This spring I was introduced to STIHL TIMBERSPORTS and instantly became a huge fan.
For those of you that don’t know, the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS SERIES is a multi-discipline competition consisting of six disciplines, where the athletes have to prove their competitive ability with an axe and the saw. Strength, endurance and the perfect handling of the technical equipment decide on victory or defeat.
Event: 2017 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Canadian Championship
Date: Sunday, Aug. 6
City: London, ON
So what are the actual disciplines?
Standing Block Chop
This discipline simulates felling a tree with an axe. A vertically secured block of wood (diameter 30 cm) has to be chopped through from both sides as quickly as possible. Optimum placing of the axe and a powerful swing are the factors that ensure rapid success in this discipline. Top athletes take less than 20 seconds.
STIHL Stock Saw
In this discipline all the contestants use the MS 660, a standard STIHL chainsaw. After allowing the saw to warm up it is then placed on the ground. On the “Go” signal it is seized and applied to the wood (diameter 40 cm). Two cookies (discs of wood) of a certain thickness must be sawn from the horizontal tree trunk in one down cut and one up cut.
This discipline simulates cutting up a felled tree. The athletes stand on a horizontally positioned block and must cut through a 32 cm thick trunk with their axe. The block has to be chopped from both sides. Cutting through from one side only leads to disqualification in this discipline. The best European times in the underhand chop are under 20 seconds.
along with; Single Bucket, Springboard, and Hot Saw, you can get all the details HERE.
Let me tell you first hand as someone who has tried this OUT of competition it was all really challenging, I couldn’t even wrap my head around how fast, strong and precise these competitors are, like defending champ Stirling Hart how gave me my one on one.
Once again this year Sterling will be competing for the title so we sat down with him to see how he’s feeling and what this 2-time winner thinks the odds are he will make it a third.
How did you get involved in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Canadian Championships?
I am a third generation competitor. My grandfather and father both competed in the sport, and I am here continuing a family tradition. I’ve been chopping since I can remember – I got my first axe when I was four years old and have been chopping ever since.
For a long time, I got into competitive log climbing and went on to win multiple world titles and in 2012, I decided to begin a career in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series. It’s been a lot of work, but it has surely paid off.
What goes into the training for STIHL TIMBERSPORTS? What does a day of training look like?
I am a full time professional athlete in STIHL TIMBERSPORTS, and I understand that you only reap the rewards if you put the work in. I spend countless hours doing event training like chopping and sawing, plus a lot of hours at the gym working my body and conditioning it to become a better athlete. This is rounded out with a balanced nutrition plan, lots of sleep, and recuperation time. Preparing for STIHL TIMBERSPORTS is no different than training for any other mainstream sport.
What do you think you have over the competition?
I have a lot of national and international experience under my belt. Winning the Canadian Championship in 2016 was a huge motivation for me and I haven’t looked back since. I had my best performance ever at the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS World Championship last November and I was in second place all the way until the end, but an error in the very last event took me down to 4th place and took my spot in the podium. I have been thinking about that day every day until today and I can’t wait to win the Canadian Championship this year so I can go and redeem myself in Norway later this year.
Do you find the rivalry brings out the best in you when it comes to sport?
Rivalry always brings out the best in you, but in STIHL TIMBERSPORTS, you not only compete against other 20 amazing athletes, but you also compete against the wood. You never know what kind of log you are going to get, and even though the organization always selects the best wood available, you never know what is going to be inside that block and this could be a deciding factor as well. In the end, we are all friends and this is an amazing group of guys, but when the show starts, everyone is out for themselves. That’s the nature of sport.
What advice would you give someone wanting to get involved?
This sport is awesome. The feeling of holding an axe and swinging it inches from your toes just gives you a huge adrenaline rush. My advice would be to reach to an athlete that is close to you. We are all very open to helping you out start a career in STIHL TIMBERSPORTS.
What are the odds of you winning (this is strictly your opinion)?
I am 1000% focused on defending my title. There is no question about it. There are some amazing competitors out there, but I have my eye on the prize.
If you had a hashtag to describe your timbersports MO, what would it be? example: #CanadianBeast
How badly do you want to win?
Bad. I’ve been training all year. I am ready for this!
Check back tomorrow for our second interview with Sterling’s main rival Marcel Dupuis and his thoughts on this weekends Championship event.