North American Strongman Competition
THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay’s Strongest Man and recent 2x Ontario’s Strongest Man Luke Skaarup, took on the top strongmen from across Canada and the United States this weekend at the North America’s Strongest Man competition in Warwick, WC on July 5 & 6.
The field featured six athletes who have competed at the World’s Strongest Man competition including the 2x and reigning Worlds Strongest Man, Brian Shaw (6ft 8 and 435lb), Jean-Francois Caron (3 time Canada’s Strongest Man, Nick Best, Jason Bergman, Dimitar Savatinov, Josh Thigpen, Christian Savoie and more.
Four of the six athletes competing for Canada had just competed at the Ontario’s Strongest Man competition in Thunder Bay held on June 21/22. Luke Skaarup, Ben Ruckstuhl, Paul Vaillancourt, and Maxime Boudreault were aiming to do well.
The athletes competed in 8 tests of strength over two full days to determine who the strongest man in North America is for 2014.
The events included:
335lb Viking press for reps
750lbs Conan’s wheel for distance
Tire flip/truck pull medley
Atlas Stones- 275 to 400lbs
Seated Truck Pull- 18000lbs for distance
Power stairs- 450/475/500 to 5 x 18” stairs
Car deadlift- 900lbs for reps
Medley- 450lbs duck walk, 800lbs tire flip x 6, 380lbs farmer’s walk
Event 1- 335lbs Viking press for reps. Dimitar won with a massive 16 reps demonstrating once again that he is one of the top pressers in the world. He was followed by Christian with 11 reps and Brian with 10 reps.
Event 2- 750lbs Conan’s Wheel. This event was extremely difficult and was hard on all of the athletes the athletes had to pick up the weight and carry it with their arms as far as they could in a circle. Jason took 1st with 1.5 revolutions, followed by Josh with 1.25 rev and Brian with just over 1 full revolution.
Catastrophe struck two-time winner of Canada’s Strongest Man Christian Savoie ruptured both his patella tendons and was forced to withdraw from the contest.
He had surgery the following day on both knees and is now recovering.
Event 3- 800lbs tire flip for 50ft and F250 truck push for 50ft. The world’s strongest Man Brian Shaw picked up his first win with a time of 39.7s, followed by JF Caron with 41.2s, and Ben Ruckstuhl with 41.4s.
Event 4- Atlas stones to 56” rings (275/325/350/380/400lbs)- No surprise that world record holder in the atlas stone event would take top spot, it was Brian Shaw again with the win completing all 5 stones in 43.1s, followed by Ben with 4 stones in 24.6s, and JF Caron with 4 in 25.1s.
At the end of the 1st day the top 5 were: 1) Shaw- 44 pts, 2) JF Caron- 32 pts, 3) Ruckstuhl- 31pts, 4) Skaarup 29.5 pts, 5) Thigpen- 29pts
Event 5- Seated Truck-pull on incline- 18,000lbs. This course was extremely difficult due to the incline that they had to pull on and none of the best truck pullers in the world were able to finish it. Brian Shaw got his third event with with a distance of 46 ft, followed by Maxime Boudreault of Kapuskasing, ON with a distance of 45ft 9”, and Josh Thigpen with a distance of 42ft 7”.
Event 6- Power Stairs- the athletes had to lift 3 bells up five 18” stairs. The bells weighed 450lbs/475lbs/500lbs. This time it was 3x Canada’s Strongest Man JF Caron with the win as he completed 14 stairs, followed by Brian Shaw and Josh Thigpen who tied with 12 stairs.
Event 7- Car Deadlift- 900lbs for reps. JF Caron proved again why he’s one of the world’s best deadlifters with 13 reps with this massive weight, he was followed by Dimitar Savatinov who had 12 reps and Jason Bergman who had 9 reps.
Event 8- Medley. The athletes had to carry a 450lbs bell for 50ft, flip and 800lbs tire for 50ft and carry 400lbs in each hand in the farmer’s walk as far as they could. In the end it was Bergmann who won with a distance of 36ft with the farmer’s walk, followed by JF Caron with 35ft 10” and Brian Shaw with 35ft 9”.
After the competition had concluded it was Brian Shaw, 2 x World’s Strongest Man, who was crowned North America’s Strongest Man 2014.
While the 2x and current Ontario’s Strongest Man, Luke Skaarup, didn’t win any of the events in Warwick, he was consistently good and placed well on all of the events with 4th to 8th place finishes. That consistency and ability to handle the big weights allowed him to place in 4th position, 2 spots better than his 6th place finish in 2013.
In the end it was Brian Shaw who took home the title in a fantastic competition. The final points were:
Brian Shaw (Denver, CO)- 85.5
Jean-Francois Caron (Québec, QC)- 74
Jason Bergmann (Appleton, WI)- 61
Luke Skaarup (Thunder Bay, ON)- 54.5
Josh Thigpen (Houston, TX)- 54
Ben Ruckstuhl (Trenton, ON)- 52
Nick Best (Las Vegas, NV)- 51
Paul Vaillancourt (Renfrew, ON)- 45.5
Dimitar Savatinov (Jacksonville, FL )- 44.5
Max Boudreault (Kapuskasing, ON)- 43
Dale Shumaker (Lima, OH)- 20
Christian Savoie (Sherbrooke, QC)- 18* injured on 2nd event
Up next for Luke is the Thunder Bay’s Strongest Man competition being held in Support of Camp Quality at Palucci’s Bar & Grill on July 26th (check them out on Facebook “Thunder Bays Strongest Man 2014 in Support of Camp Quality”) and then the Canada’s Strongest Man competition in Quebec City in August.