The Australian CrossFit Championship was just the third sanctioned event in the new look pathway to the CrossFit Games. Athletes from Australia, New Zealand and beyond, competed in a four-day test of fitness to determine who would receive an invitation to the CrossFit Games in 2019.
This was the first time that the South East Queensland community had the opportunity to experience a Games qualifying event in their own backyard. With a uniquely Australian feel, including a day at the beach, we welcomed the opportunity to work with the Australian CrossFit Championship as their official equipment partner.
We have been supplying high-end equipment to fitness competitions around Australia since 2012 and we're proud to step onto the world stage to showcase the quality of our Australian designed and manufactured equipment at the Australian CrossFit Championship.
The changes to the CrossFit season meant the Australian CrossFit Championship was facing a short lead time heading into the event but because we adhere to a ‘built not bought’ ethos and manufacture almost all of our equipment here on the Gold Coast, both ourselves and our partners were able to deliver almost $500,000 of premium equipment, ready to withstand the toughest competitors, in under three months.
Not only were we looking forward to seeing our equipment in action, we were excited to watch some of the fittest athletes on Earth compete for their chance to secure an invitation to the CrossFit Games.
In the women’s half, Samantha Briggs, showed the crowds why she is a superstar of the sport, taking the Championship win with nine event wins under her belt. Madeline Sturt took home second place followed by Adelaide’s Simone Arthur taking third place ahead of New Zealander, Marnie Sykes and long time regional favourite Lindsay Vaughan.
Briggs has already secured an invitation to the CrossFit Games after winning the Dubai CrossFit Championship in December, which means that as things currently stand, Madeline Sturt will receive an invitation to the CrossFit Games.
James Newbury headed into the Championship as the event favourite but his place on the podium was certainly not guaranteed, with established contenders from the Regional format, Bayden Brown, Zeke Grove and Matt McLeod all seeking an invitation to the Games. Although McLeod won the beach event on Day 1, Newbury was able to take and hold the lead from Day 2, with four event wins helping him to the top of the podium at the end of the weekend.
Another new element in 2019 was the arrival of the ‘super’ teams. CrossFit no longer requires team members to train at the same affiliate which saw the formation of several composite teams including Project X with Jessica Coughlan, Khan Porter, Harriet Roberts and Brandon Swan; and Reebok CrossFit Frankston adding Queensland athlete, Katelin Van Zyl to their established roster of Jay Crouch, Rob Forte and Madison Tatt.
Project X’s appearance was highly anticipated and they did not disappoint, taking first place, ahead of Torian Black and Reebok CrossFit Frankston. A highlight of the teams competition was the final event, Event 7, where teams were required to strategise and play to their strengths. Using the AlphaFit rig, wall-balls, barbells and plates, teams had to complete the four benchmark workouts – Karen, Grace, Isabel and Fran – with one member assigned to each workout.
A standout feature of the event was the striking customised teal and black rig that AlphaFit designed to match the custom green and gold branding of the Australian CrossFit Championship. While the rig was certainly the centre piece of the event, athletes were tested using a range of gear and equipment.
On Day 1 athletes headed to North Kirra beach to brave bluebottles and a kilometre ocean swim, broken up with AlphaFit kettlebell thrusters and burpees. After a night off to rest and wash away the sand, the competition headed to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for Day 2.
The teams started Day 2 by testing their synchro skills on the AlphaFit rig with toes-to-bar and muscle-ups, and on the floor with synchro deadlifts before taking on a relay style event consisting of rowing, pistol squats and hang-cleans. The individuals were tested against a range of modalities with AlphaFit kettlebells, soft boxes and hex dumbbells all making an appearance.
Day 3 was all about core CrossFit for the teams with a run, overhead lunges with the AlphaFit bumper plates, double-unders, pull-ups and squats. The individuals almost had bar-free day on Day 3 (with just a few overhead squats), focusing instead on how they could perform with strict ring dips, wall-balls and burpees across the AlphaFit parallettes, as well as a test of their grit and determination with a triple erg challenge (ski, bike, row) in Event 7.
Not only did the teams complete the benchmark ‘nasty girls’ on the final day, it was their turn to test their skills on the AlphaFit soft plyo boxes, kettlebells and on the Assault bike in a final pairs workout for the weekend.
The bars were back on Day 4 for the individuals as athletes showcased their Olympic lifting skills with a combined snatch, and clean and jerk ladder using AlphaFit Olympic barbells and competition bumper plates. This was followed by Event 10, the penultimate workout, where athletes pitted their gymnastic skills against each other with handstand walks, toes-to-bar and pistol squats holding an AlphaFit kettlebell.
The final event of the weekend featured one of our favourite pieces of conditioning equipment, the AlphaFit mini-sled, which the athletes had to pull and push between time on the rig completing bar muscle-ups.
As an equipment provider who has worked with and listened to athletes for over seven years to develop the best quality gear in the world, we could not have been happier to have played a part in delivering a robust test of fitness to determine who will represent the Australian CrossFit Championship at the CrossFit Games in August.
Congratulations to all the athletes who threw down at the Australian CrossFit Championship.
Australian CrossFit Championship Placings
1. Samantha Briggs 1046 pts
2. Madeline Sturt 919 pts
3. Simone Arthur 866 pts
1. James Newbury 1013 pts
2. Bayden Brown 954 pts
3. Zeke Grove 942 pts
1. Project X 790 pts
2. Torian Black 700 pts
3. Reebok CrossFit Frankston 700 pts (tiebreaker)