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Wednesday.July 12.2017 Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

FRIDAY, JULY 14, TO SUNDAY, JULY 16 LOGGERS MEMORIAL BOWL WILLINGDON BEACH


2 Wednesday.July 12.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

Ready, set, chop

Lumberjacks battle for world and national titles SHANE CARLSON shane@prpeak.com

Lumberjacks from across Canada and around the world have descended upon Powell River to showcase their skills and compete against the best the sport has to offer over three days this weekend. Novice, intermediate and open category competitors will battle for supremacy in more than 30 events while displaying expertise and experience gained over many years of working in the forest industry. In addition to five world championships and 13 Canadian titles to compete for at this year’s show, the men and women entered will also pursue a prize purse totalling more than $80,000. Logger sports competitions pay homage to the history of forestry and logging. Exciting, fast-paced events originated in logging camps more than 100 years ago and highlight the longevity and importance of the industry.

Powell River Logger Sports events including the following: Axe throw

Hand bucking

Standing 20 feet from a 36-inch target placed five feet off the ground, competitors throw a double-bladed axe four times each; the top three results are added for a total score. A bull’s eye earns a maximum five points with values decreasing incrementally to one point throughout the outer rings. If the axe sticks, it counts.

Classes of hand bucking include single, double and Jack and Jill. Competitors use a crosscut saw to cut through a log as fast as possible. Assistance is provided by using lubricant on the saw and pressing a wedge into the top of the cut.

Chair carving

Using a high-performance saw with a maximum 140cc, competitors cut a large block with two cuts, one above and one below. Regulations for this loud event allow for some modifications to the saws.

While using a chainsaw under 100cc, competitors use their strength and knowledge to cut three pieces off the end of an 18-inch log.

Consisting of one female, two novices/ intermediates and one open competitor, each team displays its proficiency using axes, chokers, chainsaws and crosscut saws to complete multiple challenges. While strength and determination come into play in all areas, overall speed determines the winner.

Obstacle Pole

Springboard Chop

In a timed event, competitors’ skills are tested as they run with their chainsaws along a log fixed at an angle. At the other

Classes of springboard include two boards, four boards and two person. Competitors cut two notches into one side

Husky Challenge

Welcome participants and families

This physically demanding and strenuous event features climbers ascending an 80-foot pole using a rope and spurs before quickly descending back down before their opponent reaches the bottom. Top-notch competitors complete this exciting event in 20 seconds or less.

Underhand Chop Strength is an important factor in determining the winner of this event, but technique comes into play as well. Standing on footholds cut into an anchored block, competitors chop halfway through the block before turning around to complete the chopping from the other side.

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Relay

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In this physically demanding race, competitors run through an obstacle course carrying a 34-kilogram, eight-metre-long choker. The choker must be set to a log before returning to the starting line as quickly as possible.

Competitors precisely cut three pieces off the end of an 18-inch log, within six inches of each other, using a 100cc chainsaw.

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Chokerman’s race

100cc PNE Cut

of a tree. Once the board has been set, intermediate competitors climb on and chop halfway through the tree, then turn and chop through the rest of the way. Openclass competitors climb down at the halfway point and repeat the whole process on the other side of the tree until the block falls.

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Using only a chainsaw and one piece of wood, competitors carve out the best chair they can produce within a time frame of four minutes. Judges determine a winner based on appearance. Artistry and speed are important factors in this event.

Hot Saw

end, after starting their saws, matching cuts are placed into each side of the log until a piece comes off. Competitors then shut down their saws and race back to the other end.


3 Wednesday.July 12.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

Powell River Logger Sports schedule Friday, July 14, to Sunday, July 16 Loggers Memorial Bowl, Willingdon Beach 2 pm Gates open with a trade show, food and exhibitor booths and lucky program sales The following open events take place between 3-7 pm: Peter Couliver Memorial Chop World championship Chair Carve World championship Relay Event The following ladies events take place between 3-7 pm: Single Buck; Underhand The following kids events take place between 3-7 pm: Axe Throw Chokerman’s Race Approximately 7 pm Awards ceremony

Saturday, July 16 10 am Gates open with a trade show, food and exhibitor booths and lucky program sales 12 pm Opening ceremonies begin with the singing of “O Canada” and speeches by dignitaries The following novice events take place throughout the day: Tree Climb Canadian championship Axe Throw

Obstacle Pole Canadian championship Underhand Chop Husky Stock Saw Challenge Canadian championship Standing Block Chop

The following intermediate events take place throughout the day: Canadian championship Standing Block Chop Underhand Chop Springboard Chop (two boards) Canadian championship Chokerman’s Race Canadian championship Double Buck The following ladies events take place throughout the day: Axe Throw Chokerman’s Race The following open event takes place throughout the day: World championship Twoperson Springboard

Sunday, July 16 10 am Gates open with a trade show, food and exhibitor booths and lucky program sales. The following open events take place throughout the day: World championship Axe Throw Canadian championship Underhand Chop Obstacle Pole Canadian championship Springboard (four boards) Canadian championship Double Buck Single Buck Chokerman’s Race Jack and Jill Canadian championship 10cc PNE Cut World championship Hot Hot Saw Canadian championship Stock Saw Standing Block Chop The following ladies event takes place throughout the day: Canadian Championship Jill and Jill

2 pm High Tree Act on the 80-foot poles

1 pm Judging begins for chainsaw carving competition

Approximately 4 pm Awards ceremony

2 pm High Tree Act on the 80-foot poles

7 pm Powell River Logger Sports Dinner and Dance at Carlson Community Club with local band Shattered

Approximately 3 pm Awards ceremony 4 pm Closing ceremonies and grand prize draw

For more information, go to powellriverloggersports.com

Admission and information Powell River Logger Sports Saturday and Sunday daily admission is $10 for a family of two adults and two kids, $5 for anyone over 12, and $3 for age 12 and under. Friday admission is by donation to Powell River Action Centre Food Bank. Lucky programs are available for $3 and include prize draws. A logging truck’s worth of firewood will be auctioned off each day to the highest bidder.

POWELL RIVER LOGGER SPORTS JULY 14 TO 16

See you there

Chainsaw art carvers will be featured at the Willingdon Beach gravel parking lot during the event. Starting on Thursday afternoon, July 13, chainsaw carvers from all over North America will begin their carvings. A shuttle will be available Friday to Sunday between the upper Powell River Recreation Complex parking lot and Willingdon Beach to avoid parking congestion at the beach.

See you at the Loggers Memorial Bowl

ANDY RICE Peak contributor

If not the small army of volunteers, the unsung heroes of Powell River Logger Sports might just be the two giant lathes that chisel each competition log block down to size. Consistency among competitors is key, and those smooth, golden-hued rounds are about the farthest thing from regular stock at the local lumber yard. By the time axe touches alder during the opening event of this year’s competition, dozens of assorted pieces will have passed through one of these 100-year-old machines to shed their bark and be ready for competition. Wood preparation is a tedious job, but one that makes all the difference to the event’s reputation on the world stage. “There are lots of shows where you just go out in the bush, cut down a few trees and give them a block; it’s not turned, it’s not cleaned up,” said Powell River Logger Sports vice president Art Lloyd. “That’s not the way we go about it. If it’s a competition, each one should be the same size, as fair as we can make it.” Alder is used for the chopping events, fir for power saws, pine for crosscut and hemlock for the springboard chop. All of it is generously donated by forest companies from within the community. “They’re interested in the show and they want to see it happen,” said Lloyd. Specifications vary according to each event, with diameters ranging from 10 inches up to 18 or more, and lengths of 30 inches all the way to eight feet. Each tree is carefully selected, felled, cut into blocks, hauled out of the forest and ripped down to size by local loggers and logger sports enthusiasts. From there, competitors are given their pick of the pile. Only the finest pieces will, quite literally, make the cut.

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4 Wednesday.July 12.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

local logger profile

jeff coburn

Welcome to Logger Sports

JASON SCHREURS publisher@prpeak.com

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Logger sports competitor Jeff Coburn debuted last year after being introduced to the sport by Bob Marquis, who was responsible for bringing the popular event back to Powell River. It did not take long for Coburn, a local faller and owner of Edgehill Timber, to rack up the championships, including two first-place and two second-place finishes last year, leading to him hitting the road to compete in other logger sports events. Special recognition went to Coburn at Willingdon B each’s L o g gers Memorial Bowl when he was awarded All-Around Logger, a trophy presented by Marquis in the honour of his brother Bill, who died in a logging accident.

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Let’s celebrate This community event recognizes the skill and talent of our loggers and honours the rich history of our region’s forests.

Welcome back competitors, families, volunteers and spectators Powell River is host to this great event that will showcase competitors’ high-calibre talents Participants, compete to the end Volunteers, thank you for your time and energy Spectators, enjoy, support and take pride

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Let the games begin!


5 Wednesday.July 12.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

idea what I do. The new idea of a logger is someone who sits on a machine and pulls levers, and there’s very few of us who are still out there with axes or chainsaws in our hands. Logger sports resembles the way it used to be for the whole industry, and the way it still is for me. These are skilled, inshape human beings who hit the axe where they want to, and pull that saw like they mean it.

How did it feel to be named the allaround logger last year? It was a neat because Bill was a faller and I’m a faller as well, and so is Bob, so it was cool to receive a trophy in honour of a faller, presented by a faller, to a faller.

Good luck to all the competitors

How did you first become involved in logger sports? I was doing some falling for Bob around the It’s physical and hard work, but is comtime when he was trying to bring back logger peting in logger sports still fun? It’s so much fun. The biggest surprise for sports to Powell River. He had secretly ordered this $10,000 hot saw from California. me was meeting the other competitors; One day the guy hand-delivered it to Bob what a good bunch of people. The ones who at his worksite do the circuit as a and Bob called major hobby, or It’s family, friends me and his son for a living, are Brett over at so helpful. They and fun, and it’s lunchtime and watch the new competitiveness. It’s an said, “Hey guys, guys and help us come and check learn, not just by all-around good time. this out!” We letting us make walked up to this mistakes, but saw and I had no idea about logger sports. with gear recommendations and tips and So we started running this saw and cut- pointers. ting wood with it and I was thinking, “This is pretty sweet,” when Bob asked us if we’d You ran the circuit yourself this past ever compete in logger sports. And we said, year. What was it like? “Absolutely!” and that’s how it all started for It was a blast. I did pretty well and it was me. tons of fun. I’ve been to seven events since last year’s show here in Powell River. It’s lot You work as a faller, but how is it differ- of learning, for sure. ent doing logger sports? It’s neat for people to see. I go and fall What does logger sports mean to you? trees in the bush and nobody sees it; they It’s family, friends and fun, and it’s comhave no idea what I do. I get dropped off by petitiveness. It’s an all-around good time. helicopter in the most secluded and beauti- You have to come see it and experience it in ful places in the world and no one has any order to truly understand it.

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6 Wednesday.July 12.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

local logger profile

WELCOME TO EVERYONE

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In one short year, Michelle Silvester has gone from being a volunteer at last year’s Powell River Logger Sports to competing in six different events all over BC. While Silvester, whose day job is at First Credit Union, did not compete in last year’s local event, she is entered in seven different categories this year. She also serves as Powell River Logger Sports Society’s treasurer and handles competitor registration and scorekeeping, along with Sherri Wiebe.

From Lolly and staff

And it’s in your blood as

PAPARAZZI PIZZA

What do your friends and family think of your involvement in logger sports? They are really supportive and excited as well. It’s something different and they are probably quite surprised that it went from me just volunteering to competing, but everyone has been totally behind me for travelling to compete in other events. It must be pretty exciting. Yes, and it’s learning new things and everyone is so supportive. We’ve also had some great people come up to Powell River and train us. With just beginning last year, and not knowing a whole lot about the sport, a lot of the competitors are more than willing to share their knowledge and it really is a great group of people, which has made it even easier for me. It’s like a family.

W hat brought you to Powell River Logger Sports? One of the reasons I started volunteering was my great-grandfather and grandfather both did logger sports, so I thought I’d go and help out. Now I’m competing and it’s like a huge family; you show up and everyone is so supportive, so it’s just easy to get into. When did it click that logger sports was something you wanted to do? Probably when we went out to practice with the local guys after last year’s event in Powell River. Julian Welp gave me some chainsaw training and it was just fun. It’s kind of addictive once you start.

PAPARAZZI PIZZA Welcome to Powell River

short year ago? It feels exciting and nervewracking at the same time.

well, with your family’s history. Yes, and it’s not like I planned on competing; I was just volunteering, but

it’s definitely lots of fun. How does it feel to be so immersed in something you were not doing just one

What does logger sports mean to you? I had a natural passion for it, and just being involved felt important because I had loggers in my family. As for competing, the challenge is great, but it’s also so much fun. And if you’re not winning, you’re still always learning. It’s a great exercise program as well.

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To say Powell River Logger Sports is important to local competitor Brett Marquis is an understatement. The fourthgeneration logger grew up immersed in the previous incarnation of the Powell River event, which was run by his father, Bob. Every year he participated in the kids’ competitions and also helped out with the cleanup crew. When logger sports returned to Willingdon Beach in 2016

after an 11-year hiatus, Marquis entered as an adult for the first time and claimed Canadian championships in two events: Novice Axe Throw and Intermediate Double Buck (with Jeff Coburn). Marquis, who works as a heavy equipment operator in the logging sector, will be on hand to defend both titles this weekend. When you hear the words “logger sports,” what do they mean to you? The first thing I think of is, “This is going to be a

blast.” I would also say fun and camaraderie. I grew up playing hockey and this is the closest thing I’ve felt to a team since. Even though we’re all individual competitors, even the people from out of town, you can go and ask anything and they will give you tips, hints and tricks. You can say “I need a screw, I need a bolt, I need a nut,” or, “Can I borrow your saw?” It is a family mentality. I love it; it’s great and the people are fantastic. Do you compete in all the events? Which is your

favourite? I do the majority of them. I would say my favourite event is the 100cc Hot Saw. Is Logger Sports something you have to train for or does it come naturally to you because of your job? A bit of both, really. If you want to be good at anything you have to put the time in, and training always helps with that. You have competed in other towns, is there the same kind of enthusiasm

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7 Wednesday.July 12.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

6« BRETT MARQUIS at those events as there was in Powell River last year? Some more than others. There are shows with only 100 to 200 people in the crowd. In Powell River, to have a couple thousand watching is pretty impressive. Competing in Powell River must be special, being born and raised here. Absolutely, there is nothing better than showing up and winning in front of your hometown. When you first heard logger sports was returning last year, what was that moment like for you? It was amazing to hear it was coming back and that I was going to have a chance to become a competitor again.

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Best wishes for a successful event to those

What does participating in logger sports mean to you? I get a lot of pride out of it. I’m a fourth-generation logger, so to go out there and do what my father, grandfather and his father before him did is special to me and my family.

competing in & supporting the 22nd annual Powell River Logger Sports competition

July 14-16, 2017

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8 Wednesday.July 12.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

Logger Sports 2017 Friday July 14, to Sunday, July 16

Welcome back Powell River Logger Sports Enjoy a weekend of fun, excitement, action and entertainment

Carvers will be starting on Thursday, July 13 Upper level

FREE ADMISSION Friday, July 14 with non perishable food items Gates open at 2 pm Friday

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Logger sports 2017  
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