2012 UK Championships Report
By Lee Kemp
Photography by Fivos Averkiou (www.fivosphotography.com)
Saturday 13th October 2012 saw the second annual UKDFBA Championships, held again at the Benn Hall, Rugby. This year’s contest saw 53 of the UK’s finest take to the stage to do battle over the 12 classes contested to decide who this year’s crop of UK Champions, and eventual overall winner and WNBF Pro Card candidate would be.
The show was generously sponsored by Ian Duckett’s Bodyindesign Nutrition, Leon Moore’s Wear2gym and of course Brandon Marjoram’s Bfit personal training (in the shape of the magnificent sword which has come to signify the overall title at the contest) as well as a number of other class sponsors who will be referred to throughout the report. It cannot be stated enough that without the support of these sponsors, there can be no show and no UKDFBA, so thanks once again to all.
On with the show…
The Teenage division (sponsored by Lloydies Gym, Sheffield) opened the show and onstage were 3 young men whose development defied their years. The winner was the superb Chris Roche (Bodyflex Gym, Aylesbury) who boasted a near perfectly balanced physique with great lines and symmetry and flawlessly hard conditioning. Chris was truly world class, and is predicted to do some real damage when he makes his international debut at the INBF Worlds four weeks after this contest.
Chris was pushed hard by a massive Jason Copeland (Apollo Gym, Birmingham) who looked a sure winner from the front with huge chest, shoulder and arm development, although lighter in the legs and slightly off condition-wise. It was the back shots which won the contest for Chris, as Jason is notably less developed here. However, once this balance issue is addressed Jason has the potential to be unstoppable!
Sam Wilson (Claymore Gym, Tamworth) took third place and again was well muscled and balanced, and in great shape. The only thing that stopped Sam from taking the title was the quality of the line-up in which he stood, quite frankly, and on another day could well have been the winner. Another guy with a bright future.
It must be noted at this point that the support that Sam brought to the contest with him in the shape of the loud and proud “Claymore Crew” created a fantastic atmosphere for this class, and showed huge respect for all of the competitors. If every gym was as supportive of their members, bodybuilding would be a far bigger sport than it is! Thank you guys. See you next year.
With entries in the novice class being so large this year, it was decided to split the class into 2 (both classes sponsored by www.wear2gym.co.uk). We opted to do this by age, with the younger half in Class A which was won unanimously by a fantastic 21 year old Alex Fodor (Muscle Factory, Rotherham) who left no doubt in the judge’s minds with his blend of balanced mass, rock hard condition and exquisite shape. There really was no stopping this guy.
Likewise, a solid runner-up was last year’s Teen winner and Worlds runner-up Sam Swann (Bodyshapers Gym, Kettering) who despite only missing out on defending his title by a week (having turned 20 years old a few days prior to the contest) presented a much improved physique over last year with some great progress in muscle mass on his tall frame. He has huge legs for a tall man and is fast developing the upper body to match. With his great tan and posing, he clearly took second and again has a bright future ahead.
Third was another man roared on by the “Claymore Crew”, Josh Petricca (Claymore Gym, Tamworth). Josh was one of the lightest men in the whole contest at just over 60 kilos, but every gram of it was top quality, fat free muscle. In staggeringly hard condition which revealed some dense and well proportioned muscle, Josh was able to fight off the strongest of challenges from the huge Sam Williams (Iron Bodies, Dunstable) who has unlimited potential if he can fill that huge frame of his with muscle. Sam posed well and was so close to a top 3 finish. Fifth was a lean and mean Steve Cullen (Future Fitness, Coventry) and Sixth was Tom Collins (Virgin Active, Kingston) who will both push for a top 3 slot with another year’s training under their belts.
A jubilant Tony Barnes (Future Bodies, Leeds) took the Novice B title by a whisker over last year’s fourth placed Sandis Vidins (Bodyworx Gym, Coventry) with his well-balanced and aesthetic physique, fantastic posing and great stage appearance. Although a little denser muscled and probably harder than Tony, Sandis suffers in the symmetry round with a narrower structure, and his tan and posing did not show him off to his best at all. The judge’s decision was split between the two, and these guys knew they’d be hard to split from the tense looks on both of their faces as they awaited the announcement for second place. When that announcement came, the gracious disappointment on Sandis’ face was contrasted by the look of elation on Tony’s, who began dancing around the stage in celebration after respectfully congratulating his opponent and allowing him to take his trophy. Both guys have a bright future if they keep at it, no doubt.
Third was Lewis Hughes (Evolution, Rochdale) in his first contest. A more compact physique than the 2 ahead of him, but in great condition with thick chest and delts. Lewis needs to hammer those legs, and balance out his physique over the next year, after which he’ll move up the placings nicely.
Fourth was the huge Marvin Thomas (Yoyo’s Gym, Crymych) who although not blessed with the ideal structure has worked hard to build a heavily muscled no-nonsense physique, with legs which defy belief for such a tall man. A couple of weeks away from his peak condition, Marvin only just missed a top 3 spot.
Fifth was a massive Ben Wilcox (Genesis, Wembley) and Sixth Dean Darocha (Powerhouse, Hitchin). Both men were first timers, and have huge potential for future contests if they master the art of condition.
Much like the novices, the Masters were split into the younger portion of the entrants, and those who were more “experienced”, shall we say…
Class A was demolished by an unbelievable Andy Hallahan (HMP Hewell, Redditch) who had it all. Muscle in abundance, conditioning rarely seen on any stage and an aggressive posing display which literally owned the stage. It is clear to see why Andy is a two-time world champion already and a third title is not beyond his reach in Atlantic City, without a doubt.
A much improved Paul Todd (The Gallery, Windsor) took the runner-up spot with rock hard condition and beautiful aesthetics from the front, and his usual pro level posing display. Paul was over the moon to land in runner-up spot and will use today’s placing as a platform to build on for his next assault in the INBF Worlds where he hopes to emulate or better his previous placings.
There was a tooth-and-nail battle for third and fourth between Ian Stevenson (Powershack Gym, Haverfordwest) and Charlie McKee (New Images, Gosport). Both had very different, but equally matched physiques with both being slightly stronger in the upper body than lower, and Ian being thicker in the chest and back but not able to match the aesthetics of Charlie. In the end, Ian’s slightly harder conditioning took the trophy spot for him with Charlie content with fourth. Two great guys who will no doubt meet and fight it out again.
Fifth was the heavily muscled and beautifully shaped Steve Joyner (Absolute Fitness, Boroughbridge) and Sixth was Chris Wilson (Powershack Gym, Haverfordwest) who was coming back after a long layoff and had shed 5 stones to get ready for the contest. Both will place higher with the required conditioning.
The Masters B title was won after another titanic fight, this time between Lloyd Stewart (Lloydies Gym, Sheffield) and Courtney Smith (Virgin Active, Wolverhampton). Lloyd’s superior muscle mass when weighed up against Courtney’s superior shape and conditioning made it a real close contest, but with no shortage of muscle himself, it was the man from Wolverhampton who took the win, and with it his first national title. Courtney has never looked better than he did on this day, and was jubilant but respectful in victory.
Third and fourth was another close contest between Mark Hesketh (Tan and Tone, Wirrall) and Paul Daley (Formula One, Nottingham). Both men have great upper bodies and could pose with the competency one would expect from such experienced guys, but were slightly off condition-wise. Mark’s far superior lower body mass was the clincher, allowing him to sneak into the trophies.
All four of the men in this class are a credit to the sport, and a living demonstration of the benefits of a bodybuilding lifestyle. Well done guys…
The next class was the first of the Ladies divisions, the Ladies Physique class. This saw a fantastic line-up of 6, which was won by the narrowest of margins by the multi-titled former INBF World Champion Carol Streeter (Angel Centre, Tonbridge) who as always had a heavily muscled and flawlessly balanced physique, which she posed to perfection.
Normally, Carol is near impossible to beat but today she was pushed all the way by a lifetime-best Nicky Fogarty (Abbey Stadium, Redditch) who was more muscular than ever, with her trademark perfect shape and airtight condition, topped off with a breathtaking posing display which saw her take the ladies best presentation award, and deservedly so. Carol was over the moon with the win and her first UKDFBA title, and Nicky was equally as pleased to have come closer than ever to unseating the lady widely accepted as the best amateur in the UK.
A much improved Eve Cook (Aspire, Wickford) took third, in the best shape of her career so far. Eve has made notable improvements in both her muscle development and condition since her last competitive season, and thoroughly deserved a top 3 slot.
Just missing out on the trophies was Michela Rotella (Bodyindesign, Leeds) who had the tools to challenge the first two in the class, but was off condition-wise on this occasion. Likewise, fifth placed Nicola Joyce (Castle Gym, Windsor) would have been several notches higher (potentially) had she nailed her condition today. Nonetheless she was impressively muscled and immaculately presented and every bit worthy of her place on a national level stage.
Sixth was debutante Kelly Bluett (Simply Gym, Cheltenham) who has the beginnings of a fantastic physique. Should Kelly decide to pursue her contest goals further and keep adding muscle in balance to her physique and master the art of conditioning, she will be up there with the top placers before she knows it. Full credit to her for an incredible debut, not least in light of the fact that she had given birth less than a year previously!
A well-deserved break in the form of the interval followed, before the second half of the contest was opened by reigning WNBF Pro World Champion, Rich Gozdecki. There were literally jaws dropping in the audience as he came onstage and performed his trademark stunning posing display. At just a few weeks away from peak condition as he prepares to compete in the WNBF Pro European Cup and later defend his World title, Rich looked superb. It was a proud moment for all present to know that such an elite athlete is truly “one of ours” in every sense of the term.
A superb ladies Fit Body class followed, which was dominated by relative newcomer Penny Beaumont (Bodyindesign, Leeds) who was literally a “poster girl” for the criteria of this class. Penny was faultless and thoroughly deserved her title and her place on Team UK.
Hot on her heels was Debbie Scholefield (Bodyindesign, Leeds) who too was flawless and absolutely perfect for the class in terms of her shape and condition, but just lost out to Penny on the day by virtue of not quite matching her level of muscular development.
Third was Anita Albrecht (Fitness First, Romford) who too boasted the correct level of development for the class and was in great shape. It was only Anita’s comparatively less ideal structure that kept her from beating the other two girls, and on any other occasion would have been in the winner’s spot.
Fourth and Fifth went to Joanne Dudley and amazing 17 year old Harriet Moran (both from Bodyindesign, Leeds) respectively. Both ladies were near perfectly structured and presented, and needed only a little more development and conditioning to place higher.
Just missing the top 5 were Nicky Young (New Images, Gosport) and Katie Higgins (Bodyshapers, Kettering) who both did themselves proud and were truly unlucky to stand in such a high quality line-up.
It must be said, that all 7 girls posed superbly with great routines.
On to the men’s weight classes… First, the Bantamweights which was dominated by Masters A class winner Andy Hallahan. runner-up in the absolute best form he’s ever been in was Stuart McCulloch (Powerhouse Gym, Galston), who was well-balanced and conditioned, and whose almost perfect shape and symmetry pushed him through a tie breaker for runner-up spot ahead of a shredded and massive Richard Walker (Maximus Gym, Frimley). Rich was in shockingly good condition with heavy muscle on all body parts. This was a contest that genuinely could have gone either way and Richard was gracious in “defeat” on this occasion.
Fourth was Jason Barnett (Aktiv Bodz, Bradford) with a stunning free-posing display, which rightly took the men's best presentation award, and fifth was the ultra ripped George Fereos (Trainwise at Sparta 300, London). Out of the top 5 on this occasion were Masters 'A' competitor Steve Joyner, and Novice A entrant Josh Petricca.
The lightweight class was a nip-and-tuck 3 way battle between Chris Hyde (Spartan Bodyworks, Barnsley), Richard McWilliam (Fitness Factory, Barton Upon Humber) and Novice 'A' class winner Alex Fodor. The way I saw it was that Chris had the tools for a clear win in the class physique-wise with thick upper body muscle and a great V-taper, but lacked the conditioning required today, being a touch soft and clearly exhausted onstage after battling to make the weight earlier in the day. Alex threw his already spoken about awesome package into the mix along with Richard’s awesome upper body development and airtight condition. In the end the judge’s decision went Richards way, giving him his first and a very long awaited and well deserved weight class win. On his birthday nonetheless! Alex took the runner-up spot with Chris in third, disappointed but determined to return at his best and turn the tables on the two above him.
Fourth and Fifth were Ian Stevenson from the Masters 'A' and Lewis Hughes from Novice 'B'. Both men pushed the top 3 hard and were not out of place in the open class.
Middleweights next, totally dominated by the incredible Martin Petro (Techno Gym, Oldbury). Massively muscled, in staggering condition and presented like a pro, Martin would be near impossible to beat in his weight class today. I understand that Martin plans to make this his final year of competitive bodybuilding (we’ve all heard or said that one before!) and is fulfilling his ambition of going out on a high, no doubts about it.
runner-up was a much improved Chris Chapman (Evolution, Sheffield) who was in the same awesome condition as last year, with added mass all over. Novice 'A' runner-up Sam Swann pipped Masters 'B' competitor Paul Daley for the third spot, in a contest that could have gone either way.
The smallest of the five mens weight classes with just three entries turned out to be the battle of the day! The titanic struggle between Milan Panek (Virgin Active, Rugby) and reigning UK Champion Gavin Gibson (Iron Bodies, Dunstable) caused a real headache for the judges, and made the now weary audience explode into life once again. It really was a sight to behold, as both men were massively muscled, with Gavin more so in the lower body and Milan in the upper. Symmetry and shape-wise, Gavin just had the edge in my eyes with his wider shoulder structure, but with Milan thicker and deeper when viewed side on. It was the man from Rugby who had nailed his condition though, with deep cuts on his rock hard frame which edged this aspect of the judging over Gavin who was literally a few percent from his best. In the end, Milan won the class on a split decision to uproarious support from his crowd following.
Third was a well-muscled and balanced Szymon Mordas (Gym One, Luton) who has made great improvements since his runner up spot in the novices last year. His only problem today was the quality of the rest of the line-up!
A stage-buckling Heavyweight line-up of 5 followed, with a unanimous win going to Gordon Adam (Future Fitness, Cambuslang) who was absolutely peeled. It is rare to see a heavyweight in such condition. Gordon wasn’t a one trick pony by any means though, and was massively muscled with some very good body parts, particularly legs and delts. “Big Gordie” will take some beating at the Worlds, and as soon as he stepped onstage it became very apparent that the overall pose-down would not be as easy to judge as previously thought.
A tough contest for second place was edged by Nigel St Lewis (Uxbridge) who was not quite at his best, although if he had been, Gordie may have had more of a fight on his hands than he eventually did, no doubt. However, in terms of conditioning and muscle fullness he did still have “The Symmetry” that has earned him just that moniker. Beautifully shaped and put together, with only a slight imbalance between upper and lower body stopping his balance from being near perfect, Nigel will no doubt return to lift this title.
Third place, and only just missing second was the dark horse entry of the contest Andrew Fisher (Drufitness, Croydon). A similar physique to Nigel’s, with huge chest and arm development, and a great free posing display. Andrew has arrived on the scene with a bang, and will no doubt enjoy a great future in the sport if he carries on.
In his best ever shape, Daniel Awolola (Hollinwood Gym, Manchester) took fourth which was more an indicator of the standard of the line-up than it was the quality of Daniel's physique. Heavily muscled on every body part, with progressively better condition year after year, it really can’t be long before Daniel gets his day in the sun.
Novice 'B' entrant Marvin Thomas rounded out the placings, acquitting himself well in his first open class outing.
As all-bar-one of the male class winners lined up for the Overall, the judge’s eyes were literally darting back and forth between the thickness and conditioning of Andy Hallahan, the brutal ripped mass of Martin Petro, the equally if not more massive and conditioned Milan Panek, and a huge and ripped Gordon Adams, as well as the quality physiques of Tony, Alex and Courtney. The brutality of the overall judging system soon took hold though, with all eyes firmly fixed on Gordie and Milan. A quick shuffle of the line-up and one round of comparisons later, and the judges had rendered their decision. Except one, that is.
The judge’s sheets that were in so far gave two votes each to Milan and Gordon, and the fifth and final sheet was delivered a few moments later after one final thought from the judge in question, to tip the balance in favour of an ecstatic Milan Panek, who added his third overall sword (his first 2 being won at the venue in the days of the NPA Heart of England Championships), his first UK title and his WNBF Pro status to the INBA World title he’d won earlier this year. Milan literally dropped to his knees in a mixture of elation and relief when he heard his name announced as the winner, in stark contrast to the respectful look of disappointment on the faces of the other competitors.
And so ends the second UKDFBA Championships. The newly selected Team UK goes on to the World Championships in four weeks time where we hope to return with an armful of trophies and maybe another World Champ or two!
Thank you all for your support, as the UKDFBA grows from strength to strength. We will return in 2013 with a bigger, better and hopefully history-making UK Championships, and look forward to seeing you there.