Ultimate Strongman is one of the toughest challenges of strength that a person can go through. On 1st July 2017, the Battle of Britain came to Bangor, Northern Ireland. Four nations competed against each other for the top prize in front of a crowd of thousands.
It started as a wet and cold day, typical Northern Irish weather for the Battle of Britain. The Seafront in Bangor was transformed into an arena which would test the strength of the strongmen. All four teams met at the Marie Court Hotel for a meet and greet with some of their biggest fans.
Each team was made up of four men from each country. Team England was captained by the legendary Terry Hollands. Hollands was joined by Charlie Gough, Paul Smith and Phil Roberts. Team England was the favourite to win the competition. Team Scotland was made of Luke Stoltman, Paul Benton, Kenny Simms and Scott Milne. Team Ireland was Pa O’Dwyer, Matthew McCoy, Dale Winters & Gavin Redmond. Ireland was the lightest team which would cause problems for them during the competition. Local Bangor boy, Dale Winters would be competing in his home town in front of plenty of friends and family for support.
The first event of Ultimate Strongman, Duck Walk Steeplechase, saw England take the lead. England completed the 4 runs of the course in 86.21 seconds. Just behind them was Team Ireland who finished in 90.41 seconds. Team Wales was only slightly behind with 93.68 seconds. Scotland failed to finish this event. Instead, they recorded a distance of 79.99 metres.
The second event was the giant-sized school yard favourite, the Tug of War. Team Ireland knew that they would struggle with this event as they were the lightest team. Ireland and Scotland were knocked out of this event, leaving Wales and England to battle it out. This event became a turning point for the entire competition as the teams became locked in a deadlock, with neither side daring to back down. The crowd erupted into screams and electricity filled the air as the two teams struggled to move. Finally, England broke the deadlock was broken as the crowd went wild! After two events, England had up 8 points, Wales was in second place with 5 points, Ireland was in third place with 4 points, and Scotland was in last place with 3 points.
The third event of the day would be Team Ireland’s favourite, the Giant Tyre Flip. The rain made conditions difficult but it didn’t dampen the crowd’s spirits. Ireland won this event with 64.38 metres, just ahead of Scotland on 61.35 metres. England finished third as they failed to find their footing in the wet, with Wales coming in fourth. The 90Kg Dumbell Press was the next event. Team England managed just 1 rep of the daddy dumbell. Scotland took the win on this event with an impressive 7 reps. Team Ireland was snapping at their heels with 6 reps, and Team Wales managed a respectable 5 reps. Team England and Team Ireland were tied with 11 points, while Scotland had shot up to 10 points.
The Stones of Strength was to be Scotlands first win of the day. Tom Stoltman was the only man who was able to lift the 6th stone (175Kg). Team Ireland came in 2nd, England 3rd and Wales last. Wales were now out of the competition but the remaining teams had the chance to battle it out in the Flag Hoist.
The sun came out for the final event but the ground was still slippy. Wales got off to a good start and hoisted the first 3 flags in 17.53 seconds. Unfortunately for them, that was as far as they got. England managed a slightly better effort and managed the first 4 flags in 83.74 seconds. Terry Holland grasped the final flag but he couldn’t quite manage to get it up. The battle was now on between first and second place between Ireland and Scotland. Team Scotland had been slow to start but had finally warmed up. They hoisted the flags up quickly and secured the overall win. Team Ireland struggled in comparison to the Scots but managed to get all of the flag poles up while the crowd screamed. This effort in the final event placed Team Ireland second to Scotland.
The event sponsors of Ultimate Strongman Battle for Britain- To Me To You Removals, Ards & North Down Borough Council, Cerberus Strength, Monster Strong and G&P Supplements. This event was filmed for Channel 5.