Glen and Zoe Penlington will look to defend their titles as excitement builds with the British STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Championship 2023 only a few days away.
More than 30 athletes have been confirmed to be taking part in the pinnacle of the British TIMBERSPORTS® calendar, which takes place at the Royal Three Counties Show in Malvern on June 17-18. Using axes and saws, TIMBERSPORTS® athletes chop and slice at speed through blocks of timber, using technique, power and precision in this extreme and exhilarating competition.
Siblings Zoe and Glen Penlington, from Knighton, Wales, took the top spots amongst Britain’s best TIMBERSPORTS® athletes in 2022, with Zoe winning the first ever STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® British Women’s Championship, beating her closest rival Justine Narusa by just four points.
The event was decided in the final heat, the Underhand Chop, where Zoe recorded the fastest time to take the title. A delighted Sarah Cox took third place to complete the podium. Zoe said: “The British TIMBERSPORTS® Championship is a season highlight. I have watched and supported my brother for a long time and I love seeing him do so well. I was over the moon to see him win last year so I'd be thrilled to see him defend his title this year. “It’s been an amazing experience competing with the women over the last 12 months. We have all worked so hard and improved massively so defending my title won’t be easy but it is definitely the goal for me. “My brother and Dad have been helping and training me since I started my TIMBERSPORTS® journey so I am incredibly grateful to them. My biggest hurdle will be getting over my anxiety on the day.”
Zoe and Glen are both members of the Welsh Axemen club based in Knighton, who took six podium spots at last year’s Championship. Glen was crowned the 2022 British Pro Champion after holding his nerve while Jack Morris, also from Wales, claimed first place in the British Rookie Championship. Glen added: “I think the competition will be closer than ever, with a lot of people training really hard, especially off the back of the team performance last year at the World Championship last November. I have been putting a lot of work in to make sure that happens, along with Zoe and Jack, all three of us will be looking to bring back the trophies to the training shed again this year as we all train together.”
Simon Hewitt, Head of Marketing at STIHL GB, said: “It’s going to be a fascinating weekend in Malvern once again and it will be great to see how much the competition hots up with local bragging rights at stake. “Extreme sports fans are in for a treat, being able to see the action close up in what will inevitably be a weekend of fantastic spectacle.”
Another athlete hoping for success in the TIMBERSPORTS® British Pro Championship is Graham Turner, from Peebles in Scotland, who explained: “Last year I finished second and was pleased with the result but not so much the performance. I could have done a lot better in some of the events. “This year I have worked hard on my technique and also on my fitness, strength and flexibility. It is going to be a great Championship this year with a lot of big names to go up against. Who knows what will happen on the day. It all comes down to the luck of the draw of the wood on the day.”
In the TIMBERSPORTS® British Championship, athletes compete against each other across six disciplines, under 25 Rookies take part in four events and the female athletes in the British Women’s Championship compete in three. Athletes that take part in the Championship hone their skills at training camps throughout the year, ahead of their performance in front of a live audience.
This year is the tenth anniversary of the TIMBERSPORTS® British Pro Championship and it will be livestreamed on social media. Check out the STIHL Facebook page for more information.