World’s Strongest Man 2017 gets underway at Fort Regent
Glory days return as island’s white elephant given massive shot in the arm
The weather may have miserable this weekend but the atmosphere certainly wasn’t as the 2017 Fray Bentos World’s Strongest Man competition got underway at Fort Regent on Saturday.
Competitors from across the globe took part in a range of superhuman endeavours in a bid to be crowned Fray Bentos 2017 World Strongman Champion.
Beginning at 09:00 on day one, the first group of entrants were tasked with carrying tractor tyres full of sea lettuce from La Fregate café to the incinerator. Kicking off at the same time, the second group of entrants were towing vehicles with their teeth from the bottom of Mount Bingham to the Driver Vehicle Standards office at La Collette.
‘It’s fantastic’ said event organiser Fred Quimbles on Sunday afternoon ‘We have worked closely with The States of Jersey police, who set up a vehicle check at the bottom of hill. Every car they confiscate for being un-roadworthy, they are letting us have - and are then paying us ten pounds for each one we get rid of!’ He laughed. ‘They then avoid having to pay their officers for overtime!’ ‘And as a bonus!’ he added ‘they’re giving us the cars of all the motorists that are getting nicked for being over the limit….. Which is absolutely loads, given that it’s December!’
Running concurrently with these two events, the third and last group of competitors were removing giant sections of rubble from the swimming pool currently being demolished at Fort Regent itself. They collected boulders from the pool floor, then carried them up the ladder and out of the pool itself, then around the pool surround, upstairs, down the viewing area, up over the railings, across the top walkway and out of the building. They then carried them all the way to the reclamation site.
We caught up with Simon Crowcroft who was there yesterday cheering things along. ‘it’s fantastic’ he said ‘it really is. We’re boosting our profile on the world stage, whilst simultaneously improving our own infrastructure. It really is a masterstroke from the guys in Culture and Sport.’ ‘Look!’ he said, pointing ‘You see that guy down there? The big Viking looking chap with the veiny nose? He’s moved more stones in the last twenty minutes than our entire Infrastructure Department managed for the new cycle path in the whole of last week!’ ‘And have you seen how much seaweed they’ve crammed into the incinerator?!’ ‘Jesus! Look up there!’ He pointed. ‘There are flames coming out through the chimney!’ ‘This is precisely the sort of blue-sky-thinking that will allow our island to limp-on if any more of this Paradise Paper stuff catapults us back to agriculture’
Despite the unequivocal success of the event, there was something of a dark cloud cast over the Strongman franchise this morning after Ukrainian competitor Yegor Belenko, who exited the competition in the second round early on Saturday, was detained by Jersey Customs and Excise at the harbour, attempting to board for Saint Malo with a Jersey cow concealed across the back seats of his car. It is believed authorities had been tipped off by a member of the public after the Kiev plasterer was seen wrestling the creature into the back of his Vauxhall Corsa in a field behind Catherine Best.
Fray Bentos, the chief sponsors, were today distancing themselves from Mr Belenko, who was detained by police under the Farmyards Enforcement Act 1878.