The Stihl Festival of Logging has been a firm fixture at the New Zealand Fieldays for more than 20 years celebrating all things to do with chainsaws. Source: Stuff.co.nz
Co-ordinator Wayne Jones said that there has always been a good turnout of competitors for the event, and not all of them loggers.
This year Jones said that if the usual suspects show again there will be close to 60 entrants.
“We have always had a good turnout of competitors from all walks of life. Last year we had 10 entries in the ladies race, unfortunately this year one has gone overseas, one is caring for her convalescing mother and another will be officiating, so in total we will have seven if new faces don’t show,” he said.
Among those returning will be last year’s winner of the ladies race, Tokoroa’s Kylee Treadaway.
She has been a regular at the Festival of Logging since she took up the sport nine years ago. Having taken the title for the previous two years she will be providing some strong competition this year for other competitors.
Jones says all of last year’s winners, Jason Sheen (Pukekohe) Woodsplit event winner, Robbie Paniora (Dargaville) Hotsaw winner, and William Hurst winner of the Barfit event will be back this year as well as team winners, Cutter Club Silver from Tokoroa.
Several competitions will be held over the four days, all designed to showcase contestants’ skills in events such as block-splitting, the standing chop, crosscut saws, wood-splitting races and chainsaw skills team relays.
Events in logging skills will be held on Wednesday and Saturday, with the Timbersport skills being held on Thursday and Friday.
Mr Jones said that having to work on the Saturday is usually the only thing that prevents loggers from competing each year, and that the weather determines numbers for other days.
This year, well-known chainsaw sculptor Peter Hardie, will be creating sculptures inside the Stihl marquee. Each piece will be shaped and crafted using only a chainsaw, then smoothed with an angle grinder.
Mr Hardie, who has an eye for detail and love of natural timbers, has been chainsaw carving since 2008.
Visitors to the marquee will not only have the opportunity to see Hardie creating his sculptures, but also the chance to buy them.
Mr Jones said the logging is always popular with the crowds and there will be plenty of action and events for people to watch.
He is also proud of their safety record at the Fieldays.
“We have never had an accident, even though the competitors all push hard to get a favourable result,” he said.