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Britain’s Strongest Woman 2015 Report and Full Video

Britain’s Strongest Woman 2015 Report and Full Video

Posted on by PTS

BSW Logo Britain's Strongest Woman 2015 groupBritain’s Strongest Woman 2015


This event was held at our gym Progressive Training Systems in Northampton on the Saturday 20th June 2015. It’s the second year we’ve held Britain’s Strongest Woman, and NO I’m not going to go into the little bit of history surrounding it, that’s a story for another time!


Because it’s the biggest strongwoman event and title in the whole country we decided to make this event tough. Nice and heavy! If you’re entering a national level competition then you can expect to be tested by the events alone, let alone the other athletes.


We decided on 5 events; A max log overhead lift, a deadlift medley, a yoke carry, a carry medley and an arm over arm rope pull. We wanted to get a max log in there to see if we could get some numbers set as a national record. I did some looking around and asked some people and it is incredibly hard to find any information on British strongwoman records! The lack of any central organisation or federation means it’s all a bit wild west, so can we call the lifts achieved in the competition a record? I still don’t know!


Deadlift medleys are great fun to watch and you can get some interesting variations on these. We went for a series of 4 lifts that got heavier in weight but also changed in leverage to challenge the athletes. We wanted to do a really heavy yoke run for just a single length, because heavy yokes are grim and entertaining. We came up with a nice little medley of items to carry with strongman classics of farmers walk, kegs and sandbags. And then a bit of vehicle action to finish the day off, an arm over arm rope pull of a 3.5 tonne van and then push it back to the start.


When we ran Britain’s Strongest Woman in 2014 it was an open competition, meaning anyone could enter. However for the 2015 event we wanted to try and get all the strongest and best performing ladies together and so tried to keep an eye on the competitive scene and then give out invitations to the ladies we felt should be present. We invited a whole bunch of strong ladies but as is the way not all of them could compete. Our event clashed with the IPF World Powerlifting Championships which was unfortunate as we’re very friendly to powerlifting and have had some great powerlifting talent compete in our strongman/woman competitions. Other ladies had either retired or sustained long term injuries, so after the invitations had gone out and there was a phase for them to enter we decided to have a nomination phase for athletes that we had missed out or were unaware of. After the nomination phase we then opened up any remaining spots to anyone to enter, sometimes champions are unaware themselves of their potential! This filter process worked well so we’ll be adopting it again for the 2016 competition.


We also wanted to up the game a bit and give prize money this year. We secured a couple of sponsors (Ali Crooks of the Traders Support Club and Mark Curley of the Due Diligence Exchange) and offered £100 for first place and £50 for second and third places in each class. Nothing massive, but it’s a start. Strongwoman feels quite neglected in the UK and we want to try and show that it should be up there and celebrated properly! But it’s such early days for us that we’re happy with the small progress we’re making. We also got some prize sponsorship from Ben Smith of Big Ben Products with a bottle of his liquid pink coloured chalk for each winner.


We also hired Les Wiltshire to MC the day. We’ve used Les before and he’s MC’ed at competitions we’ve competed at and we’ve always loved his style of presenting and he works well with us so it was good to have him on board to help get the crowd and the athletes going!


The first event on the day was the max log. Because we wanted the athletes to lift the most amount of weight they could we went for nominated weights, powerlifting style. Three rounds so each athlete got roughly the same amount of rest. Max lift events in strongman competitions tend to have a bit of bad reputation for being long, drawn out and a bit boring, but if your platform crew are on it then it doesn’t need to be this way!


We had had a few of the athletes coming down in the previous weeks building up to the competition so I had a good idea of what to expect from the field in general. Also seeing videos of Donna Moore repping a 90kg log from the shoulders on Facebook meant that things looked serious!


We are fairly strict on our rulings for lifts, we like everyone to be on the same page. We were allowing 30 seconds per attempt to get a ‘Down’ command that signified a good clean lockout of the log overhead, with as many attempts as you could summon if needed in that 30 seconds.


One of the best things about a max lift event is when an athlete doesn’t get a lift, and then attempts it again on their second or third go and triumphs! Just one of the most exhilarating spectacles in strength sports, and the ladies didn’t disappoint!


Event 1 Results:                                                                                                Positions and points after 1 event:


1st:          Katarina Helcmanovska = 60kg                                   1st place 10 points

Katherine Bartlett = 60kg                                              1st place 10 points

Nina Cambatta = 60kg                                                    1st place 10 points

4th:          Katrina Howes = 57.5kg                                                 4th Place 8 points

5th:          Brooke Murray = 55kg                                                   5th place 6.5 points

Helen Hughes = 55kg                                                      5th place 6.5 points

7th:          Kiersty Sims = 52.5kg                                                      7th place 4 points

Samantha Pollock = 52.5kg                                           7th place 4 points

Sumayyah Shalchi = 52.5kg                                          7th place 4 points

10th:       Joanna Montgomery = 50kg                                        10th place 2 points

11th:       Amanda Gisby = 42.5kg                                                 11th place 1 points



1st:          Jenny Todd = 80kg                                                           1st place 5 points

2nd:         Anna-Maria Ronnqvist = 72.5kg                                 2nd place 4 points

3rd:         Ruta Lendraitiene = 70kg                                              3rd place 3 points

4th:          Precious Collins = 65kg                                                   4th place 2 points

5th:          Nadia Cole = 52.5kg                                                         5th place 1 point

Guest: Hannah Ingram = 60kg                                                   Guest 0 points



1st:          Donna Moore = 92.5kg                                                  1st place 5 points

2nd:         Julie Rider = 90kg                                                             2nd place 4 points

3rd:         Karen Sutherland = 85kg                                               3rd place 3 points

4th:          Andrea Thompson = 75kg                                            4th place 2 points

5th:          Jenn Tibbenham = 57.5kg                                             5th place 1 point


The second event was the deadlift medley. This consisted of 4 lifts that needed to be completed as quickly as possible, with 60 second time limit. The first lift was on an axle bar from the floor, the second was a normal Olympic bar from the floor, the third was a trap bar with a 12 inch height pick up and the final lift was an Olympic bar but from a 15 inch pick up. Each lift was heavier than the last, to test the pulling power of each athlete! This was a great event to watch, very exciting and a clear way for the crowd to see who was doing well! The sequence of weights were as follows: U63kg lifted 120kg, 130kg, 140kg and 150kg, U75kg lifted 135kg, 145kg, 155kg and 165kg, and the opens lifted 150kg, 160kg, 170kg and 180kg.


Brooke Murray in the U63kg category showed incredible heart and determination in getting the second lift, ‘don’t give up’ applies to this girl! Jenn Tibbenham when she completed the medley performed multiple victory laps around the gym, clearly quite pleased! Nina Cambatta was looking for this event to be one her best with her being one of the strongest deadlifters in the country at her weight, and she was about to score to within half a second of the leader Katherine Bartlett when disaster struck… Locking out the final lift she lost balance and fell! Then, just to rub some extra salt in the wound, when she lifted the bar again she dropped it in disgust and therefore disqualified her final lift! Whoops….


Event 2 Results:                                                                                                Positions and points after 2 events:


1st:          Katherine Bartlett = 15.03 seconds                           1st place 21 points

2nd:         Katrina Howes = 21.68 seconds                                  2nd place 18 points

3rd:         Sumayyah Shalchi = 21.84 seconds                           6th place 13 points

4th:          Katarina Helcmanovska = 22.34 seconds                                2nd place 18 points

5th:          Helen Hughes = 24.31 seconds                                   4th place 13.5 points

6th:          Amanda Gisby = 29.63 seconds                                  9th place 7 points

7th:          Samantha Pollock = 30.44 seconds                           8th place 9 points

8th:          Brooke Murray = 3 lifts                                                  7th place 10 points

Nina Cambatta = 3 lifts                                                   4th place 13.5 points

10th:       Joanna Montgomery = 1 lift                                        11th place 3.5 points

10th:       Kiersty Sims = 1 lift                                                          10th place 5.5 points



1st:          Nadia Cole = 21.69 seconds                                         2nd place 6 points

2nd:         Jenny Todd = 21.78 seconds                                        1st place 9 points

3rd:         Precious Collins = 2 lifts                                                 5th place 4.5 points

4th:          Ruta Lendraitiene = 2 lifts                                             4th place 5.5 points

5th:          Anna-Maria Ronnqvist = 1 lift                                     3rd place 5 points

Guest:  Hannah Ingram = 23 seconds                                      Guest 0 points



1st:          Donna Moore = 14.44 seconds                                   1st place 10 points

2nd:         Julie Rider = 19.06 seconds                                          2nd place 8 points

3rd:         Karen Sutherland = 21.66 seconds                            3rd place 6 points

4th:          Andrea Thompson = 22.84 seconds                         4th place 4 points

5th:          Jenn Tibbenham = 37.06 seconds                             5th place 2 points


Ah, event 3. The really heavy yoke! With it being just one length with no turn the athletes could just concentrate on getting their feet right and going for it! The U63kg ladies had to handle 180kg, the U75kg ladies had 210kg and the opens got a lovely 240kg! Julie Rider was one to watch for this event, when she competed in World’s Strongest Woman back in 2003 she absolutely smashed the yoke event then, so this looked like her event! True to form she utterly smashed it! The looks on some of the spectator’s faces were priceless!


Event 3 Results:                                                                                                Positions and points after 3 events:


1st:          Kiersty Sims = 16.53 seconds                                       7th place 16.5 points

2nd:         Samantha Pollock = 16.91 seconds                           5th place 19 points

3rd:         Katherine Bartlett = 18.13 seconds                           1st place 30 points

4th:          Helen Hughes = 20.22 seconds                                   3rd place 21.5 points

5th:          Sumayyah Shalchi = 22.93 seconds                           4th place 20 points

6th:          Katrina Howes = 23.22 seconds                                  2nd place 24 points

7th:          Brooke Murray = 23.72 seconds                                9th place 15 points

8th:          Joanna Montgomery = 24.75 seconds                     11th place 7.5 points

9th:          Nina Cambatta = 27.63 seconds                                 7th place 16.5 points

10th:       Amanda Gisby = 33 seconds                                        10th place 9 points

11th:       Katarina Helcmanovska = 6.68 metres                    5th place 19 points



1st:          Precious Collins = 16.63 seconds                                                3rd place 9.5 points

2nd:         Jenny Todd = 29.56 seconds                                        1st place 13 points

3rd:         Anna-Maria Ronnqvist = 31.03 seconds                  4th place 8 points

4th:          Ruta Lendraitiene = 9.55 metres                                               5th place 7.5 points

5th:          Nadia Cole = 6.43 metres                                              2nd place 11 points MISTAKE

Guest:  Hannah Ingram = 3.64 metres                                    Guest 0 points



1st:          Julie Rider = 9.53 seconds                                             2nd place 13 points

2nd:         Donna Moore = 13.65 seconds                                   1st place 14 points

3rd:         Andrea Thompson = 16.47 seconds                         4th place 7 points

4th:          Karen Sutherland = 17.75 seconds                            3rd place 8 points

5th:          Jenn Tibbenham = 10.15 metres                                               5th place 3 points


You might notice we have written MISTAKE next to Nadia Cole’s score after the yoke. This is because we accidently gave her 5 points instead of 1 point. Yes, this is a big mistake and we can only apologise. We have sorted out with the athletes affected, we were the ones to notice our own mistake and immediately took steps to remedy the situation, but we only noticed once the competition was over. Honesty and transparency are more important to us than pretending we’re perfect!


Event 4 was a really fun event in my eyes. A carry medley over a fairly short distance of 10 metres of a farmers walk, a keg carry and then a sandbag carry to finish. With the items being so different to grip it was a tactical nightmare for a lot of the girls as to how to deal with each awkward implement. This event was also the first event in Donna Moore’s competitive history that she couldn’t finish in the time limit, so that was a proud moment for us! The implement weights were 75kg each hand farmers, a 70kg keg and a 60kg sandbag for the U63kg, 85kg per hand farmers, an 80kg keg and a 80kg sandbag for the U75kg and the opens had to deal with 95kg each hand farmers, a 90kg keg and a whopping 100kg sandbag!


Event 4 Results:                                                                                                Positions and points after 4 events:


1st:          Katherine Bartlett = 31.38 seconds                           1st place 41 points

2nd:         Sumayyah Shalchi = 32.81 seconds                           3rd place 30 points

3rd:         Katrina Howes = 33.47 seconds                                  2nd place 33 points

4th:          Samantha Pollock = 40.03 seconds                           5th place 27 points

5th:          Nina Cambatta = 40.78 seconds                                 6th place 23.5 points

6th:          Helen Hughes = 43.57 seconds                                   4th place 27.5 points

7th:          Kiersty Sims = 45.56 seconds                                       7th place 21.5 points

8th:          Brooke Murray = 46.82 seconds                                8th place 19 points

9th:          Amanda Gisby = 4.01 metres                                      10th place 12 points

DNS:      Joanna Montgomery = 0 metres                                               11th place 7.5 points

DNS:      Katarina Helcmanovska = 0 metres                          8th place 19 points



1st:          Jenny Todd = 38.31 seconds                                        1st place 18 points

2nd:         Anna-Maria Ronnqvist = 45.72 seconds                  3rd place 12 points

3rd:         Nadia Cole = 1 item + 7.84 metres                            2nd place 14 points MISTAKE

4th:          Precious Collins = 0.5 metres                                      4th place 11.5 points

DNS:      Ruta Lendraitiene = 0 metres                                     5th place 7.5 points

Guest: Hannah Ingram = 0 metres                                          Guest 0 points



1st:          Donna Moore = 2 items + 8.28 metres                    1st place 19 points

2nd:         Julie Rider = 2 items + 3.8 metres                              2nd place 17 points

3rd:         Andrea Thompson = 2 items + 1.2 metres             3rd place 10 points

4th:          Karen Sutherland = 2 items                                         3rd place 10 points

DNS:      Jenn Tibbenham = 0 metres                                        5th place 3 points


Event 5 was SUPPOSED to be the rope pull on the van. The vehicles for the weekend had been kindly loaned to us from the Brackmills MOT Centre, so it was ready to be pulled. It was the 20th of June, middle of summer, blazing hot…. And pouring with torrential rain the entire day! Fuck you Mother Nature! Luckily we have a large indoor area with turf so we just held the arm over arm on prowlers instead. We loaded them up nice and heavy with the U63kg having 120kg loaded on, the U75kg with 140kg loaded on and the opens with 160kg! Lovely!


This event as a finisher was an absolute killer! Hardly any of the athletes walked away when they completed the course, more a case of rolling out of the way for the next competitor! Katherine Bartlett in the U63kg class was obviously wishing for a bit of drama in her otherwise dominant display, as when she was finishing the course her shoes came off! She then proceeded to remove two pairs of socks and still managed to get the prowler over the line under the time limit!


Event 5 Results:                                                                                                Positions and points after 5 events:


1st:          Nina Cambatta = 49.68 seconds                                 5th place 34.5 points

2nd:         Sumayyah Shalchi = 54.03 seconds                           3rd place 40 points

3rd:         Samantha Pollock = 54.38 seconds                           4th place 36 points

4th:          Katrina Howes = 54.56 seconds                                  2nd place 41 points

5th:          Brooke Murray = 57.16 seconds                                8th place 26 points

6th:          Katarina Helcmanovska = 1.01.00 seconds            9th place 25 points

7th:          Kiersty Sims = 1.06.85 seconds                                   7th place 26.5 points

8th:          Katherine Bartlett = 1.12.75 seconds                       1st place 45 points

9th:          Helen Hughes = pull + 7.9 metres                             6th place 30.5 points

10th:       Amanda Gisby = pull + 4.93 metres                          10th place 14 points

11th:       Joanna Montgomery = pull + 1.56 metres             11th place 8.5 points



1st:          Anna-Maria Ronnqvist = 44.97 seconds                  2nd place 17 points

2nd:         Jenny Todd = 45.68 seconds                                        1st place 22 points

3rd:         Ruta Lendraitiene = 1.05.44 seconds                       5th place 10.5 points

4th:          Nadia Cole = pull + 11.7 metres                                  3rd place 16 points MISTAKE

5th:          Precious Collins = pull + 8 metres                              4th place 12.5 points

DNS:      Hannah Ingram = 0 metres                                          Guest 0 points



1st:          Donna Moore = 47.75 seconds                                   1st place 24 points

2nd:         Julie Rider = 51.32 seconds                                          2nd place 21 points

3rd:         Andrea Thompson = 55.60 seconds                         3rd place 13 points

4th:          Karen Sutherland = 58.22 seconds                            4th place 12 points

5th:          Jenn Tibbenham = pull + 5.99 metres                      5th place 4 points


U63kg final placings and points:

1st:          Katherine Bartlett                                            45 points

2nd:         Katrina Howes                                                   41 points

3rd:         Sumayyah Shalchi                                            40 points

4th:          Samantha Pollock                                            36 points

5th:          Nina Cambatta                                                  34.5 points

6th:          Helen Hughes                                                    30.5 points

7th:          Kiersty Sims                                                        26.5 points

8th:          Brooke Murray                                                 26 points

9th:          Katarina Helcmanovska                                                 25 points

10th:       Amanda Gisby                                                   14 points

11th:       Joanna Montgomery                                      8.5 points


U75kg final placings and points:

1st:          Jenny Todd                                                         22 points

2nd:         Anna-Maria Ronnqvist                                   17 points

3rd:         Precious Collins                                                 12.5 points

4th:          Nadia Cole                                                          12 points CORRECTED

5th:          Ruta Lendraitiene                                            10.5 points

Guest: Hannah Ingram                                                 0 points


Open final placings and points:

1st:          Donna Moore                                                    24 points

2nd:         Julie Rider                                                           21 points

3rd:         Andrea Thompson                                          13 points

4th:          Karen Sutherland                                             12 points

5th:          Jenn Tibbenham                                              4 points


So again we have to apologise to Nadia Cole and Precious Collins for our mistake, the points error meant that they swapped places on the day, but the actual placings meant Precious came 3rd and Nadia came 4th.


The final points showed that the winners were fairly dominant, consistently winning their events or placing very high. However the fight beneath them was a vicious one! Places changing back and forth with every event, people like Summayah Shalchi improving position with every event showing that you can’t count out anyone!


The top three in each class got a trophy made of glass, some prize money, some USN goodies, and everybody that competed got a certificate with their max log lift and place in the competition and instead of the usual t-shirt we went for high quality vests and these went down very well! We like to take care of our competitors!


One final thing for the champions as well; the top placed ladies in each class (Donna Moore, Jenny Todd and Katherine Bartlett) have all qualified for the Arnold Strongwoman Championships for 2016! Well done ladies!


If you’re interested in our other competitions then you can enter them through this link: Keep an eye out for the next installment of Britain’s Strongest Woman!


The best way though to sum up this write up and the day in general is to watch the video! We did our best to capture as much of the action as possible, and apart from a couple of minor glitches in the log lift and the deadlift we managed to film the entire competition! So watch and enjoy!