2017 Caledonian Classic
Images courtesy of Matt Marsh Photography
The fourth instalment of “The Cally” was almost certainly the best yet in terms of the incredible depth of quality of the 64 athletes who took to the stage in Musselburgh, East Lothian. Roared on as always by one of the biggest and loudest crowds we see from season to season, the contest is always one to remember and draws an increasing number of athletes from South of the Border every year, such is its reputation for being one of our flagship events. The results were as follows:
1 – Ralph Merritt, Newcastle. A close winner in the opening class with a classically shaped, well presented physique. A little more condition and a darker tan required for the finals and long term a little more mass on the legs to balance out his upper body required.
2 – Peter Macey, Nottingham. Peter appeared well muscled and fairly well conditioned, also presenting his physique well. Peters tan was grubby and patchy looking, which detracted from what on the face of things could have been a winning physique today. But alas, the judges can only reward what they can see and this most likely cost him the winners spot on this occasion and should be his primary focus for the finals.
3 – Scott Curran, Glasgow. Scott looked great for a young man of 19, just missing out on being eligible to compete in the teens by a few weeks. His upper body was developed and hard and he posed with great conviction, enjoying his stage time. Scott needs to hammer the legs now and bring them into proportion with his top half. Once he does, he can look forward to some success as a junior.
4 – Blair Connacher, Aberdeen. The biggest lad in the line-up with heavy legs and a thick chest, Blair has the tools to jump the placings considerably if he hardens up and gets a darker tan. It will be good to see him back in future and see him progress.
1 – Billy Duthie, Dundee. Just retaining his title in a mega high quality class in which all six men were of finals standard with the battle between the first three especially close. Billy rose to the top by virtue of being the biggest, best balanced and most complete physique in the class although his conditioning was not quite as hard as the other two trophy winners. A deserved albeit close win which Billy was over the moon to have taken. More conditioning required for the finals, where Billy will be a genuine threat if he nails that aspect.
2 – Michael Boyle, Linwood. Pushing the winner all the way and coming so close to taking the title for himself was Michael. Hard and cut with great lower body development, particularly in the hamstrings and glutes and a great upper body taper. It was thickness and depth particularly in the front double bicep and both back shots where Billy stamped his authority on the class with Michael not quite having the development in these areas, and this being the area he needs to focus on in future. An incredible UKDFBA debut from a superb athlete.
3 – Eric Pawilkowski, Glasgow. A compact but heavily muscled physique, with rock hard conditioning and superb lower body development. Erics routine was one of the best of the day and almost bagged him the best poser trophy. Eric needs more mass in the upper body to balance out those superb legs, and this was the factor that kept him in the bronze medal spot today. Another superb UKDFBA debut from a man who will almost certainly be one to watch at the finals.
4 – William Wilson, Glasgow. Just nudged out of a top three spot by virtue of giving away a little size to the top three, William was in absolutely unreal condition and looked bigger and thicker in the upper body than last year. He appeared to have sacrificed a little size in the legs and should look to rectify this for future contests. With a little more fullness overall, William could potentially turn the tables on some of the men who beat him to the trophies today without doubt.
5 – Kenny McGill, Kilmarnock. Vastly improved from his last outing as a novice, Kenny was bigger and harder all over with size and conditioning indicative of a very well spent three years of training since his last UKDFBA appearance. Kenny received a great response from the crowd in his free posing, and deservedly so after a few blips with his music. Good enough to have won any other day, Kenny will not have to wait long before he secures the accolade by trophy that his physique deserves.
6 – Peter Pretorius, Haywards Heath. One of the physiques of the contest, with every body part full, heavily muscled and well developed with muscle thickness and natural shape to be envied and no real weaknesses. Condition will be the key for Peter going forwards, and the sky will be the limit if he can master this aspect and present the finished product to the judges.
1 – Andy Williams, Stevenston. A welcome return from our 2014 Caledonian Masters champ who came to the stage with his trademark shape, balance and impeccable presentation. After his layoff, Andy has recaptured the majority of the size and condition he last displayed and as he progresses on to the finals I predict that the best version of Andy we’ve seen will be presented to the judges that day.
2 – Atholl Brechin, Falkirk. The evergreen Atholl, 2015 Grandmasters Champion gave as good as he got in the comparisons, looking bigger and fuller than ever and matching his best condition. Atholl posed in a stunningly graceful classical style and as always loved every moment on stage. A pleasure to host this incredibly youthful 60-something iron warrior as always and another man we look forward to seeing at the finals.
1 – Jane Robertson, Edinburgh. Pipping the runner up at the post in a tie break decision, Jane possessed a superbly structured figure with evenly balanced muscle in even distribution on all body parts. A little more condition, and this class would have been Janes at a canter and on that form has to be a favourite for the finals if she can get that last few percent in hardness.
2 – Fiona McCulloch, Galston. An incredible debut from a perfectly conditioned Fiona who had obviously not left a single stone unturned during her preparation for the contest. Fiona presented herself with the poise and precision of an experienced veteran competitor, totally belying her rookie status. A tad more fullness could have seen her take the class today and she too will be a front runner at the finals where this nip and tuck battle could well be repeated.
3 – Lesley Smith, Glenrothes. Another balanced athlete with wide shoulders tapering down to a tiny waist, with super tight condition which may have been a little too much for this discipline (but would prove later to be her killer blow in the bodybuilding class) but displayed lower body conditioning rarely seen on a female athlete. A little softer, and she would have pushed the winner and runner up incredibly hard and this is the direction she needs to go in if she decides to take up her finals invitation in this division.
4 – Helen Faulds, Kilwinning. Ideally muscled and conditioned for the class, and just missing the top three by a whisker. Helen was much improved from last year and has clearly worked incredibly hard to make such progress. A little more focus on balancing out her torso with her limbs and on a slightly improved stage posture will see Helen propelled into the trophy placings.
5 – Nicola Shaw, Dumfries. Vastly improved and well on her way to trophy winning form, Nicola was another athlete who made the most of every second of stage time and showed off her best ever figure with passion.
Also competed – Elesa Zehndorfer, Evelyn Yates. Lorraine McQueen. All three ladies looked great, with Elesa needing a little more muscle to break into the placings, Lorraine needing a little more condition and Evelyn possibly more suited to bodybuilding when she hardens up a little more.
1 – Chris Henry, Edinburgh. A dominant winner in a strong class, Chris boasted mass and thickness that couldn’t be matched today with a near perfect “X-frame” shape. If he contests the finals, Chris should aim for slightly harder condition and focus on getting into his compulsories a little quicker during the comparisons, as he seemed to labour with this a little today. A superb novice who will be one to watch.
2 – Eddy Williams, Northwich. In the best condition we’ve seen him to date, Eddy was improved vastly from his last showing and fought hard throughout the contest to secure his runner up spot, which he was absolutely overjoyed with. Still a little heavier in the limbs than the torso and needing to focus on this in the long term, but for the meantime capable of holding his own in any novice lineup.
3 – Atif Afzal, Glasgow. Atif possesses an absolute dream of a physique, with wide shoulders and a narrow waist with ample muscle evenly distributed over his aesthetically appealing frame which he displays competently every time without fail. Condition is and has always been his Achilles heel and is the area he needs to focus on the hardest to help him to future success. In true contest condition he would have been unstoppable today and would be hard to match at the finals.
4 – Gareth Anderson, Bridgend. A tall man who is working hard to gradually add the required mass to his large frame, Gareth has mastered the art of condition and improves consistently from show to show. His time is coming, and when it does it will be thoroughly deserved.
5 – Riccardo Edoni, Stepps. A beautiful shape and structure in good shape. Ric now needs to maintain his proportion and aesthetic appeal and reproduce this condition with some additional mass. When he does, he too will enjoy considerable success at least on this level.
6 – Fraser Drake, Milngavie. Another tall man, with classic proportions and full muscle bellies. Like Gareth, he too just needs time to develop further and fill that frame before he reaches his full potential and reaps the corresponding rewards.
1 – Laura Brand, Glasgow. A close fought winner in a very tight battle between the top 2 for the title, Laura pipped the runner up to the winners trophy by virtue of her more ideally hard condition. She now needs to concentrate on a little more fullness and development whilst maintaining this and will feature strongly at the finals if she can at least reproduce todays form.
2 – Natasha Dalziel, Edinburgh. A little fuller and more shapely than the winner, but softer and as a result a little less muscular was runner up Natasha. A few percent leaner and she too could be well in the frame at the finals. Both Natasha and Laura were impeccably presented today and had clearly left no stone unturned in their preparations in that respect.
3 – Paige Fyfe, Whitburn. Also in great shape and well presented, Paige just didn’t quite have the fullness of the runner up or condition of the winner today, albeit looking superb and deserving of her place in the finals.
4 – Stacey Adams, Bathgate. Like Paige, just a fraction short of being able to match the first two and only missing out on the top three by a fraction, Stacey was well in the mix here today and has great potential for the future.
5 – Lindsay McNeil, Glenrothes. Looking fantastic in her debut contest, Lindsay was lean and well balanced and just needs a touch more size and fullness to climb the placings.
Also competed – Amanda Somers. Lauren Hunter. Laurie Harris. Keri Robertson. All three ladies looked great, and just needed to be a little more muscular to push into the placings today. All were very well presented and offered a strong challenge to those who placed ahead of them today.
1 – Craig Wright, Edinburgh. A worthy winner in a strong class, Craig took what appeared to be a clear win with his ideal blend of muscle, shape and condition. He has a little room for further growth but his current package is more than formidable and should present a challenge at the finals.
2 – Ewan Brain, Edinburgh. Ideally muscled and with a notably eye catching shape, Ewan pushed the winner hard but was just a little too conditioned for the class and eventually was beaten into second place as a result. A touch softer and fuller and things may have been different and it will be interesting to see how Ewan fares when he eases back on the muscle detail a touch.
3 – Andrew Banks, Kilmarnock. Just pinching the final trophy slot in a tough scrap with the fourth and fifth place guys by virtue of his better overall balance and development, Andrew would have been a strong threat to the top two if he were a tad harder.
4 – Ashley Hirst, Barnsley. In great condition with superb pecs, delts and arms, Ashley now needs to focus on bringing up his back to match. When he does, he’ll be hard to beat as at first glance he appeared to be in the running for the title when viewed front on.
5 – Aris Tranganidas, Glasgow. In good condition with a nice shape and balance, Aris needs to focus on building a little more size and fullness for his next contest and will do some damage when he does.
Also competed – Scott Curran whose conditioning was more suited to his earlier contested bodybuilding class. Nick Chimmunchlam who is progressing nicely size wise and needs to keep doing what he’s doing. Konstantinos Soulanis who has a very nice shape and just needs a touch more size and hardness. David Hatt who has a great physique and just needs to be a little leaner and present himself in a more relaxed fashion, Josh Chinn who was really hard and muscular, but a little flat and appeared to have hit the gas too hard on his diet for this class and Domanick Hoben who looked great and like a few of the others will catapult himself into the trophies with a little more muscle.
1 – Antonia Carboni, Glasgow. Another close fought class, with Antonia overjoyed to take the winners spot over Karla by virtue of her slightly better balance and more optimal overall condition, especially from the back. Antonia improves consistently from contest to contest and will be in contention for the trophies at the final without doubt.
2 – Karla Evans, Chorley. Pushing the winner close, with possibly an ideal level of muscle development and excellent presentation was Karla. A little tighter, particularly in the lower body and it will be interesting to see the two clash again at the finals.
3 – Claire Linton, Glenrothes. Perfectly conditioned and with a lovely shape and balance, Claire thoroughly deserved the final trophy place and finals invitation. A little more evenly distributed size will benefit her in future.
4 – Megan Tailford, Glasgow. Megan had a great structure and condition and presented herself well. A little more overall size will see her climb the placings in future.
5 – Emma Crichton, Milngavie. Likewise, great structure and shape and good presentation. Emma too will make an impact on the top placings with a little more size.
Also competed – Vickey Tomlinson. Lyndsay Gallacher. Tracy Elliot. All three ladies looked superb and just needed leaner condition in order to push the placings.
1 – Lesley Smith, Glenrothes. With a shape and condition tailor made for this class and rarely seen at any level, Lesley shone like a beacon onstage and took a unanimous win. Although not the biggest bodybuilder out there, she was almost perfect in every other way and will be really hard to beat in this class at most levels.
2 – Lynn Wilson, Glasgow. Bigger overall than the winner and in great shape, a much improved Lynn was denied the winners spot only due to the sheer quality of Lesley. If Lynn can achieve a little more condition in the lower body and tweak her presentation to appear a little more “shape” focused, she could surprise us all at the finals.
3 – Taryn Young, Aberdeen. Hardly recognisable from last year and a sure fire candidate for one of the most improved athletes of the season, Taryn looked great and loved every second of her stage time where she posed with zest and confidence, clearly proud of the physique she had achieved and bought to the stage. It won’t be long before she too will be off to the finals, and at the rate she’s improving who knows just what heights she will reach as an athlete. Congratulations Taryn on a job exceptionally well done.
Open Men Lightweight
1 – David Old, Dumfries. Storming to his third class win on the trot at this contest, David was shredded as ever with his most muscular and mature package to date. David still requires a little more thickness in the upper body to complete the package, but couldn’t possibly gain another ounce and stay in this weight division so I predict he’ll be looking to offer his strongest challenge yet at the finals before saying goodbye to the class. It will take a special athlete to fend off that challenge for sure.
2 – Erik Pawilkowski, Glasgow. Erik was just as impressive here as in the Masters, pushing David hard and making him earn his win. Erik would be just as strong a threat at the finals in either division.
3 – Musa Dilek, Kingston. Massively improved from last years novice showing, Musa took a well-deserved place in the finals with his big, full and balanced physique with particularly impressive pecs and arms. A little tighter, and he can look to duplicate his trophy finish at last years finals without doubt.
4 – Scott McBride, Edinburgh. Scott boasted a massive and full upper body with a wide back and shoulders giving him a shape to die for. Once he brings his lower body up to match and hardens up a little, it could well be “lights out” for the rest of the class as a balanced Scott really does have potential to win it all.
5 – Riccardo Edoni, Stepps. Holding his own and giving as good as he got, Ric reinforced his future potential in the class admirably.
Open Men Middleweight
1 – Joe Murphy, Glasgow. Massively improved from his novice appearance 2 years ago, Joe took a narrow but deserved win over Jamie today with a slightly more “finished” overall physique. He was big, balanced and perfectly presented and a solid winner in a quality class. A fraction over the lightweight limit, Joe could cause a shock if he contests the finals a pound lighter than he was here today.
2 – Jamie Sands, Gateshead. A great UKDFBA debut from Jamie who was heavily muscled and rock hard, improving as the class wore on as he pumped up literally before our eyes on stage. With a little attention to his tan short terms he can be well in the mix at the finals. Long term, a little more on his back to complete his otherwise perfectly balanced physique and he could be unbeatable.
3 – Chris Henry, Edinburgh. Holding his own in the open class after his superb novice win, Chris showed that it won’t be long before he’s winning the gold at this level too.
4 – Atif Afzal, Glasgow. Likewise, Atif showed that the transition to the open level will be a steady one once he dials in the condition on that amazing physique.
5 – Greg Baillie, Livingston. Tall and lean, but boasting a well-developed physique and great condition, Greg may have been better advised to have made his debut in the novice class but looked great here nonetheless. A darker tan and a little less sheen will give his physique a more eye catching finish next time round where with a little more size he will be one to watch.
6 – Greg McLellan, Greenock. A well developed and balanced man, whose beautifully executed posing both in his mandatories and routine deservedly won him his umpteenth Best Poser award, Greg just needs to drill in that condition now to climb the placings. Greg is always a pleasure to watch and it will be great to witness him fulfil his potential.
Open Men Heavyweight
1 – Thomas Hicks, Bridgend. Although this was one of the smaller classes of the day, it was a titanic battle for first place between what were clearly the two best physiques in the contest by some margin. Whoever took the decision here would be almost a dead cert for the overall and that honour went narrowly to a lifetime best Tom, who has finally unlocked the puzzle of finding the condition required to show his incredible physique off to its fullest after almost 10 years of trial and error. Tom was brutally huge, deep and thick as he was wide and with incredible detail for a heavyweight. It was with respectful jubilance that he took the class on a 3-2 split before going on to a unanimous overall victory and becoming the first man from “across the border” to take the Caledonian title away from Scotland.
2 – James Poulter, Cumbernauld. Equally as impressive, with a taller and wider frame than the winner but with just as much muscle and with a slightly more pleasing shape by virtue of his wider shoulders and narrower waist than the winner. James was just a touch softer than Tom and was a fraction away from matching the visual impact that him opponent had as a result. Slightly harder, and James will be unbeatable and has the potential to follow those before him to the loftiest heights of the professional ranks should he choose to pursue his career as a competitive bodybuilder. A once in a lifetime athlete in terms of the limitless potential he has.
3 – Peter Pretorius, Haywards Heath. As good as his conquerors were in this class, Peter himself is a sight to behold with his full and thick physique. Just nail that condition Peter, and the gold will follow...
And with the aforementioned and well deserved unanimous overall win for the man from Wales just a few minutes later, the contest drew to a close. As always, our venture north was a pleasure and we can’t wait to see you again. Thank you Scotland.