DECATUR TO HOST STIHL TIMBERSPORTS SEMIFINAL
The world's top lumberjacks and lumber sports competitors will match chopping and sawing skills on Saturday and Sunday, June 30-July 1, as the STIHL Timbersports Series returns to Decatur's Point Mallard Park. The series, which airs later this year on ESPN2, serves as one of the kickoff events for the Spirit of America Festival at Mallard Park.
|A Timbersports competitor competes in the springboard event during a recent STIHL Timbersports competition.|
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held 1 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The event is actually the semifinal round and second qualifying stop in this year's competition, leading to the championships in Stillwater, Minn., on July 22-23 where the competitors vie for the title, a new Dodge RAM pickup and a share of the series' $300,000 purse.
Now in its 22nd year, the competitive format of the STIHL Timbersports Series provides head-to-head competition in an Olympic-style pool format. The original lineup of 32 competitors will have been reduced by half, during round one of competition in Dubuque, Iowa.
The "sweet 16" of the world's best choppers and sawyers will be joined in Decatur by the top 10 speed climbers and female boom runners. All athletes will endure semi-final rounds of bracketed qualifying events in Decatur in order to be eligible for the Stillwater, Minn. championships.
"We're excited to have STIHL in Decatur for the second year," said Tami Reist, president of the Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's a competition that's unlike any other we host, and we are definitely looking forward to having the athletes return to our city."
STIHL Timbersports is comprised of eight events:
Springboard -- The competitor uses two springboards to ascend to the top of a nine-foot pole and chop a firmly attached 12-inch diameter block from the top of the pole. The block must be chopped from both sides.
Stock Saw -- Competitors begin with both hands on the log. When the signal is given, the sawyers, using identical STIHL chainsaws, make two cuts through identical logs. No more than 4" of wood, which is marked by a black line, can be cut.
Underhand Chop -- The competitor stands, feet apart, on a 12"-14" log. At the signal, he begins chopping through the log. Before chopping all the way through he must turn and complete the cut from the other side. Time ends when the log is severed completely.
Single Buck -- Competitors make one cut through 18"-20" of white pine using a single man cross cut saw. The competitor may have a helper to wedge the log and keep the saw lubricated. Time ends when the block is clearly severed.
Standing Block Chop -- Competitors race to chop through 12"-14" of white pine. The competitor must chop from both sides of the log and the time ends when the block is severed.
Hot Saw -- In this event, the competitor uses a customized chain saw with a modified engine. At the signal, the competitor starts the saw and makes three cuts. The competitor must cut no more than 6" from the log, which is marked with a black line.
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