by John Plummer
Photography by Kevin Horton
You can view and buy images of this event here: https://www.ukbffphotos.com/2019/KENT-CLASSIC
Alternatively, you can buy all your images as a package by clicking here: https://www.ukbff.co.uk/ukbff-photos
The heat was on in Gravesend as almost 100 competitors took to the stage on a baking hot day.
It's safe to say some will be in the shake-up for trophies at the British Championships, which is now less than two months away, such was the standard.
Bodybuilding legend Kerry Kayes made a welcome return to the microphone as emcee. Among those also present were Time4Nutrition boss Paul Smith, British bodybuilding greats Steve Avery and Ian Dowe and former British champions Nicole Pitcher-Scott and Karen Spencer.
The event started with promoter Sarah Bridges making a surprise presentation to her husband, Bill, a former WWE wrestler, in recognition of his long-term support of the UKBFF.
The masters and weight classes featured some deep line-ups as the bodybuilders came out in force.
No less an expert than Ian Dowe, who has watched a lot of competitions and won numerous titles, rated the over 40s as the best he'd seen for a long time. Every guy brought it to the stage but it was impossible to ignore Seyed Ravanbakhsh, who took the title with a well peaked physique that popped to perfection. Amazing detail.
Seyed returned to take the over 90 kg open class and the overall, using his razor sharpness to defeat bigger men. Tim Merson, third in the over 90 kg, has a lot of muscle and a pleasing shape – if he gets tighter, especially in the midsection, he will be a top contender.
The over 50s also yielded quality. Runner-up Neal Wiles displayed tremendous leg development, with a quad sweep that defied logic for a man of his age. Bernard Alexander, the winner, wasn't as muscular but had an excellent shape and a small, tight midsection.
Martin Gorman's thick, tight muscularity took the up to 80 kg class and Szymon Skorski claimed first place in the up to 90 kg class.
The junior category that started the day wasn't as busy but the winner was no less impressive for it. Jordan Rutherford was tight, had a nice shape and good muscularity throughout, including his legs. He posed well too. An impressive showing from a young man with potential.
Jacob Hammond's hard, tattooed physique took first place in the intermediates. Jacob's quads were particularly striking.
Classic bodybuilding winner Michael Walsh had some seriously big legs for such a tall man. Runner-up Jake Watts was sharp in the hamstrings.
Classic physique winner Biernacki Waldemar was one of the day's stars. He was absolutely peeled and had a terrific shape, which he showed off with some outstanding poses, finishing with a Frank Zane-style hands-above-head pose after he collected his trophy.
Ricky Beckford is a three-time British masters champion who has represented the UK around the world. This was his first outing for some time and his physique still looked remarkably fresh and balanced. Anyone wanting to progress in men's physique should watch the way Ricky presents his physique,
Junior winner Justin Makil nailed his conditioning and displayed a fine taper too. Here's a young man with a rosy future, as he proved by doubling up to also win the open up to 173 cm height class.
Rock hard Simon Christou claimed first place in the over 179 cm height class. Simon was simply peeled. Both he and runner-up Adewale Balogun had fantastic shapes.
Lukasz Kaczmarczyk's classic taper and deep cuts helped him to victory in the up to 179 cm division.
Mehdi Tehrani's superb midsection earned top spot in muscular men's physique.
Bodyfitness winner Aimee Frost announced her arrival as a force on the British scene by winning both the bodyfitness and overall female title. Aimee has tremendous proportions and lovely crisp, clean lines. A great look for bodyfitness.
Pocket rocket Hannah Wares, a top six finisher at last year's British Championships, booked another crack at the up to 164 cm title at the biggest contest in the country. There isn't much of Hannah but what there is makes up one hell of a bikini fitness package, which is attractive, balanced and shapely.
Juta Bulay had a sensational day, winning the juniors and the up to 169 cm category. A tremendous shape and she was lean enough to display it to best effect.
Juta's success in the up to 169 cm height class relegated blonde beauty Charlotte Lewis to second.
Federica Wotton's teeny waist and impossibly long legs helped her win the over 169 cm height class.
Masters bikini fitness provided another epic top three. The winner, Zydeune Misiunaite, had the most fabulous legs, including diamond calves. Everything was perfectly chiselled.
Wellness was once again keenly fought. Stunning Amy Hymas was third; Sharna Richards-Blyth – one of last year's breakthrough stars – was second, showing her trademark full glutes and her best conditioning to date. But the attractive overall shape of Abby Best, complete with big quads, took first place.
Few women's physique competitors have made a bigger impression this year than Julia Hunter, who presented a healthy look, with excellent legs and back.
OVERALL FEMALE CHAMPION
OVERALL BODYBUILDING CHAMPION
1 Jordan Rutherford
2 Stefan Zapryanov
Junior Bikini Fitness
1 Juta Bulay
2 Karolina Markova
Junior Men's Physique
1 Justin Makil
2 Jack Jefferson
1 Abby Best
2 Sharna Richards-Blyth
3 Amy Hymas
also competed: Patricia John, Stacey Martin and Yasmin Benaleten.
Karin Pienaar competed as a guest.
Masters Bodybuilding over 40
1 Seyed Ravanbakhsh
2 Martin Gorman
3 Ben Macintyre
also competed: Keith Dellazarri, Mark Clements and Keith Evans
Masters Bodybuilding over 50
1 Bernard Alexander
2 Neal Wiles
3 Dave Whatley
also competed: Gary McCann and Keith Ishan
Masters Men's Physique
1 Ricky Beckford
1 Jacob Hammond
Masters Bikini Fitness
1 Zydeune Misiunaite
2 Maomi Remy
3 Samantha Duncan Smith
also competed: Florenda Mullinex, Zita Farkas-Andre, Tracey Doughty, Victoria Manley and Toni Charles
1 Adele Cullen
1 Michael Walsh
2 Jake Watts
3 Mitch Ward
also competed: Sam O'Shaughnessy, Marcin Taszczura and Naser Abdolahpour
1 Aimee Frost
Bodybuilding up to 80 kg
1 Martin Gorman
2 Alexandra Callin
3 Kevin Norris
also competed: Marcus Warner, Gary McCann, Mohammad Nasafi and Anthony Dacres
Bodybuilding up to 90 kg
1 Szymon Skorski
2 Ricky Thomas
3 Luke Davis
Bodybuilding over 90 kg
1 Seyed Ravanbakhsh
2 Mark Shaw
3 Tim Merson
also competed: Alexandru Calin and Marlow North
1 Julia Hunter
1 Biernacki Waldemar
2 Krishnaan Sivalingaratnam
3 Tomasz Zielinksi
Bikini Fitness up to 164 cm
1 Hannah Wares
2 Dehisa Ardeleah
3 Gerda Siaciulyte
also competed: Florenda Mullinex, Zane Zviedre, Georgina Bird, Toni Charles and Zydeune Misiunaite
Bikini Fitness up to 169 cm
1 Juta Bulay
2 Charlotte Lewis
3 Zuzana Tvrda
also competed: Leigh Purling, Samantha Duncan Smith, Zita Farkas-Andre, Karolina Markova and Elizabeth Markus
Bikini Fitness over 169 cm
1 Federica Wotton
2 Dovile Germanaite
3 Jennifer Brabbs
Muscular Men's Physique
1 Mehdi Tehrani
2 Deividas Katilvavas
Men's Physique up to 173 cm
1 Justin Makil
2 Carl Hicks
3 Robert Buckle
also competed: Neil Bailey, Chris Fellowes and Colin Marshall
Men's Physique up to 179 cm
1 Lukasz Kaczmarczyk
2 Vincent Samuel
3 Ali Rezaei
also competed: Jack Jefferson, Ben O'Dowd, Jay Gandecha and Kamil Wal, Alin Doean and Sagar Bk
Men's Physique over 179 cm
1 Simon Christou
2 Adewale Balogun
3 Mark Sharpling
also competed: Tam Sharp