Queensland's Jamie Head set the bar high in round one of the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Championship with a stellar performance in Adelaide.
It all came down to the Hot Saw – and it was tense - with Head narrowly beating Victorian Laurence O'Toole and New South Wales' Brad De Losa.
Records were set and broken throughout the day with young Kody Steers from Tasmania setting a new Australian record in the Standing Block with a time of 18.88 seconds. The current Australian Champion Brayden Meyer, from Victoria, showed why he's making waves around the world smashing Underhand Chop record by almost 1 second.
Meyer ran in to trouble with his Hot Saw which left him in 4th place overall.
Leading into the Hot Saw, there was only one point between De Losa and Head but O'Toole managed to take a three point lead with one heat remaining so De Losa and Head had to go broke or bust.
It looked like De Losa had done it with a time of 6.95 seconds beating Head but after a close look, the judges ruled that De Losa had cut over his allowed 15cm for three complete disks. The win went to Head and placed him in the Championship top spot for round 1.
Four more rounds to go!
Next stop Agfest in Tasmania 5-8 May.
How the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australian championship works:
At each of the 5 rounds, the eight athletes will compete in six disciplines (as listed above).
It's a race against the clock! The fastest athlete receives 8 points, the slowest receives
1 point and a DQ for breaking the set discipline rules, such as cutting over the line or jumping the gun, will leave an athlete with 0 (zero) points.
The points from each discipline are tallied and the winner is the athlete with the most points. If a tie occurs then a decider round using the Stock Saw determines 1st and 2nd place. Overall times added together decide 3rd to 8th places.
Championship points are awarded for each round - 8 points for the round winner, down to 1 point for last place. The title of Australian Champion will awarded to the athlete with the most points after all five rounds.
The top three athletes will automatically qualify for the following year's championship. The bottom five athletes will do battle against the winner from each of the state qualifiers. This competition will take place on the 2nd day at each state event.
The state qualifiers act as a feeder into the Australian Championship and offer
second-tier athletes a chance to chop their way to the big time. The state qualifiers will follow the same format and are open to all athletes, with a maximum of eight per round.
The 2016 Championship will be contested by the top eight athletes from the 2015 event:
Brayden Meyer, VIC (2015 Australian Champion)
Brad De Losa, NSW
Mitchel Argent, QLD
Laurence O'Toole, VIC
Jamie Head, QLD
Matt Gurr, TAS
Kody Steers, TAS
Brody Dingle, QLD
Full Event Schedule:
• Round 1: Adelaide, SA (Clipsal 500 V8's) 5th - 6th March
• Round 2: Tasmania (Agfest) 6th - 7th May
• Round 3: Ipswich, QLD (Ipswich V8's) 23rd - 24th July
• Round 4: Victoria (Sandown V8's) 17th -18th September
• Round 5: Bathurst, NSW (Bathurst 1000 V8's) – 7-9th October
Rookies Championship – New for 2016!
To ensure Australia is always competitive on the world stage 2016 will see the introduction of a Rookie championship at select rounds (TBC). The Rookie Championship is open to competitors under 25 years old and is made up of 4 of the 6 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines; Stocksaw, Standing Block Chop, Single Buck Saw and Underhand Chop. (with slightly smaller wood than the full championships).
More information on: www.stihl.com.au/Timbersports or on the Australian STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Facebook Page.