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2015 UK Championships

Saturday 10th October. The Assembly, Leamington Spa
Photos courtesy of Julian Ward (www.julianward.org)
Report by Lee Kemp

Saturday October 10th 2015 saw our fifth and arguably best UK Open to date, stacked from class to class with top quality athletes who had once again travelled from the far corners of the UK to do battle for the class titles, International Championships invitations and eventual slots on Team UK for the Worlds 5 weeks later. Pre contest, there were a number of classes which had sparked a level of anticipation never seen before in our history and the packed crowd was buzzing with anticipation as the athletes began to take the stage.

Huge thanks must go to our main sponsor USN for once again helping us to resource our contests and allowing us to go from strength to strength. Without theirs, and the support of all of our sponsors we would not be able to deliver what we do for our athletes and fans alike.

Teenage Men

1st - Dominic Rae (Sheffield). Dominating this ultra-competitive class, Dom was big, balanced and hard with one of the best posing routines of the day. If he can gain that last few percent in terms of conditioning, he has the potential to lay claim to the biggest titles in the sport.

2nd - Ashley O'Connell (Burton). Vastly improved over last year’s showing, with great condition and some stand out body parts, Ash was just unlucky to come up against such an elite opponent in Dom today but with another year left in the teens has to be a favourite for next year’s title.

3rd - AJ Morris (Brighton). Hot on Ash’s heels, A J was ripped and well balanced and just missed the runner up spot by virtue of not quite having the overall mass to topple the runner up today.

4th - Ross McCarthy (Sandhurst). A blinding debut from Ross, who was rock hard and balanced with a great shape and symmetry. Any of the athletes in 2nd, 3rd and 4th could have placed in another order with no complaints.

5th - Thomas Beswick (Worksop). Big and hard, with an impressive torso and midsection, Tom needs to focus on bringing his limbs up now and when he does, this title is within his grasp.

Junior Men

1st - Marcos Gava (Burgess Hill). Just nicking the title in a fierce battle with the runner up, Marcos boasted great quads and delts with hard conditioning which was enough today to take a split decision from the judges.

2nd - Ronnie Cai (Coventry). The USN Classic winner appeared here in even better shape than he was there, and with his naturally aesthetic shape and deep separations came very close to lifting the title today. A great first season for this man with a bright future ahead.

3rd - Daniel Williamson (Coventry). The best upper body in the class, with muscle to spare and shredded condition, Daniel would have swept this class with ease had he had the legs to match. A year focusing on that aspect and with more fluid stage presentation and a win is easily within his grasp.

4th - Kurtis Furgusson (Wolverhampton). Last year’s teen winner had improved significantly in terms of overall size and posed excellently. Kurt’s condition wasn’t as hard as last year, and this alone kept him from a higher placing today.

5th - Jordan Smith (Barnsley). Well balanced and onstage in his best shape to date, Jordan improves steadily and fully deserved his top 5 placing today.

Also competed – Danny Boyle (Wolverhampton) and Chris Halgreen (Birmingham) who both had well-muscled and balanced physiques but needed to be sharper to crack the top 5.

Masters Over 40

1st - Ian Scammell (Bristol). At the third time of trying, today Ian was the man who held the rest of this superb line up out of the winners circle. Big, ripped and determined in his stage presence, Ian finally claimed his long yearned UK title and on this form would be a genuine threat at World level.

2nd - Adrian Hampton (Devizes). After a stunning debut at the USN Classic, Adrian was better still today, with even harder condition which set off his huge upper body further and enhanced his leg development with the improved separation which came from his dryer look. If he can add some more mass to his legs and balance out his physique he will be in contention for the top spot in years to come.

3rd - Mark Thompson (Birmingham). A massive man with no real weak body parts, Mark lacked on the condition required today to challenge the winner and in the required condition is another man who would be hard to beat at this level.

4th - Chris Chapman (Sheffield). Rock hard, and possibly his best shape to date with his well balanced and shaped physique fuller and his stage presentation more energetic than usual, Chris looked great and only held back by being slightly lighter developed than the top 3.

5th - Paul Harradine (Portsmouth). Shredded is a word often overused in the sport, but not in Paul’s case. Tall, and relatively light in musculature but with barely an ounce of fat or water on him he dazzled the judges with his impeccable condition and bagged the final trophy spot in a hard tussle and looked amazing for a first time competitor.

Also competed – George Fereos (London) who was shredded but lacked the mass to place higher, Peter Goodall (Dewsbury) who was his best yet and Ian Stevenson (Haverfordwest) who although not the most aesthetic bodybuilder was big and cut and very unlucky not to make the top 5.

Masters Over 50

1st - Robert Rodney (Purley). The huge, shapely and youthful Rob took his second consecutive UK title with his superior overall development, but his slightly softer than usual condition mean that the final decision went right down to the wire today.

2nd - Andy Turner (Milton Keynes). Just missing the winners spot on a split decision from the judges was a rock hard and vascular Andy, who was better than ever and a genuinely elite level athlete at this level. It really could have gone either way today and Andy will lift top honours in this class in the near future without doubt.

3rd - Wesley Clarke (London). In a nip and tuck battle for the next 3 places, former Universe winner Wes just nicked 3rd with a wide, heavily muscled upper body and great presentation. If he can reproduce the condition of a few years ago, this title could be his for sure.

4th - Robert Feesey (Axminster). Although not the most pleasing on the eye, Rob was bigger and harder than his last few appearances and looks to finally be turning a corner after the horrific injuries that took him out of his stride a few years ago. It was good to see a glimmer of the form which saw Rob raise the bar in the sport in terms of conditioning in the early 2000’s and he will always be admired as one of modern bodybuilding’s true pioneers.

5th - Courtney Smith (Wolverhampton). Desperately unlucky to come out on the short end of this 3 way battle, Courtney was as impressive as ever with a lean and well-muscled physique which belies his age. Always full of life and spritely in his presentation, Courtney is always a pleasure to have onstage.

Also competed – Paul Blackwell (Coventry) and John Heath (Worcester) who both looked great but were up against it in such a world class line-up.

Novice Ladies

1st - Joannie Newton (Hexham). An amazing talent with a bright future, Joannie was a standout winner in this class with her amazing shape, condition and level of development. A little more on the legs and she’ll be challenging for top honours in the open class.

2st - Charlotte Knight (Nottingham). Much improved from the USN Classic in terms of condition and a winner on any other day, Charlotte too is close to the finished article and has a bright future in the sport.

3rd - Elaine Leprowski (Portsmouth). Another lady with the potential to have won this class in previous years, Elaine was hard to fault with balanced muscular development and ideal condition.

4th - Della Mabbutt (Kettering). With super hard conditioning and some standout body parts, Della lacked the aesthetics and “look” ideal for this division and would prove later to be far better suited to the bodybuilding discipline.

5th - Karen Preston (Coalville). Boasting a nice shape and very neat stage presentation, Karen will climb the ladder with another year of training to add more muscle to her frame.

6th - Katie Russell (Dumfries). Katie enjoyed every second of her stage debut after a staggering pre contest transformation. Katie is tall and has a great structure and will climb the placings given the necessary time and training.

Novice Lightweight Men

1st - Steve Mawaro (Coventry). Thickly muscled and rock hard, Steve was untouchable in this class today and will be a threat in the open classes as he matures and gets that last few percent sharper.

2nd - Steven Chidgey (Manchester). Just taking second in a close battle with Lee, Steven is well built and in good shape and a very nice natural structure and v-taper. As he gains mass and thickness to this already excellent physique he will be one to watch.

3rd - Lee Adams (Portsmouth). His third attempt at this class, and his best yet with a bigger and better balanced package than the previous two years. Lee just lacked the natural shoulder width to beat Steven today but can bow out of the novices on good form now and return safe in the knowledge that he will be a challenge in the open division.

4th - Clint Purches (Leigh on Sea). Vastly improved over last year with some impressive muscle gains and even better condition than the ripped look he showed on his debut, Clint is steadily reaching the top and could well be looking at challenging hard for the winners spot next year.

5th - Gary Parsons (Bristol). With a wide and impressively shaped upper body, Gary too can be a threat for the title if he brings up his lower body a touch and nails his condition. A great debut year for him. Also competed – Eddie Williams (Northwich) who was his best yet and pushed hard for a top 5 slot and Steven Strachan (Glasgow) and Daniel Fadai-Tehrani (Weybridge) who both needed more mass and condition to place higher.

Novice Heavyweight Men

1st - Solomon Onaola (Coventry). USN Classic winner Solomon continued on his debut year rampage with a clear win in this class, and was super impressive with no real weaknesses and solid condition to see off the rest of the class. Solomon is one of the brightest prospects of the contest and has a bright future if he chooses to pursue it.

2nd - Henry Mensah-Brown (Coventry). Another big guy, with huge arms and impressive quads, Henry would have been a very worthy winner on any other occasion and with the finishing touches to his conditioning will be a threat in any line-up.

3rd - Darran Green (Redditch). Darran was rock hard and separated and made a forceful and impressive debut. With added mass on his tall frame he too will be one to watch.

4th - Shain Thompson (Wolverhampton). Improved condition since his USN Classic placing, Shain was big, balanced and with an eye catching shape. Still some way from winning condition, Shain is a champion in waiting once the final piece of the puzzle is in place.

5th - Jimmy Paulauskas (Burton). Another man improved from the USN Classic, Jimmy was harder and fuller and very closely matched with Shain on this occasion by virtue of his superior condition. A job well done by Jimmy and a great platform for future success.

Also competed – John Ellard (Birmingham) and Gavin Wathen (Merthyr Tydfil) who both needed more condition and James Yates (Leicester) who at 6’8’’ towered above the line-up and was in great condition after shedding 50 kilos and totally transforming his physique and his life to make his debut.

Ladies Open Fit Body

1st - Terezia Borcsok (Manchester). A close win from Terezia against a strong challenge from the runner up which she took by virtue of her better overall balance. Terezia boasts a strong looking body and with a little more condition will be a challenge at International level.

2nd - Gemini Lawton (Hemel Hempstead). A perfectly structured, muscled and conditioned upper body and firecracker stage presence, Gemini will be tough to beat once her lower body matches her upper.

3rd - Joanne Todd (Batley). Although both lighter muscled and softer than the ideal criteria for this class, Joanne has that extra “something” that pushes her up the placings, with an incredible natural shape and impeccable presentation. A very “professional amateur” in all respects of her stage package who with the extra size and condition required would be unstoppable.

4th - Gemma Meiklem (Dumfries). Just as impressive as at the Caledonian earlier in the year, Gemma has nailed the art of conditioning and presentation to a tee and now just needs a little more development to climb into the winners circle.

5th - Marianna Csordas (London). With an amazing structure and shape, Marianna could be the one to beat with the required level of condition, and even a threat in the bodybuilding discipline with a little extra size. A very impressive and promising athlete.

Also competed – Chloe Lake (Chester) with an amazing structure and development but needing to be leaner to fulfil her potential and Vanessa Harbar (Nottingham) who was in good shape but in need of more muscle development on this occasion.

Ladies Bodybuilding

1st - Della Mabbutt (Kettering). Totally at home in this class, Della was able to use her dense chest, shoulder and arm development and ripped conditioning to her advantage and was a solid winner. With more size overall, particularly in the back she could go far.

2nd - Samantha Coyle (Shrewsbury). Well-muscled with a lovely shape and great natural width, Sam too will be a threat for higher honours once her conditioning is mastered. Both ladies were exceptional for athletes in their first season of competition.

Mens Open Bodybuilding up to 68kg

1st - Dean Garratt (Crewe). Despite a strong challenge from the runner up, Dean was untouchable today with shape, balance and conditioning rarely seen at amateur level. Everything from his pro level conditioning to his perfect stage presentation made him shine like a beacon from the second he stepped onstage, and there would be no stopping him in this class and he sent a clear message that it would take someone special to stop him winning the overall.

2nd - Matt Argall (Barnstaple). On any other day, Matt would have been unstoppable with his immensely muscled, perfectly balanced and rock hard overall package. There is no shame at all in being beaten by Dean however who would probably prove to be the toughest opponent in Matt's career so far and with a harder lower body would have run the battle painfully close.

3rd - Marcus Beales (Manchester). With the unenviable task of sharing the stage with Dean and Matt, Marcus came prepared and in superb condition with deep cuts in his chest and quads. A very tall bantamweight in only his mid-twenties, Marcus just lacked the size and maturity to place higher. In years to come, he will be the name in everyone’s sights however, I have no doubt.

4th - Scott Galton (Ringwood). Man of the match today for many in attendance was the improved beyond recognition Scott, who surpassed the form of his last appearance by a mile and then some. Massive improvements in both his upper body (which is close to now matching his huge legs) and presentation were displayed in lifetime best condition which saw him grab his placing with both hands and with a smile as wide as the stage. Job well done Scott.

5th - Rob Feesey (Axminster). Rob was a strong challenge to Marcus and Scott and good enough to fend off the remaining athletes to bag the last trophy spot. Again, it was good to see Rob in such rejuvenated form.

Also competed – Teen competitor A J Morris, Masters competitor George Fereos and Novice entrants Steven Strachan and Daniel Fadai-Tehrani.

Mens Open Bodybuilding up to 75kg

1st - Damian Lees (Bury). Storming to his third UK title in this division, Damian looked bigger, fuller and only a few percent away from his 2013 Worlds condition which is his best to date. His precise and dramatic free posing routine once again annexed him the best poser trophy for the day, and he looked every inch the pro in waiting.

2st - Phillip Brown (Wednesfield). Phil too was improved over 2013, thicker in the upper body and posterior chain and showing impressive striated glutes. Damians strongest challenge yet at UK level, Phil is only his nemesis away from that UK title and will ascend the throne sooner than he might think.

3rd - Miky Meeneghan (Bognor). Another man improved beyond belief in terms of both size and condition was Miky. He would benefit from being a little harder still especially in the lower body and with a deeper tan, but can be thoroughly proud of his placing today.

4th - Marcos Gava. Junior winner Marcos challenged hard, but needs more size to challenge at the open class level.

5th - Paul Harradine. Likewise, Paul’s shredded condition was good enough to see him into the trophies and will bode him well as he gains size and moves up a division.

Also competed – John Mahony (Belfast) with a well-balanced and shaped physique which lacked the condition on this occasion to move into the trophies, Junior competitors Ronnie Cai and Jordan Smith and Masters competitor Ian Stevenson.

Mens Open Bodybuilding up to 86kg

1th - Robert Rodney. With his second “skin of the teeth” class win of the day, Rob became our first two time winner of a double UK title. For him to have won two classes while not at his best condition wise really does speak volumes about the quality of his physique, which is heavily muscled and near flawless.

2nd - Clifton Morais (Birmingham). Clifton was super impressive in his UKDFBA debut, with full muscle bellies and a great midsection and good condition. He ran Rob right down to the wire and a touch sharper would have tipped the decision in his favour.

3rd - Andy Turner. The over 50 runner up snared the last top 3 spot with his eye-catching condition and looked even better than earlier that day, being a touch fuller and more vascular.

4th - Dominic Haley (Leeds). Although lacking the condition to take him past 4th place today, Dominic has a physique to be envied, with one of the best natural structures and shapes ever seen on a bodybuilding stage. From his great v-taper to his sweeping quads and full muscle bellies, Dominic literally has potential to go to the upper level of the sport once he solves the condition conundrum. Watch this space...

5th - Steve Mawaro. Novice winner Steve (who was in fact sub-80 kilos but with that class not being available today opted to go against the heavier men) held his own nicely here and as mentioned before, will feature strongly in the open divisions in future.

Also competed – Masters runner up Adrian Hampton and Heavyweight Novice finalist Jimmy Paulauskas.

Mens Open Bodybuilding over 86kg

1st - Adrian Grey (Wolverhampton). Any questions that may have existed prior to the contest as to who would leave the building today as overall winner were almost certainly answered the second Adrian stepped onstage. In breath-taking condition with striations on every body part and just as full muscled as usual, Adrian looked huge when considering he was just over a pound over the limit for the Light Heavyweight class and the lightest man in the division. Despite a couple of very minor physique flaws, he ran out a comfortable winner and set the bar a little higher in the sport.

2nd - Nigel St Lewis (Uxbridge). Another man in the best condition of his career with massive improvements to his back from his last showing, Nigel was another man who was good enough to win any other time had it not been for the unstoppable force of the winner. Nigel has a beautiful shape and v-taper and poses fluidly and gracefully for a big man and is truly world class.

3rd - Sam Watt (Leeds). Huge, with full muscle on every body part including massive, bellowing hamstrings when viewed from the side and thickness of his chest, shoulders and arms of pro level. Sam’s only flaws physically are a relative lack of back width and quad sweep, and with his condition being a little off today compared to his conquerors, he had to be satisfied with third. Sam is another pro in waiting however and will be tough to beat when in shape.

4th - Ken Mudoola (Cardiff). Another man who was big and in good shape. Hard to fault really, and just unlucky to land in such an epic line-up! Ken is capable of making the trophies in any national level event and it is only a matter of time before he bags a top spot.

5th - Solomon Onaola. Novice Heavyweight winner Solomon held his own admirably in the open class and demonstrated his future potential in rounding out the placings ahead of some experienced men.

Also competed – Phil Keyte (Basingstoke) who was shredded with huge quads, James Poulter (Glasgow) who is a monster of a man with a superb structure who will cause serious trouble in this class in years to come, Masters competitor Mark Thompson and the amazing, inspirational William Rooke (Poole) who came onstage big and lean after a life threatening accident less than 2 years ago which left him with such horrific injuries that a lesser man would never have set foot in a gym again. William received a standing ovation from the crowd during his routine and his appearance at this contest was one of the genuine highlights of the year.

Overall Mens UK Title and WNBF Pro Card winner

Adrian Grey. As soon as the class winners lined up for the overall, it was immediately apparent that “The Saxon King” would ascend to the throne of UK Champion and new WNBF Pro. Adrian was just too big and too ripped for the others and took the title and Championship Belt on the first unanimous judges decision in the overall since Richard Gozdecki took the title in 2011. Some impressive footsteps to follow for sure. Time will tell if the prophecy that is Adrian Grey will come to fruition.

Adrian would accept the offer of pro status and advance to the following days WNBF International Championships to contest the pro division, joined by Dom, Marcos, Rob, Joannie, Terezia, Della, Dean, Matt, Damian, Phil and Nigel who would contest the amateur divisions.

Day 1 down, and another epic day of onstage battles to go...