CHOP CHOP, THE 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® CHAMPIONSHIP COMES TO TASMANIA
Witness big men with big axes and even bigger saws in action as round two of the 2016 Australian STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Championship, presented by Volkswagen AMAROK, gets underway in the state's north at Agfest, Launceston, 5 - 7 May.
Following the success of the inaugural Australian Championship last year, STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® - the Original Extreme Sport - continues to carve its place on the Australian sporting calendar with a new format involving five grueling rounds held across the country.
The competition has been ramped up for 2016 with the introduction of the Pro Championship.
The Pro Championship will see an epic battle between the country's Top 8 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® athletes fighting it out against one another, at each of the five rounds, for the coveted title of Australian Champion.
This win will send the victorious athlete straight to the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany where they will represent Australia, against over 20 countries, in the Individual Competition. They could land back on Australian soil as the World Champion.
The top five placed athletes will be selected for the Australian team, who will compete in the
Team Relay event at the World Championship in Germany, also giving them the chance to come home as the 2016 Team World Champions. If they do, it will be Australia's third consecutive title win, following victory in Innsbruck, Austria (2014) and Poznan, Poland (2015).
Tasmania is guaranteed to prove that it is the birthplace of TIMBERSPORTS with veteran Matthew Gurr from Deloraine and the competition's youngest competitor, Kody Steers from Sheffield, part of the Top 8.
Round 1 of the Championship got off to a cracking start in Adelaide in March, with Queensland's Jamie Head taking the top spot on the Amarok leaderboard narrowly beating World Champion team mates Laurence O'Toole and Brad De Losa in a thrilling Hot Saw finale. Jamie will be hoping to extend his lead in Launceston but we're confident Matthew Gurr and Kody Steers will come out with axes swinging and creep up the leaderboard while competing on home turf. In Round 1, Kody placed 5th with 4 championship points and Matthew placed 7th with 2 championship points.
Australia has been a dominant force on the international STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® circuit for many years. Fans across Europe and the US have been lucky to enjoy the power, sportsmanship and excitement of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® for many years. For the second year, Aussies can now enjoy their own Championship.
Lee Gooch, Event Director for STIHL TIMBERSPORTS®, said: " We're thrilled to be back at Agfest and have TIMBERSPORTS back home where it all started in Tasmania. Support, from athletes, spectators and media, for our first Championship last year was better than we could have hoped so it's exciting to take the sport on the road again. To make it more competitive for the athletes, and exciting for spectators, we've introduced the Pro Championship level. By pitting the best of the best against once another, the Top 8 athletes will compete against their peers who include the current Champion of Champions winner Brad De Losa, so it will be a thrilling fight to the end.
"We've also boosted the prize money for this year with over $100,000 up for grabs over the five rounds, but the Top 8 are competitive sportsmen and the opportunity to become Australian Champion and ultimately World Champion is all the prize they need'.
The Pro Championship takes place on Friday 6th but Agfest visitors will be entertained on both Thursday 5th and Saturday 7th by Tasmania's top athletes with the Rookie and State Championships taking place.
2016 introduces a new level of thrilling competition with the Rookie Championship, held for the countries up-and-coming STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® athletes aged under 25 years. Athletes compete in four of the six STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines for their chance to make it to the National Rookie competition in Sydney in early November. From here, the winner will compete on the world stage, representing Australia at the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship held in Europe.
The weekend will also see the State Championship competition get going. Tasmania's best
8 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® athletes will battle it out for a spot in the 2017 Pro Championship.
Hot favourite Dale Beams from Winkleigh will be hoping to claim the State Championship win after he narrowly missed out last year.
The 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP events:
Round 1 SOUTH AUSTRALIA Clipsal 500 5 & 6 March
Round 2 TASMANIA Agfest 5 to 7 May
Round 3 QUEENSLAND Ipswich SuperSprint 23 & 24 July
Round 4 VICTORIA Sandown 500 17 & 18 September
Round 5 NEW SOUTH WALES Bathurst 1000 7 to 9 October
2016 World Championship Stuttgart, Germany 11 & 12 November