Moving Day In Cape Town

Date Published: Feb 01, 2019
Written By Brian Friend

Event 5: Strongman Diane

(25M carry, 9-6-3 HSPU/Cleans, 25M sled pull; 100 points)

The famous CrossFit workout Diane was given a special twist today at the Greenpoint Athletics Stadium. With a buy-in of a dual kettlebell carry, and a brutal cash out which required a reverse sled drag over a grass field, the traditional couplet of handstand push ups and deadlifts was replaced with deficit handstand push ups and sandbag cleans over the shoulder. The sandbag slowed some down, but for those who could handle it, this event was a sprint!

There was an eight minute time cap, and with only one heat of fifteen for the women they were once again on level playing field; win your heat; win the event. Much like what Katrin did yesterday with the hill event, today it was Allesandra Pichelli’s turn to dominate. She took the lead early and never looked back beating the field by over twelve seconds finishing in 4:32.44. Australian Courtney Haley was second, and American Karla Wolford, who continues to hang with the more well-known women, took third. Davidsdottir was fourth, but will need to stay alert now as Pichelli’s win narrowed the gap at the top of the leaderboard.

Heat 1 for the men started shortly afterwards. Two times CrossFit Games athlete Tim Paulson laid waste to the heat finishing in 3:45.37 establishing the time to beat. Heat 2, featuring the top eleven men to start the day, were up next, and WOW was this an exciting heat. Cole Sager took the lead early and maintained it getting to the sled first. There he slowed down a bit allowing Lucas Parker and Sean Sweeney to catch up. It was a photo finish as all three men collapsed across the finish line within a couple tenths of each other. After checking the watch it was Sager (3:56.03) who edged Parker (3:56.15) and Sweeney (3:56.27) for the heat win, but none of them were as fast as heat one winner Paulson who claimed the event win and the 100 points that come with it.

Event 6: “The Trap 2019”

(Assault Bike/Ring Muscle Ups/Burpee Box Jump Overs; 100 points)

At the start of each working interval athletes were required to accumulate calories on an assault bike, knock out some ring muscle ups, and then perform as many burpee box jump overs with the time remaining. They would have three, three-minute working intervals, with a two minute rest between.

Davidsdottir was most likely licking her chops for this event having won the 2223 intervals which was of a similar style at the CrossFit Games in 2017. In the first round she came out flying and built a significant lead. In round two “the trap” started to set in for her on the muscle ups, a long known weakness of hers appeared to be tripping her up again. Despite all the work she’s done on them they were definitely a limiting factor for her in this workout. In round three it was Mia Akerlund, last to the rings, who chased her down with an unbroken set of seven ring muscles ups, and in a furious race of burpee box jump overs narrowly took the event win. Katrin did manage to finish second, which bodes excellently for her in the big picture. Pichelli was third in the event, those were the only three women to finish under the time cap.

Heat one for the men really highlighted the name of this workout. Anderon Primo was in the lead after round one, then disappeared. Jonas Muller took the lead in round two, then faded. By the end of round three, Tristan Maiorano from Ocean’s State CrossFit came out of nowhere to win the heat.

The second heat had a completely different feel, it seemed no one wanted to be the rabbit who took it out to fast. By the end of the second round is was still there for anyone to take it with only a couple reps separating several men. For the second time today Cole Sager was involved in a sprint at the finish, this time going rep for rep with young Andre Houdet who has continued to shine event after event. Houdet came out ahead to win the heat, and the event. He also vaulted himself to the top spot on the leaderboard with this performance.

Once again athletes were strewn across the field of competition, but they still had one event to go...

Event 7: The Spotlight Ladders

(Clean Speed Ladder; 100 points)

Women were split into three heats and had to clear a series of squat cleans for time. The fastest twelve advanced to the semi-final round where the weights were heavier. The top six then advanced to the finals with heavier bars still. (Same format for men only they started with four heats).

This event was basically over before it began in terms of the winner. Mia Akerlund is among the best Olympic lifters in competitive CrossFit, and she did not disappoint on this workout. She had no problem with any of the barbells, comfortably winning each round and the event. Both Mia and Alessandra Pichelli are hanging around within striking distance of Katrin, therefore eyes were on her to see where she’d end up. It was critical for her to make the final heat, which she did, but hometown hero Michelle Merand, as well as Chelsey Hughes, edged her out. Katrin finished fifth in that event and the points are now extremely close heading into the final day.

As has become the norm with the men in this competition, you can’t just look to the final heat for stellar performances. As the event progressed we saw a very strong top six qualify for the finals including Cole Sager, Jason Smith, Lucas Parker, Tim Paulson, and Anderon Primo - who had come out of the heat one. It was a tight battle in the middle of the floor between Primo and Parker, but the 24 year old Brazilian showed a little more poise in the end and secured the victory. Parker took a much needed second place, and Tim Paulson, matching his performance in the Speed Clean and Jerk ladder from last year’s CrossFit Games, placed third.

It was an exciting finish to a day that was entertaining throughout. The athletes will surely be feeling the effects of today’s event and there’s still one more day to go! Individual standings after day three of competition are very tight setting up what ought to be a thrilling finish:


  1. Kartin Davidsdottir (576)
  2. Mia Akerlund (570)
  3. Alessandra Pichelli (566


  1. Cole Sager (514)
  2. Sean Sweeney (508)
  3. Andre Houdet (500)

Team Competition:

Today featured five scored events for teams. They began with a couple of relay events back to back which included sandbag carries, running, and all the Concept 2 erg equipment we’ve become familiar with. Later on another couplet of events took place including some max lifting and a conga line style gymnastics event with toes to bar, muscle ups, and handstand walking. To close out the day they laid it all on the line with a nasty four person deadlift bar and synchronized burpees.

The international teams Vondelgym and Superheroproject have really separated themselves from the rest of the competition. Vondelgym has yet to finish worse than 4th in any event and has what appears to be a comfortable 100 point lead over Superheroproject. However, with so many (88) teams in the field, the scoring system for teams is on a 300 point scale. One bad finish can mean a massive scoring difference. Knowing this both teams will need to come out firing tomorrow because if they don’t qualify here, they likely won’t be competing at a team in Madison this summer.

South African team Jacked Rebels sit third, and it’s refreshing to see them holding their own against the stiff competition that has traveled down for the event. In addition to the battle for the top spot and invitation to the CrossFit Games, there will be a battle for the final podium spot tomorrow between them and Iceland’s CrossFit XY, who are currently only 35 points out of third position.

  1. Vondelgym (1536)
  2. Superheroproject (1436)
  3. Jacked Rebels (1297)