After a 30-year absence, logger sports made their successful return to the Cowichan Exhibition earlier this month with two days of entertainment and one full day of competition.
The competition took place on the rainiest day of the fair, but the weather didn’t hamper the events.
“Despite the rain, the competitors gave it their all and put on a great show,” said Shar Berry, who helped to organize the competition. “Lumberjacks and jills don’t mind a little rain.”
Competitors came from the Island, the Interior, Alberta, Ontario, the U.S., France and Australia.
The highlight of the day, Berry said, was when champion logger Mitch Hewitt — an Australian transplant now living in Scotch Creek — broke his axe handle midway through the open springboard chop, then ran to his car for a replacement, and still managed to win.
“It was quite a sight,” Berry said. “He’s an amazing chopper and sportsman.”
Berry’s son, Chase Gundersen, who finished third this summer in the rookie division at the Stihl Timbersports Canadian Championship, had a good day, placing first in novice axe throw and novice underhand, second in novice double saw with teammate Thomas Symons and in Jack and Jill with teammate Allison Briscoe, third in novice pole climb, fourth in intermediate standing chop and novice single saw, and seventh in novice stock saw.
Berry finished ninth in ladies axe throw and her daughter, Hannah Gundersen, placed 16th. The mother and daughter also teamed up to place eighth in Jill and Jill. Berry and teammate Dennis Yarjau also finished 12th in Jack and Jill.
Berry expects logger sports to be back again next year, and is already making arrangements with the Ex about 2018.