My take on the BNBF Finals

19 Sep

I made the long trip to Manchester this year for the BNBF Finals. I say ‘long’ trip because, it’s much easier for me to fly to Glasgow than to get to Manchester! We drove up on Saturday, thanks to Fi  who drove us all there and back. The journey took a good 6.5 hours, plus the 1.5 hours it took me to get to Fi’s house to start the journey! Note to self, if I ever compete there, I will most definitely fly up, not sure I could cope with that many wee breaks.

We stayed at the Laystall Apartments, and I think they were great. It was a bit like being back at school with competitors in a lot of the apartments, but it was great for the competitor we were sharing with to be able to cook her food and keep it cool (a common problem for competing far from home). The apartments were spacious and nicely decked out, I hope the BNBF decides to use them again next year.

Sunday morning I was woken early with a tanning request (opting to be part of the crew and having the regular star tanner staying elsewhere comes with the territory) and so I was tanning non-stop from 7-10am before we left for the venue!

I’ve never been to the venue for the finals, the Royal Northern College of Music was a spot on choice. Backstage there was plenty of room (for once!) and the front of house area gave sponsors a great opportunity to sell their merchandise. The stage itself was big and lighting was spot on.

So, down to the show itself. For pre judging I only caught Figure, Masters Figure, Physique, Lightweights, 2 rounds of the Middleweights and the Heavyweights as I was backstage the rest of the time. In the Evening Show, I helped the girls get ready nice and early so I could watch most of the show.

In Figure, my initial favourite, Emma Sills from the Centrals unfortunately looked a little softer than her qualifer. She didn’t ‘own’ the stage until the evening show when she did a fabulous t-walk. I preferred the look of Kerri Stewart (2nd) to Julia Hubbard (1st) – it’s completely subjective but Kerri had a little more muscle, I think however Kerri’s presentation let her down a little whereas Julia was extremely polished.

In Masters Figure it was a 2-horse race from Northern girls Jo Peruzza (1st) and Angela Wilkinson (2nd). I was so pleased for Jo, there isn’t a single thing I dislike about her Figure, and it’s certainly one I aspire to. It was the one time I actually shed a tear, as did half of backstage when I went back there! It was nice to see Tracy Austin come 4th and also showed that you can have a more lithe Figure and do well. Jo Peruzza also won the Overall, which just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what age you are Open or Masters – you can still do well!

In Physique, Mary Anderson is the biggest Physique lady I’ve seen in a long time! She doesn’t have the most aesthetic of physiques but I would 100% swop a smaller, more aesthetic physique for hers anytime! She was hard with amazing condition and also won Best Wheels. I was also told that from her qualifer to the finals, she came in 6kgs heavier and looked even better for it! That’s what switching to a high-carb diet strategy does for you eh? I thought Kelly Freeman in 2nd place looked great, she was just unlucky to be beaten that day by a genetically-huge monster, I hope she still goes on to Miami and tears it up there.

I got the results of the Lightweight class completely wrong! I don’t know how, but Plamen, for some reason, wasn’t in my top 3. I felt Darren Loxton was unlucky with 3rd place – he was the most conditioned competitor in the class and won the symmetry round for me, but just became unstuck in muscularity as he was smaller than others in the class.

In the Middleweights, Andrew Chappell (1st) had crazy vascularity (how many Niacin did you take this year???) and made a great start to his first year in the Mr’s classes. Shane Raymond has some serious-sized Quads but has a high origin point for his calves which for me, throws his physique off a little. He also didn’t have Andrew’s conditioning but should be pleased with 2nd. I love how he’s always smiling onstage, makes it really easy to watch him.

In the Heavyweights, Sotonye came out fighting with a teeny tiny waist and never-ending back, but was pushed by Gordon Adams who has such a big frame he just looks immense. I love his physique and he’d rally brought his conditioning. Nigel St Lewis took 3rd convincingly and one of the things I was most pleased about the Heavyweight class, was that it was the best conditioned Heavyweight finals I’ve seen since I started 5 years ago!

In the Overall, I thought Andrew had it over Nate but I was sitting side stage and to be fair, could see Andrew a lot better than I could Nate. Nate has cartoon proportions (again another member of the tiny waist club) and will be a great addition to the Pro Ranks. First ever Junior to win an Overall Pro Card – is this a sign of things to come?

My only gripe about the whole show was that unfortunately, one competitor decided to use Dream Tan at the venue. It shows complete and utter disrespect to your fellow competitors to do that and is a real shame. On a positive note, everyone’s tans seemed to look spot on, so well done – the extra effort worked.

Where the show left me in terms of my future, I’m not sure yet. But I had a ball, came away very motivated and was very glad to have been part of it. Bring on 2013!

What did you think of the finals? Were you there? Did you compete?

Play hard, train harder,
Flick
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2 Responses to “My take on the BNBF Finals”

  1. Darren Shepherd-Loxton September 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Really enjoyed tht read Flick

  2. Fiona September 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Great write up! :-)xx

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