2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Australian Rookie Championship

Wrap Up Round by Round

Rookie Report: They ain’t no Rookies

These guys ain't no Rookies!
The next crop of Australia's STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® talent were in action at Sydney 500 Supercars this weekend in the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australian Rookie Championship, presented by Amarok V6.

With the honour of representing Australia at the 2017 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie World Championships in Europe at stake, the action was as sharp as the axes and saws they were wielding.

Throughout the day, the effort levels went through the roof with world famous racing axe and saw manufacture Tuatahi teaming up with KBT Competition Saws to boost the prizes with a $3,000 Single buck saw and 2 x $1,000 axes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Round 1 – Stock Saw
As the day got underway, there were a few nerves for the under 25 year old athletes with
two disqualifications for Jack Argent (QLD) and Josh Bakes (TAS) giving them zero points and meaning a miracle was needed to get on the podium. Andrew Kelly (TAS), the 2015 Rookie Champion and runner up at the World Championship earlier this year, showed he had the skills with the STIHL chainsaw to take 1st place in the round with 12.71sec and Blake Marsh (NSW) 13.08sec took 2nd.

Stock Saw Times:
Andrew Kelly (Tas): 12.71 secs
Blake Marsh (NSW): 13.08 secs
Daniel Gurr: (Tas) 14.21 secs
Brendan Marsh (NSW): 15.18 secs
Tom Wilkinson (Qld): 17.57 secs
Daniel Beams (Tas): 20.05 secs
Jack Argent (Qld): DQ
Josh Bakes (Tas): DQ

Round 2 – Standing Block
The Standing Block was up next, which saw Blake Marsh (NSW) take on younger brother, 16 year old Brendan Marsh. At the NSW qualifier the pair met in the Underhand round and the younger brother was victorious, but it wasn't to be this time. Blake took the win which was enough to secure him maximum points in 18.77sec. Daniel Gurr (TAS) impressed with
2nd place in 19.68 secs and fellow Tasmanian Josh Bakes (Tas) took 3rd place to make up for his DQ in the previous round.

Standing Block Times:
Blake Marsh (NSW): 18.77 secs
Daniel Gurr: (Tas) 19.68 secs
Josh Bakes (Tas): 19.97 secs
Andrew Kelly (Tas): 20.67 secs
Jack Argent (Qld): 22.97 secs
Daniel Beams (Tas): 24.12 secs
Tom Wilkinson (Qld): 27.77 secs
Brendan Marsh (NSW): 34.46 secs

Round 3 – Single Buck
The Single buck was up next and it was clear the rookies had all been putting the effort in on the training ground. A phenomenal six new PBs were set...and one of them a new Australian Rookie record.

That went to Daniel Beams (TAS) with a blistering time of 13.88 secs. In his post heat interview Daniel said he felt it could have been faster after a few small mistakes early on.

Queenslanders Tom Wilkinson and Jack Argent showed the biggest improvements both taking over 10 seconds of their PB's to claim 2nd and 3rd place.

Single Buck Times:
Daniel Beams (Tas): 13.88 secs New AUS Record
Tom Wilkinson (Qld): 15.42 secs (PB)
Jack Argent (Qld): 15.75 secs (PB)
Andrew Kelly (Tas): 18.51 secs
Josh Bakes (Tas): 18.93 secs (PB)
Blake Marsh (NSW): 19.31 secs
Daniel Gurr (Tas): 20.16 secs (PB)
Brendan Marsh (NSW): 20.63 secs (PB)

Round 4 – Underhand Chop
It all came down to the final round. With Blake Marsh (NSW) and Andrew Kelly (Tas) sitting pretty in joint first with 18 points, Wilkinson (Qld), Gurr (Tas) and Beams (Tas) all needed fast times to put the pressure on the pair in the final heat.

Brendan Marsh (NSW) had an unfortunate start to the final round finding a large knot in his block and the youngster made the right choice by choosing not to finish the log and save his $1000 axe for next year's competition.

Through the day it had been Beams (Tas) vs Gurr (Tas) - a match up that's been seen many times between the pair's Fathers over the years and the start of another great rivalry between the two Tasmanian families. It was the Beams family taking the victory this time with young Daniel setting a time of 22.54 secs and temporarily taking 1st place on the Amarok V6 ladder.

Blake Marsh (NSW) and Andrew Kelly (Tas) were up next and with the pair both having PBs well below Beams' time. Whoever won the heat would take the championship.
Kelly and Marsh attacked the front sides of their logs with huge blows, both turning at the same time but it was clear that Marsh's were the cleaner hits when his log started to wobble and then smashed through in a time of 19.52 secs. Kelly wasn't far behind in 22.81 secs but it was Marsh's day and he became the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australian Rookie.

Blake Marsh now heads to the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie World Championships early next year in Europe (location tbc). There he'll battle it out against the best from around the globe.

Underhand Chop Times:
Blake Marsh (NSW): 19.52 secs
Daniel Beams (Tas): 22.54 secs
Andrew Kelly (Tas): 22.81 secs
Jack Argent (Qld): 23.03 secs
Josh Bakes (Tas): 25.56 secs
Tom Wilkinson (Qld): 38.20 secs
Daniel Gurr (Tas): 26.50 secs
Brendan Marsh (NSW): DNF (Knot & Timed out)

The overall positions on the VW Amarok V6 Official Ladder for the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Australian Rookie Championship:

Blake Marsh (NSW): 26 points
Andrew Kelly (Tas): 24 points
Daniel Beams (Tas): 21 points
Daniel Gurr (Tas): 18 points
Tom Wilkinson (Qld): 15 points
Jack Argent (Qld): 15 points
Josh Bakes (Tas): 14 points
Brendan Marsh (NSW): 7 points