Comp season has started and this weekend it has really started to ramp up across all federations as we move towards the national titles – there are 6 different state shows on this weekend so I headed on down to the INBA Victorian Titles at Moonee Valley.
I had slightly mixed feelings about going to the show today, because in a funny sort of way Today is also ‘my anniversary’ – this time last year after just 10 weeks of bodybuilding and preparation I stepped on stage for the first time not having a clue what to expect and being bemused, nervous, excited and anxious all at the same time. It was all a bit of a whirlwind of things happening and not really understanding what was going on or what to do – it was just as well I Aidan was there to keep me calm and keep my head focused on what I had to do, then there was the steadying influence of Matt Nicholson telling me what to eat and when to eat it, reassuring me that my condition was exactly as he wanted it to be, and I was looking good and of course the assured hands of Clare Ross patting dream tan all over me to make sure I didn’t look like a ghost under the lights. Today last year I entered a whole new world that back then was alien and strange, but has now become as familiar and comfortable as your favourite pair of pj’s.
Today last year I came away with 2 trophies and nearly the overall, today last year I became Miss Figure Victoria (Novice), today last year was the day that has started an absolutely amazing 12 months full of triumphs, tears, new directions, reinvention and overcoming obstacles.
Today this year I am no longer the ‘current’ Miss Figure Victoria (Novice), today this year another person will claim that title. Today this year I was going to be in the open category and have another crack at becoming Miss Figure Victoria, but it was not to be, instead Today this year I will be watching instead of competing….
So today this year I was slightly ambivalent, but also excited to see how the day unfolded from the front of the stage.
The show was due to start at 12, and I arrived about 11:15 – as I intended to be taking several hundred (thousand!) photos I wanted to make sure I got a good seat, and there was already a reasonable number of people in the crowd. After talking to a few familiar faces, it was clear the everyone expected a big show with estimates of up to 200 competitors! At a State show? Thats a lot! Which is good of course because it meant there would be some big quality lineups.
The show got under way with the Novice Bikini divas and this was a big lineup, each girl came on and did their poses in the centre followed by a T walk to each side of the stage before heading down the steps for the next girl to come on. Just because these girls were novices didn’t mean they were shy of the spotlight, oh no, most of the girls totally made the most of their 2 minutes of stage time and worked it for all they were worth – they may have been terrified underneath but you’d never know it by their megawatt smiles and confident strutting even on those heels. It was going to be tough on the judges thats for sure.
Next up was the Mr Beach body, a small group of 5 guys – definitely a category I approve of! I encourage as many guys as possible to enter this category! :-)
There was a guy from my gym competing and somehow he’d managed to get away with wearing a fijian costume instead of the Black and Blue boardies that the other competitors had been given – Marcello is a bit of a show pony (in a nice kind of way!) so I wasn’t that surprised!
And my Trainer Aiden Baker helped Eddie Costa (2nd) with his preparation – good job on both counts!
Mariya Mova was offering a free photoshoot to the winner of both the novice bikini and the Mr Beach Body categories – lucky them! Mariya took my photos for my Oxygen magazine Cover girl shoot last year and was instrumental in my decision to compete!
I’m going to put all the results at the end all in one go – that way its easier to read than having it spread all throughout whatever I write.
After Mr Beach Body there was the open Bikini Diva – another big group with a few familiar faces. Rebecca Talevski who I think won the Melbourne Titles, and Aurelia Appasamy who I’ve seen at a number of shows now and she always looks beautiful – shes like a little gazelle very elegant and graceful, somehow shy, yet confident and she has huge eyes! Today she was looking as good as ever in a snow white bikini. I was mentally cheering on Rebecca and Aurelia – I always like to have someone to cheer on. There were also a couple of the girls in the lineup who’d just done the Bikini Novice.
This is something the INBA are doing differently this year – there are no restrictions on how many categories someone can enter. Last year you could only enter a maximum of 2 and you were restricted to the type – so for example if you entered Bikini Novice the only other category you could enter was Fitness Model Novice, Bikini Open/Fitness Model open, Any Figure category/Figure International. Then if you won your category you would progress to the overall titles.
This year you could enter as many categories as you like, but if you wanted a crack at the Overall title you had to enter the Open category so for example someone could enter Bikini Novice, Bikini Open, Fitness Model Novice and Fitness Model Open. It remains to be seen whether this is a good move or not.
The room was packed and it was getting quite hot – or was it just the heat from my camera taking so many pictures? I get so absorbed in the competition, I forget to eat or drink and the show was moving along quickly so I couldn’t move from my seat.
After the Bikini Open, it was the Figure International category and this time it was a big group which I was really glad to see, after the Melbourne Titles where I thought its popularity might be waning in favour of the fitness model category. Donna Innes Irons who I’ve shared a couple of stages with was looking good and was wearing one of Jo rogers hand painted bikinis in a beautiful peacock pattern. The symmetry was done as a group and then there was one call out – and I was pleased to see Donna was right in the centre which could only be good. Sure enough after a short deliberation the judges announced the top 3 and Donna won.
Next up was the Masters Men 40 – 49 and surprisingly it was also quite a big group – 7 or 8 guys and some of them had amazing physiques – you really wouldn’t think they were 40+, they’d put an awful lot of much younger people to shame. Included in the lineup was a friend and serial crowd baiter Bruce Hatfield – bless his shy retiring little cotton socks. Its so nice to see a competitor who is up there and having fun with it. How ironic that Bruce’s PT business is called ‘Serious Fitness’ when that is completely the last thing he is!
Unfortunately Bruce didn’t place, but he was always smiling and giving the crowd and other competitors as good as he got!
Then we moved on to the Physique Masters 40 – 49 and again a surprisingly big group – 8 or 9 women, and Donna was back. She was really posing very smoothly – she’s always had great symmetry and it really showed again today. Again there was only 1 call out and Donna was right in the centre – it was looking like it was Donnas day as she also won this category.
2 wins! great work! – I wanted to catch up with her to say well done, I also needed a break to get some water having run out about an eon earlier.
Its never an easy task getting backstage to catch up with someone as there are always people you bump into on the way! It must have taken me about 20 minutes to get backstage and by the time I bumped into her she was just about leaving to go home. So I asked her if she was going to do the Open category as well, since she was on such a roll she might as well have a go, but she didn’t want to come across as someone who was just chasing trophies. Then Anita Hearn (last years overall Miss Figure Victoria) caught up with us just as Donna was explaining how she wasn’t going to do the overall…Anita wasn’t going to hear any of that nonsense and set about persuading Donna she had to stay. I left them to it as I wanted to get back to the action.
I’d missed the Masters Men and Physique masters 50+ categories and the Intermediate Men were just doing their posedown – another big group and some really good physiques, that would have been a tough category to judge for sure.
After that was the intermediate women. I didn’t know anyone in this category, but there was one girl who I thought looked really good and she oozed confidence – I think I noticed her because she had her hair done up in a similar style to how I had mine done last year and she duly won which was good.
Next up was the teenage men, this is for guys between 16 – 19 years old…really? Wow! Some of them had absolutely incredible physiques for such a young age. Given that most bodybuilders really hit their peak in late 20’s early 30’s, some of these guy could have 12 – 15 years of work in their bodies by that stage – who knows where they could get to. The guy who won was so overcome with emotion he was in tears and it was nice to see the second placed guy giving him a hug – great camaraderie there.
After that it was the Junior men – Junior men is different from novice because it has an upper age limit (under 25?) whereas novice is for first timers who can be of any age. So I think an under 25 first timer could enter both categories. It was another good lineup – seriously these guys are huge. I had to laugh in a nice kind of way at the guy who came second, he always had this wide eyed surprised sort of look on his face the whole time he was on stage – sort of like an eager little puppy, it was quite sweet really. He also had a good physique of course!
Next up physique novice! This was my moment last year when the whirlwind that had been the previous 10 weeks all crystallised into something special. You wouldn’t know it from my photos, but I was actually a bit angry when I stepped on stage for this category – I’d had some very conflicting advice before and after the figure international category which I let affect me quite badly so I was still having a bit of a tanty backstage when the novice category was called – I hadn’t got into my blue bikini, I hadn’t eaten, I hadn’t pumped up and I hadn’t had time to redo my tan – so everything was all a bit of a rush and I was a bit all over the place. But the moment I stepped on stage I was determined to focus all of that energy into doing everything right. And it must have worked! :-)
I was glad to see that there were some good physiques in this category and in an odd case of complete parallelism – the winner of the novice category had also just got 3rd place in figure international behind…Donna Innes Irons! what a spooky coincidence! That was exactly how my results panned out! I really hoped she’d also entered the Open category so she could have a crack at the overall title – that would be interesting…
Ok onto the Novice Men – I was watching out for Cameron Dunne, he was being trained and prepared by a friend Aaron Braithwaite, and having seen him backstage he was looking good, and should give a strong showing.
This was another big lineup and a tough group to judge, Cameron was definitely looking competitive and made it to the call out. So after another round of compulsories, he ended up coming second. Good job, Aaron would have been really pleased.
Phew! I had no idea what the time was but it seemed like we’d been there for ever – so many big lineups and good competition. I was trying to eat in between taking photos, making note of the results and posting it up to Fb before the next category came on it was pretty full on – there was no hanging about today with so many categories to get through the judges were rattling through things.
After so many muscles it was time for the Fitness Models – huge lineups! 20+ girls in the novice and Open and at least 12 in the 30+! this is where things all started to blur into one another – I don’t know how the judges separated everyone. There were a number of competitors who’d been in the bikini groups and were now in more than one of the fitness groups as well! Now in theory the criteria for bikini and fitness is different enough that you’d expect there to be different winners – but Melissa Simpson who won the Novice Bikini, and came second in the Bikini Open, also won the Novice Fitness Model. Then the winner of the Fitness Model 30+ came 3rd in Fitness Model Open…behind the same girl that came 3rd in Fitness Model 30+
very confusing and I’m sure it was a bit of a nightmare for the judges with so many incredibly similar physiques!
Now we were at the pointy end of the day – Physique Open. This should have been the largest and best category – its is the category that determines the State title after all – the category that decides the Miss Physique Victoria. Last year all the category winners were in this group (including me!) so there was 8 (?) of us on stage and it was close – very close between me and Anita Hearn…1 point close! :-) they had us doing the posedown for ages whilst they tried to separate us.
but this year there were just 3 competitors!
in the overall! And Donna Innes Irons was only there because obviously Anita had been successful in persuading her to stay and have a go! If Donna had gone home there would only have been 2 entrants in the overall.
Elise Trussler who won the intermediate category became Miss Physique Victoria and claimed the giant sword as her trophy and Donna came second.
So finally onto the Men – because there were so many entrants in the Open category, it had been divided in to 2 classes by weight probably and there were some incredible physiques on display. There was plenty of calling from the crowd which was still a reasonable size and as one person yelled out ‘You could grate cheese off that chest!’ perfectly describes just how ripped these guys were looking.
After both categories had been decided, it was down to just 2 guys to determine the overall. One guy was short, square and built like the proverbial brick outhouse – you’d need an industrial wrecking ball to knock him over! the other Guy was taller and just massive.
How do you decide? Eventually it was the taller guy Benson Milgate who won and got to take home the other giant sword.
So another show came to a close, everyone drifted off home, some happy with their days work and no doubt some who would have been disappointed with how they went. the judges looked tired, and at last they had a chance to relax and catch up with those last few people they hadn’t had a chance to talk to all day.
The National titles are only 3 weeks away which doesn’t give people much time to make much change if they feel they need to, just some tweaks and tightening up to bring out that little bit extra definition that cold be the deciding factor.
The mens competitions were all very strong today, so I expect to see a number of Victorians amongst the winners and placegetters at the Nationals.
It’ll be a show worth watching and of course I’ll be there camera glued to head – there are several people coming from interstate who I can’t wait to catch up with and see how they go.
INBA Victorian Titles
Novice Bikini Diva
2 bianca Romeo
3 kirtsy pepper
Mr beach body
1 Wesley raphael
2 Eddie Costa
3 Marcello Putaura
1 Rebecca talevski
2 Melissa simpson
3 aurelia abasami
1 Donna Minnesota irons
2 Olivia Doherty
3 Amanda brown
Master men 40 – 49
1 John kellet
2 Simon o Farrell
3 Chris kakvoulis
Physique master 40 – 49
1 Donna Mcinnes irons
2 Linda Grech
3 Juliane whitcamp
1 Anthony kerr
2 John Newman
3 Chris kakavoulis
1 Elise trossler
2 Joanna wood
3 Vanessa Stanford
1 Geordie varsamis
2 Alex karazikis
3 Steven spyros
1 Jacob schepis
2 Alvin lim
3 Ayden tourko
1 Amanda brown
2 kiri wood
3 Olivia Doherty
1 michael peterson
2 Cameron dunne
3 jean Marie
Novice fitness model
1 Melissa simpson
2 bianca Romeo
3 brooke Beattie
Fitness model 30+
1 Donna Atkins
2 sheree Boyle
3 Mia tricarico
Fitness model open
1 sarah ? Malcolm
2 Mia tricarico
3 Donna Atkins
Physique open miss victoria
1 Elise trossler
2 Donna innes irons
3 julianne whitcamp
Mr Victoria open class 1
1 John Keller
2 John ntovellos
3 christian tulle
Mr Victoria open class 2
Overall mr Victoria