Assured: Digby arm wrestler pulling for three belts in Truro

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on January 11, 2016

Digby’s Phil Carty reacts after successfully defending his right hand heavy weight Battle of the Atlantic belt at the Lobster Bash in Digby on July 4.

©Jonathan Riley

DIGBY – Phil Carty is looking to double or possibly triple the number of championship belts hanging on the wall of his livingroom.

The Digby scallop fisherman and Canadian arm wrestling champion will be defending his Battle of the Atlantic right hand heavyweight belt at the Engine Room in Truro on Jan. 16.

But he has also won the right to challenge for both the left and right middleweight belts.

For both middleweight belts, he will be pulling against Jim McGeoghegan of PEI, the younger brother of PEI MLA and former world champion arm wrestler Charlie McGeoghegan.

“I think I’m guaranteed the belts,” said Carty. “I told him to shine them bad boys up – have them ready.”

Carty normally weighs about 210 pounds and has usually competed in the heavyweight class for men over 200 pounds.

But in November, for the Battle of the Atlantic XVI at Bubba Ray’s in Bedford, he showed up weighing 200 pounds.

“Instead of being the lightest heavyweight, I was the heaviest middleweight,” he said. “And it worked to my advantage. It was just a breeze and I went undefeated with both arms.”

Carty used a strict diet and a lot of water before the tournament to shed the extra pounds and wants to remain a middleweight.

Mark MacPhail, a seven-time Canadian champion from Ben Eoin, Cape Breton will challenge Carty for his right hand heavyweight belt.

Carty took the belt from MacPhail in Oct. 2014.

“He is someone to take pretty serious,” said Carty. “He hits like a horse. He was in a match one time and I saw him spit out a piece of his tooth.

“He bore down so hard, he broke a tooth – he had one of those mouthguards in and still there was so much pressure he broke a tooth.”

Carty says his lighter bodyweight may not help in his match against MacPhail.

“He is one of the top arm wrestlers in Canada,” said Carty. “I beat Mark for the belt so it will be different – it all comes down to whoever get the hook set first.

“It would be sweet to come down the Valley with three belts - where would I put them all?”

PEI armwrestlers dominate

Charlie McGeoghegan will challenge his brother Pat for the left hand heavyweight belt.

Donovan Crouse of Beaconsfield, Annapolis County will challenge Andrew Duncanson of PEI for the left lightweight belt; and Ben Best of Coldbrook will challenge Brett MacDonald of PEI for the right light.

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Aug. 2012 – Carty is eating poutine and haddie bits at Pearls Take Out in Paradise and sees a poster for armwrestling at Lawrencetown exhibition. He enters and wins.

April 2013 – Carty wins third place with right hand at Atlantic Canadian championships.

February 2014 – Carty promises a championship belt or a trophy in 2014.

May 2014 – Carty wins double gold (right and left) at the Canadian Arm Wrestling Championships in Charlottetown in 90 kg Masters (over 40) class.

October 2014 – Carty beats Mark MacPhail to win the Battle of the Atlantic (BOTA) championship belt in the heavy weight right hand class.

Jan. 2015 – Carty defends his right hand heavy weight BOTA belt against Jon Thompson.

May 2015 – Carty wins gold both left and right at Canadian Nationals in the 90 kg Masters class and bronze both left and right at the 90kg open class.

July 2015 – Carty defends his BOTA right hand heavy weight belt against Rob MacNamara at Lobster Bash.

Nov. 2015 – Carty wins elimination tournaments for right and left hand for the right to challenge (in January) for the Battle of Atlantic middleweight belts.