Winner of Champions Trophy 2015 in Florence Italy

Brad De Losa is the fastest man with the axe and saw

Brad De Losa winner

The top eight international lumberjacks athletes met in Florence, Italy, on Saturday night for the world's toughest race. It ended with Australian Brad De Losa outdoing all the others in a high-energy final spurt and with a new world record, cutting up four tree trunks with the axe and saw in less than 58 seconds. Some 2,500 spectators followed the competition at the famous Piazzale Michelangelo, overlooking the old part of the Tuscan city.

Brad De Losa of Australia is the world's top lumberjack athlete, as he demonstrated with his performance in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champions Trophy in Florence, Italy, on the 16th of May. In the toughest competition that lumberjack sport has to offer he got the axe and saw red-hot, cutting up four tree trunks in 57,59 seconds in the final. Thus, he improved his own world record of 2014 by more than a second. On the famous Piazzale Michelangelo, overlooking Florence, he thus beat Arden Cogar jr of the USA into second place. The superbly fit athlete, who weighs 103 kg and comes from the surrounding area of Sydney, celebrated his win: "That was great! I am so delighted with a time of less than a minute – plus a new world record! I trained very intensively for that, and here in Florence I could really show my skills to an enthusiastic audience. The next step is to reclaim the title as world champion." The loser in the final duel, Arden Cogar jr, congratulated him: "I take my hat off to Brad, that was a stunning victory. I competed to clinch the title and I have put in everything. I do not know how Brad did it, but suddenly the last trunk was just gone. At least, I set up a new personal record with 1:01:59 minutes. I am very satisfied about that."

Third and fourth place were won by world champion Jason Wynyard of New Zealand and by Stirling Hart of Canada, aged 25 and being the youngest participant of the trophy. Wynyard, fiercest competitor of De Losa, was defeated by him in the semi-final by the very little of ten hundredths, demonstrated to be a good loser: "Just one axe blow tipped the scales. After the third log, I was still in front, but in the fourth discipline, it was one blow that decided on victory. It was such a close defeat. In the first moment, I did not even see whose log fell first. I congratulate Brad on his victory. But I will not give up and will fight for the title with the next Champions Trophy – I am only happy about a victory." Best placed European Martin Komárek of the Czech Republic ended up in fifth place. Italien local hero Paolo Vicenzi finished the competition far behind in eighth place and was disappointed: "I am not delighted. I wanted to achieve a time at about 1:20 minutes; however, my best time was worse than 1:30 minutes, despite the Italian fans cheering on me enthusiastically. I am sorry to have missed my aim anyhow."

For months, Australian De Losa had followed a program of intensive training in preparation for the Champions Trophy in Florence. In the end, it paid off: In the very first round against German Dirk Braun the engineer pulled away and enhanced that standard significantly in the semi-final against coequal New Zealander Wynyard. The final between De Losa, STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champions Trophy winner 2014 and world champion 2013, and Arden Cogar jr., multiple US champion, was almost a dead heat by the last and decisive discipline, with both athletes switching between the axe and saw disciplines at lightning speed. It was only in the last discipline, the Standing Block Chop, that De Losa caught up and pulled ahead, cheered on by around 2,500 spectators..

Lose once and you are out
In the Champions Trophy the athletes compete with one another in knock-out rounds in four out of the total of six STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines. All four disciplines are completed in a head-to-head duel, one after the other without a break. That's what makes the Champions Trophy the toughest contest in lumberjack sports. The seamless transition from one discipline to another requires supreme stamina, precision and tactics and pushes the athletes to their absolute limits of performance. It starts with the chain saw discipline Stock Saw, which is followed by the axe discipline Underhand Chop and a round with the two-meter long one-man crosscut saw in the Single Buck. Finally, the athletes have to give it their all once more in the Standing Block Chop, which simulates felling a tree with an axe – and hundredths of a second make the difference between winning and losing.

The world's best lumberjacks athletes
The field in Florence comprised the world's eight best lumberjacks athletes, who had qualified to take part via their rankings in the 2014 World Championship. They finished the 2015 Champions Trophy as follows: 1. Brad De Losa (Australia), 2. Arden Cogar jr. (USA), 3. Jason Wynyard (New Zealand), 4. Stirling Hart (Canada), 5. Martin Komárek (Czech Republic), 6. Dirk Braun (Germany), 7. Christophe Geissler (Switzerland), 8. Paolo Vicenzi (Italy).