You might have seen this competition on ESPN while channel surfing. Also, you night have stopped when discovering this and watched for a while. It's one of the events that can transfix the viewer for a few reasons.
One being it's different from the usual fare.
The second is the fact that men and women do this.
And third, the strength and endurance of these athletes.
It will make you asks questions for sure.
It is the Lumberjack Competition, and the World Championships are upon us.
This weekend in Hayward, Wisconsin, the competitors will gather to compete in many events, which is also a test of strength and endurance. The very idea of competing in one event, let alone numerous ones, is akin to completing a marathon.
Noting that, recently in Clinton, Iowa, there was a first-time competition for the town located along the Mississippi River. The lumberjacks came in and competed, right near the Sawmill Museum, home of the history of the timber industry in the Midwest. The museum will be opened soon and filled with the rich history (including a working sawmill) and an interactive trip down the mighty Mississippi River. The museum will contain many innovative items which will bring the visitor on a journey of the industry which many worked right here in the Midwest.
"The Sawmill Museum reflects an important part of Clinton Iowa’s history. A history rich in the tradition of hardworking individuals and industrial giants." - Mayor Rodger Holm (Clinton, Iowa)
The Sawmill Museum in Clinton, Iowa, is poised to become a nationally significant cultural, historic, and environmental learning center. Envisioned as a world-class, interactive museum experience highlighting the dynamic history and culture of Clinton, Iowa, and the surrounding region, visitors will be able to explore and better understand the importance of forests and wood products in our lives.
Telling a balanced story of the lumber and forestry industries’ past, The Sawmill Museum will also provide a setting for dialogue between government, industry, environmental groups, and private citizens about our shared future.
Their fund raising efforts are helped by people who know the importance of understanding our past to build a better, shared future.
The timing for the Clinton, Iowa, show, could not have been better. To many of the competitors it served as a warm up for the World Championships. For the spectators, it was that perfect day to get out on a sun-drenched day, while along paying a small price to get in. While all the events of the World Championships were not part of the day, there was enough to make it last from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. And for a price, as noted, not near what it takes to get in for the full competition. It was something fans and the competitors themselves hope becomes an annual event.
Among the events in Clinton Iowa were:
Women's Single Buck
Sixteen-inch white pine logs are used, and all cross-cut sawing events are against time. A starting cut arc is allowed in the competition.
Women's Underhand Chop
Using a single bit pinned axe, competitors chop through a horizontal aspen log, 11 inches in diameter and 15-28 inches long.
Underhand Block Chop
Using a five-pound single-bit axe, competitors chop through a horizontal aspen log 12 inches in diameter and 28 inches long.
Standing Block Chop
Using a five-pound single-bit axe, competitors chop through a vertical standing aspen log 12 inches in diameter and 28 inches long.
This event combines the skills of the chopper and the high climber. Out in the forest this technique enables a working lumberjack to reach softer wood above the tough and knotty base of a tree marked for cutting. Contestants climb a height of nine feet using two springboard placements and chop through a 12-inch diameter aspen log mounted on the top of the spar pole.
A single sawyer uses a one-man bucking saw to cut through a 20-inch diameter white pine log.
Two sawyers working as a team use a two-man bucking saw to cut through a 20-inch diameter white pine log. Double buck team consists of two men. A starting cut arc is allowed.
Jack and Jill Sawing
Bucking contests consist of a man and woman and are against time. Starting cuts of no more than one-half inch deep, in order to set the teeth of the saw, are allowed. Logs must be cut completely through.
A single sawyer using a single-cylinder, single-motor power saw makes three vertical cuts- down, up and down'through a 20-inch diameter white pine log. This one-man contest is strictly against time. Chainsaws may be warmed up prior to the contest, but must be turned off before the contest begins. Neither self starting nor impulse-type push button starters nor twin motors are allowed. A starter gives the countdown and on the signal 'GO', competitors start their saws and make the three cuts. The contest ends when the third slice is severed. All cuts must be complete. Starting cuts of no more than one-half inch deep, in order to set the teeth of the saw, are allowed. Logs must be cut completely through. Timing starts on the signal 'GO' and ends when the block is severed. The wood is 20' white pine.
Hayward Event - July 29-31 2011
The Lumberjack World Championships® is recognized as the premier timber sporting event in the nation where lumberjacks and lumberjills from around the world including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Czech Republic come to compete for the gold.
The Lumberjack World Championships® began in 1960 as a way to acknowledge the rich history of the logging industry across the United States. Work day skills that were perfected in the forests of the nation became a past-time and soon grew into an exciting and growing sporting event. From the Lumberjack World Championships®, now trademarked in Hayward, Wisconsin, to the ESPN's Great Outdoor Games, lumberjack sports has increased in popularity with loyal fans and competitors from across the globe.
The Sawmill Museum
An American Lumber Experience
P.O. Box 3191
2231 Grant Street
Clinton, IA 52733-3191
For more on the Hayward Event:
To order by phone call: (715) 634-2484
Lumberjack World Championships®
PO Box 666
Hayward, WI 54843