NZ chopper’s edge over world
New Zealanders have once again proved they chop and saw timber better than anyone else by winning the world’s team and individual Stihl Timbersports championships.
In front of 5500 spectators in Lillehammer, Norway, Jason Wynyard from Massey, Auckland secured his ninth world championship title and relegated Australia’s Brad De Losa and Canada’s Mitch Hewitt to second and third place.
For Wynyard, 44, the sport of woodchopping runs in the blood. His father was world champion
You've either got to just have a passion for it and dedicate yourself to learning how to do it or have a family member that's going to help you come into it. Jason Wynyard
and his grandfather and uncles were skilled practitioners of the art. His wife, Karmyn, who he describes as his ‘‘backbone’’, has also had her fair share of success at woodchopping. ‘‘You’ve either got to just have a passion for it and dedicate yourself to learning how to do it or have a family member that’s going to help you come into it,’’ Wynyard told Stuff in 2014.
From the beginning, Wynyard showed a strong performance and fought his way through the leading group. He took the lead by setting the day’s record in his showpiece discipline Single Buck and never relinquished it. ‘‘The title means a great deal to me. At the end, it all comes down to the Hot Saw and here the smallest details matter,’’ Wynyard said.
In the Hot Saw, competitors use a customised chain saw with a modified engine, usually taken from a personal watercraft or snowmobile.
In the team competition, the Kiwis, led by Wynyard, defeated the Polish team in the final and grabbed their fourth title. Australia had been the favourite but surprisingly lost against Poland in the semi-final, because they received a time penalty due to an early start. The Poles fought the competition of their lives, causing a major upset.
As a 16 year old, Wynyard’s son Tai was the youngest player to ever make the Tall Blacks. He is now with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Jason Wynyard of New Zealand competes in the team competition during the Timbersports world championships in Lillehammer.