2004 South African Strongman Championships


EVENT 1: Hand-over-hand Truck Pull

In this classic strongman event we were required to pull an 8 ton truck over a distance of 20 meters from a seated position. Well, that's the theory, at least. It turned out that this event was exceptionally difficult due to the terrain  and surface. There was a definite uphill stretch a few meters from the finish line and most guys got stuck there. When defending champ Dave Cooks failed to finish the full distance I knew that we were in for a shocker. Was it not for the fact that Ettiene Smit and Johan van Huyssteen completed the full distance then this event would probably have been a failure. Here's a picture of the infamous truck that refused to be pulled.

I personally found my grip to be the limiting factor. The moment I hit the uphill stretch a few meters from the finish line my grip gave in and there was nothing more that I could do. So near and yet so far... Probably the big surprise of this event was Eben le Roux who almost made it to the finish line and tied Johan van Heerden for third place. This picture depicts how a truck should be pulled. Assisting Ettiene is his training partner and former powerlifting world record holder Ernie Potgieter.

Here's the results of the first event. In an attempt to make the chart less cluttered I have only used the athlete's first names. In order to differentiate between the two Johans (Johan van Huyssteen and Johan van Heerden), I used Johan van Heerden's nickname, Koffie. We all know him by this name that he got because he grew up in the small town of Koffiefontein in the Free State Province.

Already Ettiene was off to a good start and he really looked like a man to be reckoned with this year. Dave did not have the sort of start to this competition that he would have liked.

Here's some more random pics taken during this event. As usual, you can click on the thumbnails to be shown the full-sized picture. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of all the guys.


Ettiene busy winning this event.

Hennie wrapping the rope around his arm for better grip.


Me, pulling as hard as I can with Willem feeding the rope.

Dave setting up for his pull.


Willem at speed. I'm feeding the rope.

Jason pulling with Dave feeding the rope.


Rory busy with a very credible performance.

One of only two men to finish, Johan van Huyssteen.


Eben causing a minor upset with his excellent pull.

Koffie on his way to a very respectable joint third place.


Stephan working nicely out of the legs.