The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS SERIES is regarded as the premier lumberjack competition and is held in more than 20 countries worldwide. This modern extreme sport is based on traditional woodworking and simulates the logging and cutting of trees with axes and saws. Athletes compete side-by-side in six disciplines. Here it‘s not only about power and stamina but above all about the right technique.
MILWAUKEE - The nation's top lumberjacks descended on Milwaukee this past weekend, engaging in a series of tests only true master loggers could complete.
Twenty of the top professional lumberjacks, along with eight collegiate athletes, competed in six disciplines: the hot saw, single buck, springboard chop, standing block chop, stock saw and underhand chop. Competitors must be solid in all disciplines.
“It doesn’t matter how strong you are in the chopping, if you can’t saw," said Matt Cogar, winner of the event and the first American athlete to win four U.S. championships. "You’re not going to advance, you’re not going to do well. You have to be good in all six disciplines.”
Cogar came into the championship with his name already in the record books. He furthered his legacy Saturday night, besting seven of the top lumberjack athletes in the country to win his fifth straight U.S. Championship in front of more than 5,000 fans at BMO Harris Pavilion at German Fest Milwaukee.
“This is so amazing. This was such a wonderful event with some tough competition,” said Cogar. “I’m thankful for my family, who mean everything to me, and who supported me in all that I do.”
En route to his fifth title, Cogar also had a dominant underhand chop performance, setting a new American record at 13.78 seconds. He needed that effort and more to win one of the most difficult championship victories of his career.
Going into the final event – the hot saw – he was tied with up-and-coming star Matt Slingerland at 30 points. Cogar managed to hold on for the win after a wild hot saw finish, which saw four competitors disqualify or not finish.
The 2017 Championship spanned two days, with the qualifying round taking place on Friday.
The Series, in its 32nd season, will air on ABC in the fall with re-airs on ESPN, ESPN2 and NBC Sports. The event was held at Milwaukee's German Fest July 28-30. Click here for the full schedule.
New to the 2017 season is a women's division.