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Timbersports comes to St Kilda

Lawrence O’Toole

Australia’s top STIHL TIMBERSPORTS athletes will be chopping and sawing at the Melbourne’s St Kilda foreshore on Saturday 8 May vying for the 2021 Australian Trophy & Australian Women’s Championship. Source: Timberbiz

The Australian Trophy was the last competition in the global series to be contested live and viewed by a crowd, taking place in early March 2020 before strict lockdown laws put all events on hold.

The Trophy format is the sport’s most physically demanding competition; athletes are required to chop and saw four logs in four different disciplines back-to-back in gruelling knockouts. The top athletes aim to do so in under 60 seconds.

Victoria’s Laurence O’Toole and Brayden Meyer battled it out in the 2020 Australian Trophy Grand Final. Mr O’Toole was the victor by the narrowest of margins, booking his spot at the World Trophy, which was to be held in Austria last May. Unfortunately, as the pandemic worsened the World Trophy was cancelled, so he did not get the chance to battle for another world title.

“It’s great to have a competition in the calendar for 2021, hopefully travel restrictions locally allow the competition to go ahead and we can have a decent crowd too. I’m not expecting to be able to travel to the World Trophy if I win again, but that doesn’t affect my will to win, I’ve won the Australian Trophy two years in a row now so it would be great to continue my winning streak,” Mr O’Toole commented.

Mr O’Toole will be competing against 13 athletes with his biggest competition coming from fellow Victorian and 2019 World Champion Brayden Meyer, three-time World Trophy winner Brad De Losa from New South Wales and two-time Australian Trophy winner Mitch Argent from Queensland.

“The Trophy format is one I really enjoy. It’s a challenge both physically and mentally, one slip-up or one lapse in concentration in this knock-out format and bang! You’re going home. I’m sure Brayden, Brad and Mitch will be looking to stop my winning streak,” Mr O’Toole said.

The event will also host the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Australian Women’s Championship for the first time, with the competition usually held in the second half of the year brought forward to take place in May.

Event Director Lee Gooch was excited to be able to recognise the country’s top female athletes in this sport.

“It was unfortunate that we couldn’t hold a women’s championship in 2020 due to the pandemic, but it’s great to bring the competition forward to May to coincide with the Australian Trophy. The crowd at St Kilda last year was amazing, with over 5000 people turning out over the course of the day. Many were disappointed that the event didn’t run for longer, so we are adding the women’s championship to give the fans what they want; more axe-ion!”

Amanda Beams will be looking to defend her 2019 Australian Championship title against five of the country’s top sportswomen.

Ms Beams’ fiercest rival, three-time runner-up Maddie Kirley (Victoria) is expecting a baby. And while Ms Kirley is unable to compete, victory won’t be a walk in the park for Beams who will go against Renee Retschalg, Jodie Beutel and Katrina Head (Queensland), Adele Deverell (Victoria) and Kris Brown (Tasmania).

Event details:

Date: Saturday 8th May 2021

Location: St Kilda Foreshore (between Republica & Stokehouse)

Parking: Available at Palais Theatre (fees apply)

Entry: Free (but limited to one person per sqm. Estimated 800-1000 people capacity)

Gates Open: 11:30am

Australian Trophy Time Trial: 12:00 – 12:45

Women’s Championship: 13:00 – 14:00

Australian Trophy: 14:30 – 17:00

All competitions will be streamed live on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Australia Facebook & YouTube Channels.