our first conversation you were telling me you weren’t sure why you kept doing this to yourself, I hope it becomes more and more obvious with each passing year how much we all get out of it, how grateful we are for your hard work, and how willing we are to help you pull it off.

    I’ve set up a strict training regimen for myself and plan to document it. I’ll send you a link at some point. It’s going to involve a total retraining. I feel as though I peaked during the Open this year. I am very pleased with my times and individual matches, but my openings were very inconsistent. LockCon has inspired me to make the next big jump in skill. Hopefully I can pull it off and take a shot at that watch for next year 😉

    Thank you again, Barry, so much. I cannot believe how quickly the time passed.

  2. JackNco says:

    It really was a great event, there’s just nothing quite like it. It will be hard to beat it but I’m sure i’m not the only one that has faith you can pull it off.

    I only took park in the picking this year but who knows what next year will bring. I think I should be putting in more time for next year competition but I wasn’t at all ashamed of my efforts in the open, I managed to shave a full minute off my personal best in a competition from last year (“open in 6 seconds”). That was probably the highlight, that or opening a set of Medeco leg cuffs I was restrained in. All the talks I saw were spot on and everyone seemed to be having a great deal of fun.

    Cant wait for next years fun & games.


  3. Schuyler says:


    I just impressioned my first lock and got it open in 15 minutes!

    Now, this was a “confidence lock” that Henk sent me home from the open with, but still, this is the first time I’ve been successful. It’s wicked exciting!

  4. Travis says:

    Yes, video!!!

    and great photos Eric, very cool galleries

  5. Karin Spaink says:

    You won again? That’s quite something and really wonderful… Not because you’re Dutch, but because you’re you. Well deserved it is. And I like the idea of making the Abus watch a trophy going from winner to winner… Congratulations, Barry!

  6. James says:

    Congrats! That’s quite an achievement.

  7. henk says:

    Schuyler,congratz!!!!I would like to thank all who attended and organized LockCon,I,ve had a wonderful weekend thanks to the worldwide locksportcommunity.

  8. Thank you for the organizers, the participants and to all who bought my tools and ordered more 😛

    Barry, maybe next year we’ll see championships of opening ABUS disc detainer locks 😉

    I wish that at the next event I’m bringing cases full of tools and stuff, but we’ll see how things start to roll…

  9. Alexandre says:

    hey schuyler, Bravo !

    Thank you Barry for this great event,

    Next time, may be a French will be champion 😉

  10. The details of the competitions are also published here:

  11. David says:

    Don’t worry about being selfish, Barry. We’re always happy to see your success and skills. Congrats on the prize, its truly impressive! Good luck next year!


  12. Jon King says:

    Looks like it was such a blast; wish I could have gone. Also congratulations on your success! Hey Barry, shoot me an email (jkthecjer-att-gmail-doot-comm) so I can finally send you some ARX pins (if you still want them).

  13. mh says:

    I promised that you will be able to download my presentations (for those who didn’t get the CD) – so here they are:


    And this is once more the link to the Axis Visualizer application:
    (you need the Adobe Flash player – http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/ – to run this)


  14. Thank you mh, it was a very good presentation and I enjoyed it 🙂

  15. mercurial says:

    Clearly LockCon was a resounding success, in the tradition of its predecessor, The Dutch Open. Those who attended are very fortunate, it must’ve been a fantastic event!

    Congratulations again, Barry – successfully defending your Impressioning title – in spite of the German’s extra efforts to dethrone you!

    I think the effort you have put into learning and practicing impressioning with such dedication proves the validity of “Over and Over and Over” – the “OOO” part of TOOOL. Obviously, to defeat seasoned and experienced competitors such as Arthur Meister, Manfred Bolker and others shows that talent, and not just practice is at play here. Well done!

    I look forward to further information about LockCon and the results of the Dutch Open(lockpicking).

  16. […] though I won a number of international championships, I am not really much of a competitive player. For me it is more important to be able to open a […]