Tribal Clash returned to North Wollongong Beach for the second time in February 2020, ready to repeat the success of the inaugural tournament in 2019. Many of the top teams from Tribal Clash Australia 2019 returned to fight it out for the top spot, including ‘Show Up Blow Up’, ‘Turbo Clan’, ‘Sandy Snakes’ and ‘WOD OUT’, as well as new challengers including some of whom flew in from the UK and USA. Over the weekend, it was announced that the top teams from Tribal Clash Australia would win the chance to compete alongside teams from the other 2020 tournaments at the World Final later in the year.
As well as using some equipment that had been used in 2019 including the log worm, atlas stones and the Tribal Clash sandworm, competitors also experienced some events which are familiar to European competitors, including running with a 6 handled log and flipping tyres.
Here’s a look back at an epic weekend!
DAY ONE – SATURDAY 15TH FEBRUARY
EVENT 1: FRANKENSTEIN
Tribal Clash Australia 2020 kicked off with a couplet which combined rope climbs and thrusters using the iconic log worm. Teams completed 42 synchro log worm thrusters and 21 rope climbs, 30 synchro log worm thrusters and 15 rope climbs, and finally 18 synchro log worm thrusters and 9 rope climbs. This gave an early introduction into the importance of teamwork and communication, as all athletes had to stay in perfect synchronicity on the thrusters in order for the reps to count. It also gave individuals the chance to shine, as the rope climbs could be divided however the teams decided. The final score was time if teams completed the workout, or number of reps if they reached the 12 minute time cap.
The early leaders were ‘The Nonprophets’, an international super team whose captain Michael Blevins came from the USA to compete alongside CrossFit Games athlete Khan Porter, Tribal Clash UK veteran Lee Phillips and Ski Erg world record holder Kate Hilliar. Also in the top three were ‘Starr Strength’ and ‘Show Up Blow Up’ from CrossFit Athletic in Sydney, second place finishers at Tribal Clash Australia 2019.
Event 1 leaderboard
1 The Nonprophets (10:04)
2 Starr Strength (10:07)
3 Show Up Blow Up (10:37)
Eleven teams finished within the 12 minute time cap.
For those that didn’t complete the workout, the average number of points was 107 (42 thrusters, 21 rope climbs, 30 thrusters and 14 rope climbs).
EVENT 2: THE LOG JOG
Event 2 started immediately after Event 1 finished and introduced a favourite piece of equipment from European Tribal Clashes, the 6 handled log. Teams had to carry the log around a marked course on the beach three times, with all athletes holding onto the log at all times. This was a great test of communication and determination – teams could only go at the pace of the slowest athlete, and the stronger athletes had to understand just how far they can push their teammates before they reach their limit.
Event 2 leaderboard
1 Starr Strength (06:46)
2 Show Up Blow Up (07:08)
3 Beached Whales (07:09)
Average time: 10:07
After two events, ‘Starr Strength’ was in first place, ‘Show Up Blow Up’ was in second place and ‘The Nonprophets’ were in third place.
EVENT 3: HÁLFSTERKUR
Event 3 was a test of gymnastic ability and raw strength as well as strategy. Teams divided into male and female subteams, taking it in turns to work during four intervals. During their intervals, all members of each subteam had to get up and over two wooden beams in order to reach an atlas stone at the opposite end of their lane, where they then accumulated as many atlas stone lifts to the shoulder as possible. Males lifted a 72kg stone, females lifted a 45kg stone. Strategy was important if not all athletes could get over the wooden beams unassisted, as team mates were not allowed to go back under the beams to help each other until they had reached the atlas stone and made a successful lift. To add to the complexity of the workout, all team members had to reach the atlas stone and attempt a lift in order for any of the reps in that interval to count.
Some teams struggled to score any points at all in this event, either because team members simply couldn’t get up and over the bam or because the atlas stones were too heavy for them – both great skills to work on for next year!
Winners of this event were’ Shut Up Butter U’p, another international team featuring special guests The Buttery Bros (Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers) along with athletes who first competed together at Tribal Clash USA 2019 – Charlie Cust, another Tribal Clash veteran who has previously stood on the podium three times, Erin Blevins and Nikki Carlin O’Laskey who both flew in from the USA to take part, and Georgina Andrews who was part of team ‘Show Up Blow Up’ at Tribal Clash Australia 2019.
Event 3 leaderboard
1 Shut Up Butter Up (89 reps)
= 2 Show Up Blow Up (72 reps)
= 2 The Nonphrophets (72 reps)
Average score: 23 reps
After three events, ‘Show Up Blow Up’ moved into first placed, ‘Starr Strength’ moved down into second place and ‘The Nonprophets’ remained in third place.
EVENT 4: WALK IT OUT
Event 4 was the final event of day one and may have seemed familiar to competitors at Tribal Clash Australia 2019. The event consisted of a paired wheelbarrow walk buy in, a log worm lunge around the entire arena then an AMRAP of synchro burpees over the log worm in the time remaining. This was the longest workout of the day, with each of these components having featured regularly at recent Tribal Clash tournaments. Athletes were able to rest during the wheelbarrow walks then again during the burpees, but all team members had to work in perfect synchronisation during the log worm lunge.
Entering the top three for the first time was ‘Train Hard Play Harder’, a team from CrossFit Play in Sydney featuring former CrossFit Games athlete Courtney Fitz-Harris.
Event 4 leaderboard
1 The Nonphrophets (243 reps)
2 Starr Strength (239 reps)
3 Train Hard Play Harder (236 reps)
Average score: 119 reps
After four events, ‘The Nonprophets’ and ‘Starr Strength’ were in joint first place and Show Up Blow Up moved down into third place.
DAY TWO - SUNDAY 16TH FEBRUARY
EVENT 5: THE CANNIBAL RUN
Day two started with a team ocean swim with a rescue board, followed immediately by an individual run along the beach of approximately 4km. The score for each team was the total combined time for all athletes.
‘Show Up Blow Up’ achieved their first event win of the weekend, followed by fellow Tribal Clash Australia 2019 competitors ‘Sandy Snakes’ and ‘Turbo Clan’.
Event 5 leaderboard
1 Show Up Blow Up (02:08:55)
2 Sandy Snakes (02:09:21)
3 Turbo Clan (02:09:38)
Average combined team time: 02:32:15
Fastest individual time: 00:18:57 (Chris’ Clashers)
Average individual time: 00:26:31
After five events, ‘Show Up Blow Up’ returned to first place with ‘The Nonphrophets’ in second and ‘Starr Strength’ in third.
EVENT 6: JACKED ‘N’ STACKED
This event started exactly 30 minutes after the start of Event 5, even if not all members had returned from the run. This is one of our favourite events, having first featured in Tribal Clash UK in 2015. Teams had to unstack six tyres, flip them down the lane and restack at the opposite end, repeating as many times as possible in 12 minutes. Usually, it’s essential for the team to have a solid strategy and figure out how they use all six team members to move the tyres as fast as possible. This time there was a twist as teams were able to start without all their athletes, meaning that they had to be flexible and adaptable to make use of the team members that were currently available. The majority of athletes returned from the individual run in time to start the event, although they may have only had a couple of minutes to rest.
Event 6 leaderboard
1 The Nonprophets (72 reps, 02:18 tie break)
2 Turbo Clan (72 reps, 02:37 tie break)
3 Come at me Beaches (70 reps, 02:11 tie break)
Average score: 52 reps
After six events, there was no change to the overall leaderboard – ‘Show Up Blow Up’ remained in first place, ‘The Nonphrophets’ in second and ‘Starr Strength’ in third.
EVENT 7: ENTER SANDMAN
This event was very simple. Teams had 7 minutes to accumulate as many ground to overhead reps as possible with the Tribal Clash sandworm. Those that had competed at a previous Tribal Clash tournament already knew that synchronicity was key – if they got out of time while trying to lift the sandworm, it felt far heavier than it actually was!
Winners of this event were ‘Turbo Clan’, third place finishers at Tribal Clash Australia 2019, who managed an average of 10 reps each minute.
Event 7 leaderboard
1 Turbo Clan (70 reps)
= 2 Starr Strength (62 reps)
= 2 Mystery Alley (62 reps)
Average score: 41 reps
After 7 events, again there was no change to the overall leaderboard – ‘Show Up Blow Up’ remained in first place, ‘The Nonphrophets’ in second and ‘Starr Strength’ in third.
QUARTER FINAL: THE STONE CARRY
In a repeat of the quarter final from Tribal Clash UK 2019, the top 36 teams after seven events proceeded to the Quarter-Final. The Quarter-Final had equal weighting to all events which had come before this, meaning that there was all to play for in this round.
The Quarter-Final saw the return of the atlas stones, but this time teams had to carry them up and down the lanes in a bear hug hold. Teams split into three pairs, each of which worked during four intervals of decreasing duration to shift the two atlas stones as far as they could. Some athletes struggled to even pick their stone up let alone move with it, while others were able to run with theirs quite comfortably. This seven and a half minute workout was a true test of grit and determination, with each athlete having to give it their all as every metre counted.
Event 8 leaderboard
1 Starr Strength (802.4m)
2 The Nonprophets (781.8m)
3 Show Up Blow Up (711.6m)
Average score: 546m
‘Starr Strength’, ‘The Nonphrophets’ and ‘Show Up Blow Up’ all tied for first place after this event.
SEMI FINAL: TUG OF WAR
The semi-final at Tribal Clash is always a tug-of-war and this year we saw matches going on for over 7 minutes! The top eighteen teams took part, with placings after the quarter final determining the pairings – first place pulled against eighteenth, second place pulling against seventeenth etc.
Of the top nine teams going into the semi-final, all won their match with the exception of ‘Full Jaguar’ from CrossFit Hurstville who lost out to ‘Mystery Alley’ of Be Athletic.
Here are the tug-of-war contests – teams in bold were the winners and went through to the final:
Show Up Blow Up vs CrossFit Lower Mountains
The Nonprophets vs Black Board Method
Starr Strength vs Rise
The Legendaries vs Westgate Warriors
Full Jaguar vs Mystery Alley
Turbo Clan vs Massive HQ
Train Hard Play Harder vs Jak me off I’m drowning
Sandy Snakes vs Wod Out
Shut Up Butter Up vs Beached Whales
Having already taken part in nine challenging events which challenged various aspects of fitness, the teams then had to work through a deceptively tough final.
Teams split into two subteams of three athletes, splitting their team however they liked. The first subteam had to complete 10 synchro atlas stone lifts to shoulder (2 athletes working) followed by one unassisted up and over per athlete, 10 rope climbs then another unassisted up and over per athlete. The three athletes then set off on an individual ocean swim around a marked course.
As soon as the first subteam had all set off on their swim, the second subteam could begin working. They also had to complete synchro atlas stone lifts, unassisted up and overs and rope climbs as above. Once all athletes had completed the second up and over, they then had to pick up the sandworm and proceed to carry it around the arena – the athletes from the first subteam could join in whenever they returned from their swim. Once the team had completed a full lap, they then had to pass the sandworm over each of the wooden beams without putting it down at all, and all athletes also had to pass over the wooden beams themselves. Once the sandworm had passed over the beams, they then had to complete 30 thrusters with the sandworm. Whichever team completed this work first was named the winner.
The synchro atlas stone lifts were the first big challenge as it was likely that in at least one of the subteams, only one person would be able to lift the heavy atlas stone. The up and overs proved to be another stumbling block for some teams, with at least one athlete from some of the top teams struggling to get over the beam unassisted, forcing them to attempt over and over again while their teammates could only stand and offer tips.
Speedy swimmers athletes in the first subteam returned from their swim before the second subteam had reached the sandworm so they were able to help with this from the outset. The final challenge was to pass the sandworm up and over the beam was another challenge for many teams…in the end the team that worked together the best and managed to transport the sandworm over the beam with relative ease was ‘Shut Up Butter Up’. They began their thrusters while other teams were still struggling to pass the sandworm over the beams, and went on to clinch victory by finishing all 30 reps a few minutes ahead of any other teams. After ‘Train Hard Play Harder’ finished in second place followed by ‘Sandy Snakes’ in third, the final ended and placings for the remaining teams were determined based on how far they had reached in the event.
Participants at Tribal Clash Australia 2020 came from a variety of fitness backgrounds, from first time competitors to CrossFit Games athletes. Competitors ranged in age from 18 to 56 years old, showing that the competition is suitable for all ages and abilities. A special mention goes to the whole tribe from CrossFit Hurstville, winners of the Tribal Spirit Trophy who came in force to support their nine teams, one of which made it to the semi final.
Five teams won at least one event over the weekend – eventual champions ‘Shut Up Butter Up’ won one event along with ‘Starr Strength’ and ‘Turbo Clan’, ‘Show Up Blow Up’ won two events and ‘The Nonprophets’ won three. The best finish for ‘Train Hard Play Harder’ was third place in Event 4, while the best finish for ‘Sandy Snakes’ was second place in Event 5.
The teams to watch all weekend were ‘The Nonprophets’, ‘Show Up Blow Up’ and ‘Starr Strength’, but they each slipped out of the top three in the brutal final which well and truly shook up leaderboard.
Winners ‘Shut Up Butter Up’ had experienced mixed results throughout the tournament, from winning Event 3 to coming 26th in Event 5 (in part due to receiving a substantial time penalty for a false start). Although four members of the team had competed together at Tribal Clash USA 2019, Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers were new additions who hadn’t previously experienced the competition’s unique equipment. After a savage tug of war which lasted over seven minutes, the final allowed the team to work to their strengths and they came from behind to eventually take the top spot.
Huge congratulations to all the teams that survived the weekend, particularly those that made it all the way to the final!
View the full Tribal Clash Australia 2020 leaderboard here: https://competitioncorner.net/ff/1954/results