Wallace retains title
Half a point is margin of victory over Kinch
Alex Wallace was urging on the final competitor in the Prince County Exhibition’s 2017 Strongest Man in P.E.I. on Thursday night.
If Wallace’s urging had helped Mitch Kinch lift the final atlas stone into place, Kinch, 28, would have ended Wallace’s sixyear reign as strongman champion. Kinch came up short, and Wallace retained the championship by a half a point – or 10.29 seconds. He had rallied in the final two events to earn his seventh Strongest Man in P.E.I. title.
“Everyone always likes to see the big stone being lifted,” said Wallace, 37, the co-ordinator of the Cox and Palmer-sponsored championship. “I was disappointed I didn’t get it, so it’s always nice seeing the last stone lifted.”
As it turned out, none of the five competitors could position the 360 round stone, so the time it took to set four stones became the deciding factor. Wallace, fourth up, tore through them in 28.71 seconds. He mastered them 10.29 seconds faster than Kinch, who performed last and 10.31 seconds faster than third-place overall finisher, Mitch Illsley.
Kinch, who is from Tyne Valley, won the first two events. He flew through the Farmers Walk (carrying 275-pound weights in each hand for 50 feet, and returning with a pair of 300pound weights) in just 27.81 seconds – 1.22 seconds faster than Wallace and 3.72 seconds faster than Illsley.
The order of finish didn’t change in the second event – the tire flip – with only 1.87 seconds separating the top three. The top three then tied in the third event – the overhead log press – all bowing out at 270 after Illsley came oh-so-close to
locking it in.
There were five competitors, so five points were awarded for first, down to one point for fifth, and no points if a competitor failed to get a lift, something that happened five times during the five-event competition.
After three events Kinch held a 14-12 point lead over Wallace, with Illsley third with 10, Dillon Fraser from Nova Scotia fourth with six and Charlottetown’s Kevin Cudmore fifth with two points.
Wallace made his charge in the fourth challenge – the truck deadlift – earning five points for four lifts. Kinch and Cudmore tied for second with one successful lift, earning 3 1/2 points each. Illsley and Fraser failed to earn points.
So, after four events, it was 17.5 points for Kinch, and 17 for Wallace. Illsley was third with 10.
First place would come down to the Atlas stones. Wallace tore through the first four stones, and his speed would win out. Like Wallace, Kinch attempted the fifth stone, but couldn’t get
it up before time ran out. Final points count: 22 for Wallace; 21.5 for Kinch; 13 for Illsley; eight for Fraser, 8, and 6.5 for Cudmore.
The down-to-the-wire finish made the always popular Strongman event all the more exciting for spectators who lined the ring.
The good side about the outcome, Wallace suggested, is the close finish will make Kinch even hungrier next year.
“He knows he was so close,” said Wallace.
Kinch said he figured, having lifted the five stones previously, he could do it again on Thursday, but suspects the strain from the first four challenges wore him down.
Kinch, who finished second last year, too, was satisfied with his performance. He said he had figured the truck deadlift would be his greatest challenge and it was.
“I would have liked to have won, (but) nothing I can do about it now,” he said.
Alex Wallace started his rally with a successful 260-pound lift in the overhead log press, and went on to win his seventh Strongest Man in P.E.I. title at the Prince County Exhibition on Thursday. He finished second in the first two events, tied for first in the third and won the final two events in the fiveevent competition.
Mitch Illsley comes ever-so-close to locking in a 270-pound lift in the Strongest Man in P.E.I. contest. He ended up in a three-way tie for first place in the event with a 260-pound successful lift. The Alma resident ended up third overall in Thursday evening’s competition in Alberton.