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2016 Caledonian Classic

Saturday 2nd July. Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Scotland
Photos courtesy of All Sports Photography, Bill Cullen & Caroline Morris www.allsportsphotography.smugmug.com

On Saturday 2nd July the UKDFBA returned to “The Honest Town” of Musselburgh, Scotland for the third annual “Cally”. A record breaking 82 athletes took the stage in front of over 500 spectators which represented our third consecutive sold out audience at this contest and second of the season. Both the athletes and those supporting them were on amazing form with the contest having an incredible atmosphere from start to finish.

The results are as follows:

Teenage Men

1 – Jason McEwan (Glenrothes). Jason, much improved over last year took a solid win in this class with great balance and conditioning. On this form, he will be well in the mix at the finals.

2 – Steven Kean (Blackwood). More thickly muscled than Jason, particularly from the back. Steven couldn’t match Jason for conditioning today but with the required hardness would have made this a very close run contest.

Junior Men

1 – Liam John (Edinburgh). Massive, with an amazing natural shape and structure and hard conditioning, Liam too had made significant progress since last year’s teen win and has potential to spare. His tan was very messy and literally dripped off him as he posed. If he addresses this aspect, he will challenge hard at the finals.

2 – Craig Williams (Alford). Craig pushed the winner hard with shredded conditioning which was among the best in the entire show. Relatively lighter in terms of development at this point but with time on his side it is not hard to see Craig add the mass to fill his tall frame and enjoy continued success.

3 – Stefan Weir (Edinburgh). Hugely muscled with great upper body development in particular, Stefan just needed to be a little harder and sport a darker tan to have pushed the top two harder. Another man with mind boggling potential.

4 – Blair Johnston (Armadale). Well balanced and developed with a lovely natural shape and great presentation, Blair as well as 5th placed Stephen would find themselves well inside the top 3 at most contests and were unlucky to meet such an incredible standard of opponent today.

5 – Stephen Barrie (Kilbirnie). Tall and well developed with a structure including a dramatic V taper and detailed midsection which would see him feature prominently in the Physique division later today, Stephen will move up the ranks as he continues to add muscle to his large frame.

Masters Men

1 – Billy Duthie (Dundee). Unstoppable in terms of muscle size and conditioning today and transformed beyond belief from last year’s showing, Billy will be a front runner at the finals without doubt. He was another man whose tanning did him no favours today with his skin tone being excessively dark and uneven. Not enough to cause an issue today where he was in reality a clear winner but in a higher level line up could prove costly. There will no doubt be more than one masters competitor with one eye on Billy in the lead up to the finals now that he has cracked the condition required to display his physique to its fullest potential.

2 – William Wilson (Glasgow). A more compact physique than the winner but one which was heavily muscled and absolutely rock hard with good balance. William was as clear a runner up as Billy was a winner and too has the potential to cause serious damage at national level.

3 – Mark Dick (Glenrothes). Big and lean and another man improved over last year, Mark was a credit to himself and his team as he bagged the last of the trophy spots and a well-earned finals invitation.

4 – Stuart Balsillie (Glenrothes). Just missing the top 3 by a whisker, Stuart was in excellent condition with deeply separated legs and good presentation. Stuart looked like he’d overdone it in the last stage of his prep and looked a little flatter than we’re used to seeing him which in all likelihood was the thing that kept him from the placings today.

5 – Luke Deavin (Glenrothes). Balanced and with an eye catching shape and good condition. Luke presented a great package onstage but lacked the relative mass to topple the men who placed ahead of him today.

Also competed – Alan Anderson (Fife) who needed to be harder today but stood his ground well and Paul Gardner (Glasgow) who appeared the best he’s been with much improved size and condition but lacked a tan which hampered him in the comparisons.

Grandmasters Men

1 – James Blyth (Stirling). A solid winner in youthful looking condition and a great chest, arms and quads. James was stronger from the front than the back and a little awkwardly presented at times but carried impressive mass and was as good overall as he’d ever been as he took the class.

2 – Brian Hill (Edinburgh). Heavy muscle on all body parts and emphatic presentation saw Brian bag the runner up spot. If he can tighten up his condition for the finals he will be one to watch.

3 – Kevin Robertson (Livingston). A fantastic debut from a heavily muscled and well-shaped Kevin. A little more leg mass to balance his upper body and a tighter condition will see him take home a finals spot in the future.

4 – Gary Doull (Livingston). Last year’s runner up was slightly off the condition he showed on that occasion after a tough time during his prep for the contest which he did well to overcome and make it onstage. Gary was a credit to himself and his coaching and will no doubt return better than ever.

5 – Keith Haggart (Edinburgh). This was Keith’s best yet, and although he is still to find the condition to challenge for a higher spot, he is improving year by year and winning his own personal battle. Well done Keith.

6 – William McCormick (Paisley). The oldest man in the contest by some margin and in incredible shape for his years, William gave as good as he got the whole time he was onstage and truly embodies what this sport is all about.

Ladies Bikini

1 – Debi McKay (Berwick). In a close call between first and second, Debi took the win with an ideal shape and level of development and condition for the class. Both she and runner up Louise will challenge hard at the finals and both are genuinely World class.

2 – Louise Cochrane (Glasgow). Landing in runner up spot by the closest of margins, Louise was slightly more aesthetically pleasing in the upper body but a fraction off Debi’s conditioning. Like the winner, she presented herself perfectly and created a real conundrum for the judges who were split in their decision.

3 – Jade Burt (Glenrothes). Tall, lean and well presented, Jade won the battle for third which was closely fought between the next three athletes who all deservedly earned a place at the finals but did not quite have the shape to her upper body to topple the first two in the class and as she adds a little muscle this will come.

4 – Jane Campbell (Livingston). With the most pleasing shape of the three who contested the bronze medal spot, Jane just needed to be a touch harder to tip the balance against Jade. The extra time between this contest and the finals could see her turn the tables.

5 – Ashleigh King (Glenrothes). Lean and athletic, Ashleigh could easily have placed a couple of notches higher with no complaints and too has the potential to reverse today’s decision.

Also competed – Barbara Giel (Edinburgh), Julianna Dorman (Livingston), Amanda Somers (Edinburgh), Gemma Young (Edinburgh), Jade Hunter (Edinburgh), Katie Russell (Dumfries), Anita Edwards (Gullane), Jane Robertson (Edinburgh), Helen Faulds (Kilwinning) and Nicola Smith (Dumfries). A real mix of different shapes and sizes amongst the ladies who were unplaced, with Jade, Katie, Jane and Julianna being very close to the placing athletes in particular and Helen and Nicola being more suited to the figure discipline.

Novice Men

1 – Lloyd Bellshaw (Edinburgh). In a true “apples vs oranges” battle for the top spot, Lloyd prevailed by virtue of his slightly denser and more conditioned physique with some very impressive quad detail and a deeply etched midsection.

2 – Jonathan Dunn (Glasgow). A taller, more aesthetic athlete with a deep chest and great quad sweep. Jonathan could potentially turn the tables on Lloyd at the finals with the extra little conditioning required and will be a threat for the top placings in either event. A great physique.

3 – Eugene McClure (Paisley). Improved beyond recognition since last year’s contest and overjoyed to bag his first contest placing, Eugene has the makings of a decent lightweight bodybuilder with a good upper body taper and quad sweep. As he gains more overall mass and reaches the fine level of conditioning required to succeed he will enjoy further success at this level and beyond. A job well done.

4 – Stephen Raffel (Glasgow). Another job well done was presented onstage by fourth placed Stephen who had made a staggering physical transformation to make his debut. A powerful looking set of legs and calves with an upper body not far behind, Stephen can use this showing as a great platform on which to build toward the finished product.

Mens Physique

1 – Wallace Wilson (Inverness). In one of the closest contests of the day, Wallace took the title by a whisker by virtue of his slightly fuller and thicker upper body (whilst still remaining within the level of muscle size appropriate for the division) and perfect conditioning. Another potential front runner for the finals.

2 – Luke McLellan (Glasgow). So close to taking the class win was last year’s fourth placed athlete Luke who had made great improvements since that contest and came onstage in ideal condition with a very eye catching natural shape. Luke tended to stand a little too hunched up on his side poses, which detracted from what appeared front on as a great shoulder to waist taper. However, the judges can only mark what they see and it was from the side that the winner had the definite edge today. With the right adjustments made, a rematch at the finals could prove interesting.

3 – Dylan Money (Grangemouth). A little less densely muscled and conditioned than the first two but with a near perfect shape and balance was Dylan. He presented himself perfectly and was deserving of his finals invitation where he should be aiming for a slightly harder overall look.

4 – Finnian Mcnamara (Chesterfield). Finn, as well as fifth placed Andrew were just about as well built as the class criteria allows but with the ideal level of conditioning and good aesthetics, both looked at home in this class although unable to topple the men who placed above them who had displayed more ideal levels of development. A great contest debut from Finn as he moves towards a later qualifier.

5 – Andrew Parker (Glasgow). As mentioned, Andrew was well muscled with particularly impressive pecs and delts and a strong v-taper. With harder conditioning, a switch to bodybuilding could prove a fruitful one for this compact but very impressive physique.

Also competed – Stephen Barrie (Kilbirnie), Ben Crawford (Aberdeen), Aaron McKenzie (Glasgow), Tom Kenny (Solihull), Colin Sanchez (Stirling), Ramzi Sebai (Aberdeen), Robert Meiklem (Dumfries), Stephen Crawford (Berwick), Gary Steven (Edinburgh), Greg Armstrong (Edinburgh) and Craig Wright (Edinburgh). Overall, not a weak physique amongst and of the men who didn’t place, with Stephen following up his earlier showing in the Juniors with a great performance which almost saw him crack the placings. Ramzi and Tom were very close to breaking into the placings too and were just unlucky to meet such a high standard of competitor. With minor tweaks, each of those men could have landed in the trophies. Although aesthetically superb, both Aaron and Craig would be better suited to bodybuilding with their level of development as would Gary, who was rock hard with detailed, vascular calves on show which indicated a lower body too good not to be on display. A very hard class to judge overall with several men understandably disappointed to not make the trophies.

Ladies Figure

1 – Leanne Hurst (Preston). Probably the clearest winner of the day with picture perfect proportions and shape, flawless presentation and the ideal level of development for the class. If anything, Leanne was a touch too hard and needs to pay attention to this aspect for the finals but was incredible for a first timer and has the potential to go to the very top of the sport.

2 – Antonia Carboni (Glasgow). After a great debut at the USN Classic a few weeks previously, Antonia came to today’s contest slightly leaner and was as clear a runner up as Leanne was a winner. Another lady with great presentation who will make an impact at the finals.

3 – Anna Chrystal (Edinburgh). From her showing in the bikini division last year where she was advised to switch classes, Anna took the advice given on board and appeared here today with a little added muscle and looked as at home as predicted with a great overall package. It was a very tough call between Anna and fourth placed Clare which ended in a tie breaker giving Anna the bronze medal spot.

4 – Clare Rafferty (Stenhousemuir). Just losing the tie breaker for third and easily capable of tipping the result her way on any other day was Clare with a well-muscled and lean figure with wide shoulders and great lower body shape.

5 – Lyndsay Gallacher (Dunfermline). Taking the final placing and another athlete with a well-developed and shaped figure, Lyndsay had the potential to place a few spots higher with a slightly leaner condition and caused the judges a real headache.

Also competed – Helen Faulds (Kilwinning), Nicola Smith (Dumfries), Leanne Forker (Edinburgh), Kirsty Hendry (Edinburgh), Lisa Kelbie (Aberdeen), Jennifer Scott (Edinburgh), Hollie McGrath (Edinburgh), Alison Dawson (Alford), Lorraine McQueen (Glenrothes) and Taryn Young (Aberdeen). Once again, the only thing that kept most of these ladies from making the placings was simply the sheer quality of the line up with Helen, Nicola and Lisa particularly close. Leanne, Kirsty, Hollie and Lorraine will all benefit from being a little leaner with Leanne in particular as well as Taryn and Alison possibly better suited to bodybuilding.

Ladies Bodybuilding

1 – Alison Todd (Edinburgh). Rock hard and densely muscled, Alison went head to head with the defending champion in a contest worthy of a World stage and took the title in a very close decision. Just as impressive as her physique was her sporting spirit, graciously paying respect to the other ladies in the class on her win being announced. An absolute class act in all aspects.

2 – Tia Blowman (Glenrothes). The defending champion fought to hold onto her title with passion and pride showing a stunning aesthetic shape overall, well-proportioned muscle development and a particularly noteworthy shoulder to waist ratio, Tia was improved significantly since her last appearance and displayed future pro potential once she cracks the conditioning in her lower body and brings it to the same level as her upper. Perfectly presented as always, Tias best is yet to come, but not far away.

3 – Lynn Wilson (Milngavie). The final member of the Wilson family trio to place and secure a finals invitation today (with Husband William and Son Wallace setting the pace earlier on in the day), Lynn was in superb condition and well-muscled all over.

4 – Arlene Barclay (Aberdeen). An amazing debut from a heavily muscled athlete with a larger than life stage presence. Arlene exuded energy and self-confidence for the entire time she was on stage and was a pleasure to watch. Really unlucky to end up in a line-up of this quality and good enough to have won most qualifiers, Arlene just needs to nail down the last bit of the condition she needs to seal the deal and give the judges no choice on her next outing.

5 – Kirsty Buchanan (Falkirk). Both Kirsty and fifth placed Taryn showed great development with some strong body parts but with Kirsty just edging ahead with slightly harder condition.

6 – Taryn Young (Aberdeen). A little bigger than Kirsty but unable to match her conditioning, Taryn was as predicted from her earlier showing totally at home in this class with great potential. A solid contest debut.

Mens Lightweight Bodybuilding

1 – David Old (Newton Stewart). Last year’s middleweight champion stormed to an impressive victory in this class with his trademark shredded conditioning and freaky muscularity. Tall for a lightweight, but by no means lacking in size David sported pro level detail and was another man who was sporting and respectful beyond measure for his entire time onstage.

2 – Mark Inglis (Edinburgh). Vastly improved from his last outing and his very best yet, Mark displays a heavyweight lower body on his compact frame with a stunning overall shape. It took someone truly special to keep him out of the winners circle today and these two men could easily be battling each other for the UK crown in October.

3 – Dean McVie (Edinburgh). A beast of a lightweight, with a thick structure and spirited stage presence which told a story of a true iron warrior, Dean lacked only the condition required today and could have re-written the ending of today’s story drastically if he’d dialled it in. Mooting this as his final contest, Dean should seriously think about carrying on as he truly has the potential to reach the loftiest heights of the sport.

4 – Craig Williams (Alford). Matching the top two for condition and maturity but without the size that their extra years of training have created, junior runner up Craig showed great future promise as he held his own admirably against the more experienced men.

5 – Blair Johnston (Armadale). Another junior, again looking every bit at home in a class of more experienced and mature athletes, Blair too gave us a glimpse of what promises to be a very bright future for him.

Mens Middleweight Bodybuilding

1 – Gerry Rafferty (Motherwell). Going away from last year’s contest with the firm message that there was only one piece of the jigsaw left to put in place for him to be virtually unbeatable, Gerry returned rock hard and deeply separated with his brutally thick musculature clearly defined and on show for all to see. A real work horse of a bodybuilder who can challenge at International level on this form, he was overjoyed with the win.

2 – Gerard Pariseau (Motherwell). Coming back from 18 years away from the sport, Gerard had obviously put the time to good use with a huge and classically shaped physique with some standout poses including his “old school” ab vacuum and particularly impressive arms. The camaraderie between him and the eventual winner (being good pals away from the stage) was a pleasure to watch and with slightly harder glutes and hamstrings the contest would have been impossible to split. Another epic finals rematch in the making.

3 – John Paul Bryce (Coatbridge). With a tiny waist and distinctive overall shape and structure, John Paul was harder than on previous showings and pushed the top two hard. Stunning free posing and general presentation told a tale of a man who had really done his homework and will be another to watch at the finals.

4 – Stuart Balsillie (Glenrothes). Just missing his second top three spot of the day, Stuart as mentioned before would benefit from a little more fullness. Always a pleasure to host this great athlete though and we know he’ll be back better than ever.

5 – Sandis Vidins (Coventry). Making the epic 6 hour journey to the contest by car, Sandis made sure he got everything he could out of his stage time. A touch off condition wise at just over the lightweight limit, he will do considerable damage in that class with his thick and shapely physique.

Also competed – Liam Rafferty (Edinburgh) who had plenty of muscle but needs the condition to show it to its best, Terry Holt (Bradford) who was lean and well-presented but requires more mass for his height to make an impact and James Blyth (Stirling) who gave as good as he got and just missed a top 5 slot.

Mens Heavyweight Bodybuilding

1 – Simon Chivers (Surrey). Flying to the contest from the south of England, Simon’s trip was well worth the effort as he took a solid win with a beautifully shaped and very cut overall package with wide shoulders tapering down to the smallest waist I’ve ever seen on a heavyweight and flaring, separated thighs. His free posing was a sight to behold and deservedly earned him the best poser award for the day. Simon will feature prominently at the finals.

2 – Liam John (Edinburgh). Wonder kid Liam held his own against the winner and further demonstrated just how good he is at any level.

3 – Mark Dick (Glenrothes). Exhausted and fighting hard to get through the comparisons after a long and gruelling day, Mark had faded a little as the day went on but did himself and his team proud and as mentioned previously was much improved over last year.

Mens Bodybuilding Overall

As the mens class winners all took the stage for the overall, it quickly became apparent that the true battle would be between the three open class winners. David bought more detail to the stage than the others but his relative mass for his height was not quite enough to challenge the bigger opponents. Simon caught the eye with his aesthetic mass, but in the end the judges just could not ignore the huge and hard middleweight winner Gerry as he was awarded a deserved overall win which he accepted with a mix of elation and relief on his face as his long journey into the contest finally came to an end with the result that he had worked for day in and day out since the day he stepped offstage in 2015.

And so came to an end the third Caledonian Classic, which was our best yet and one that will not be forgotten. Next stop on the road to L.A, Camberley in Surrey where the next crop of finals hopefuls will be selected and we move one step closer to finding out who will make up this year’s Team UK.

Thanks once again to everyone whose continued support makes it possible to do what we do.

Lee Kemp.