2005 South African Strongman Championships


EVENT 4: The Conan's Wheel (Circle Walk)

This was the last event of day 1 and also the last chance for everybody to try and secure positions in the top 10 for the final the next day. Nothing much to say about the setup for this event: The Conan's wheel was earlier measured to weigh about 60kg (132lb) at the grip position. A further 240kg (528lb) in the form of lifting plates was added to the basket for a total of 300kg (660lb). Obviously like with any other Conan's wheel out there, the effective weight was less due to leverages. The object of this event was to pick up the bar and walk as far as possible before putting it down. Sounds easy? Wasn't.

As anybody who has done the Conan's wheel will attest, the main problem here is oxygen or, more correctly, the lack thereof. It is almost impossible to breathe while performing this event and the limiting factor for most people is how long the lungs can last before calling it a day. Things are compounded for a tall, unfit fatso like myself. Most people didn't find the weight excessive and only two guys didn't record a distance. Below is Dave Cooks strutting his stuff.

The results of the last event of day are graphed below:

Malone 2.1
Ettiene 2
Rory 1.9
Arno 1.8
Willem 1.7
David 1.6
Hennie 1.5
Johan 1.4
Andre 1.3
Stephan 1.2
MartinJ 1.1
Pieter 0.8
Ian 0.7
Allan 0.6
Nico 0.5
MartinS 0.4
Driko 0.3
Wimpie 0
Eben 0

When looking at the graph please keep in mind that the scorekeepers did not log an actual distance measurement for each athlete and only marked the relative positions with tape. This means that I cannot exactly tell you how many degrees (out of 360) each athlete completed but only their relative positions with regards to their opponents.

As most of you will know, this event favours those who go last because they have the marks set by previous athletes to chase. Despite this handicap, Ettiene was not able to surpass the mark of 2.1 laps set by Malone earlier on. I've seen Malone win the Conan's wheel on many occasions before in the past and once again he delivered the goods. The big surprise f this event was Rory who came from nowhere and snatched third overall by almost going two laps. Another good performer was Martin Joubert who attained his highest position of the competition and almost made the top 10.

The interesting thing here is to see if there were any athletes that were able to edge into the top 10 on this last event of the qualifying round and which guys (if any) dropped out of it an number 99. And indeed, there was such a case: Rory's was lying in 12th position after the tyre flip but his brilliant 3rd position on the Conan's wheel just earned him enough points to grab 10th. The unfortunate guy who had to relinquish his 10th position to Rory was Ian, who got nudged out at the last moment. Tough luck!

The overall point standings after the Conan's wheel looked as follows:

Ettiene 74
Arno 66
David 63
Malone 57
Willem 52
Andre 52
Johan 51.5
Hennie 46
Stephan 46
Rory 44
Pieter 39.5
Ian 39
Eben 28.5
Allan 24.5
Driko 21
MartinJ 20.5
Nico 14.5
MartinS 14
Wimpie 6.5


The first three positions remained constant, although Ettiene's lead was increasing. Malone's very good performance moved him up two positions into fourth. Likewise Willem was also able to move up two positions into 5th. There were no other major moves apart from the ones already discussed. The athletes to qualify for the final were thus Ettiene in first going down to Rory in 10th position.

Below are some thumbnails linked to pictures of the Conan's wheel.


Wimpie found the Conan's wheel unmoved by his efforts.

Nico with Hennie looking on.


Martin Shereden on the starting line.

Martin Joubert performed very well on Conan's wheel....


...as can be seen here...

Eben wasn't happy with his performance.


Allan battled to stabilise the swinging basket.

Rory did extremely well, securing a spot in the final.


Pieter did well and was unlucky not to make the final.

The unfortunate Ian who got nudged out of the final.


Willem had a very solid performance and earned 5th position.

Hennie on another very solid top 10 performance.


Stephan and Dave.

Malone tasted sweet victory at the end of day 1.


Johan just before 90 degrees on his first lap.

Andre on his first lap.


Dave being encouraged by Stephan.

Me with my brother, Burger, behind.


It is obvious that Dave has flipped a few tyres before.

Me. My brother is standing behind me.


Ettiene came very close to beating Malone's mark.

Sheltering from the rain after event 4.


Ettiene didn't mind the rain.


Click here to go back to event 3: The Tyre Flip

Click here to continue to event 5: The Log Lift

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For comments or feedback please email bigarnie@bigarnie.co.za

Page last updated 10 May 2005