STIHL: New Zealander triumphs as world’s best competitive lumberjack

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Jason Wynyard from New Zealand once again showed his class in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship 2014: Wynyard commandingly won the title with record times with the axe and the saw and emerged decisively ahead of the other competitors. A total of twelve athletes from the same number of nations took part in the World Championship in front of more than 3,500 spectators at the sell-out Innsbruck Olympiahalle.

A final cut with the 80hp racing chain saw, the wooden disc falls down – and the new world champion is crowned: Jason Wynyard from New Zealand is the best competitive lumberjack of the world. Technically exact, vigorous and fast at the same time, thus the 1.95 meter giant made his way through the three and half hours of the competition consisting of six disciplines with the axe and the saw. He took the lead of the 12-strong team of athletes in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship 2014 in Innsbruck, Austria, at an early stage. In total, it was for the sixth time that the New Zealander won the desired trophy and regained the title of a world champion that he had lost to the Australian Brad DeLosa at the World Championship of the previous year in Germany. Only the third place was left for DeLosa in Innsbruck after having fluffed in the last discipline Hot Saw racing chain saw. Thus, roles reversed: Whereas Australia was still out in front in the Team World Championship the day before, New Zealand dominated on the second day of the competition. Czech Martin Komárek was awarded second place. World Champion Jason Wynyard was delighted by his victory: “That is really a satisfying day for me compared to the day yesterday which was a very hard one. I dedicate my victory to my team! Together with my team, I will regain the team title next year.” Brad DeLosa, however, was dissatisfied with his performance: “Of course, I am disappointed. At the Hot Saw, my saw failed at the third cut as my approach was too aggressive. But I do congratulate Jason to his victory.” Komárek, placed second, rejoiced:“I am very proud of my seventh World Championship medal! The competition was very tough, my competitors becoming stronger and stronger. I did not dare to dream of it , but i it is real: I am Vice World Champion.

All in all, the 12-strong field from Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand put up a fierce struggle for the podium places. New Zealander Wynyard powered ahead right from the start to lead the field. He continued to gradually build that lead with strong performances with the axe and saw winning in three out of six disciplines with best times. It was only in the Stock Saw chain saw discipline, that he ended up in the midrange. The competition was more turbulent for Australian DeLosa: Up to the finals, he was close on the heels of his hardest competitor, but lost the decisive scores by way of disqualification at the Hot Saw racing chain saw. German Dirk Braun suffered a similar fate: three successful disciplines brought him on course for a medal. But he lost the necessary scores by way of disqualification and bad performance in two other disciplines. Finally, he saved the fourth place due to a record time at the Hot Saw. “The disqualification at the Stock Saw was anything else but fine, especially, as I use to be one of the best in this discipline. Much more would have been achievable today, if that had worked. Anyhow, I am very pleased, not least because of the fact that I now do hold all German records.” In total, thirteen national records were beaten by the athletes from the USA, Canada, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Australia and the Czech Republic.

The individual competition follows a round system: The best performance in all six disciplines counts. One poor round means that the respective athlete is out, with no chance to make up for it with strong performances in other disciplines. In Innsbruck, in the first round the twelve individual athletes competed in the disciplines of Underhand Chop (axe), Stock Saw (chain saw) and Standing Block Chop (axe) to qualify for round 2, There, the eight best performers had to prove themselves in Single Buck (cross-cut saw) and Springboard (axe). The top six then went head to head in the final, on the Hot Saw racing chain saw. World Champion Jason Wynyard secured the title with 76 points after three rounds. The second and third placed contenders scored 58 and 56 points, respectively.

More than 3,500 spectators packed the sell-out Innsbruck Olympiahalle on day two of the competition to share the excitement with the athletes. This was the tenth STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship, held in the Tyrol for the second time, after 2010 in St. Johann. Previous venues for the elite division of lumberjack sports include the USA, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland.

Spectacular disciplines thrill spectators

The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Series is a competition series in lumberjack sports, a contest with a long tradition. The history of the earliest competitions dates back to 1870. The first Woodchopping World Championships took place in Tasmania in 1891. Four of the six disciplines were already included in the competitions back in those days. From there, timber sports took off around the world. Even today, nearly all the disciplines – three with the axe and three with the saw – go back to traditional forestry activities. All the disciplines revolve around the athlete and his handling of the sports equipment and the wood. In the individual World Championship competition in Innsbruck and also in the 15 national championships that take place worldwide between May and October, the athletes have to tackle six disciplines – Springboard, Stock Saw, Standing Block Chop, Single Buck, Underhand Chop and Hot Saw – one after the other. In contrast, the relay competition for the World Championship does not include Springboard or Hot Saw. The elite division of lumberjack sports has a live audience of up to 10,000 people, with millions of enthusiasts regularly following the competitions on Eurosport and other television channels around the world.


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Stihl Timbersports World Championship 2014