De Losa ready for World Championship battle
STIHL Timbersports Australian Champion Brad De Losa is out to prove he is more than a ‘one hit wonder' on the world stage.
De Losa will take on the best lumberjacks in the Single Competition at the STIHL Timbersports World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany.
In four appearances as an individual De Losa has won the title once, in 2013 at the same Timbersports arena he returns to this year.
"It is a really great place to compete in, the atmosphere is amazing and with STIHL being German they make sure the venue is top class. It is the best arena I have competed in," De Losa said.
"It means a lot that is it the same place I won at in 2013.
"It was awesome to win it that first time and now I want to it again to prove it wasn't a fluke."
New Zealander Jason Wynyard won the event in 2014 and 2015, taking his tally to 12 individual STIHL Timbersports World Championships.
He will line up again this year and looms as one of De Losa's biggest rivals, alongside Matt Cogar (USA), who enters the competition after becoming the first athlete to win four consecutive STIHL Timbersports USA titles.
46-year-old Dirk Braun qualified with his eighth STIHL Timbersports Germany Championship.
"Those guys (Wynyard and Cogar) are tough competitors and then you have Dirk Braun, who is German and will be keen to perform in front of his home crowd.
"I think Martin Komarek from the Czech Republic will be hard to beat but Jason Wynyard is going to be the most difficult, he has dominated the past few years.
"I pretty much know all the guys from the competitive countries that have qualified for Worlds and I know what they are capable of."
Four-time STIHL Timbersports European champion Komarek is a close friend of De Losa's, and will host him for a training camp in the Czech Republic.
It is part of an extended preparation for the Aussie, who will depart for Europe almost a week earlier than fellow Chopperoos Laurence O'Toole, Brayden Meyer, Jamie Head and Mitch Argent.
De Losa says he is taking special care to manage his form, after battling injury and illness during the 2016 Australian Championship.
"There are a few factors that can take a while to adjust to – jet lag, cold weather and even different food," De Losa said.
"I'll stick to a fairly plain diet and get my body used to that so I can just concentrate on getting right for the competition.
"I'm looking forward to training with Martin Komarek – he has this nice little spot outside Prague where we can train indoors and throw the wood straight on the fireplace."
The 2016 STIHL Timbersports World Championship kicks off with the teams event on November 11 at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart.
Elite lumberjacks from Europe, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Australia's Chopperoos will compete across the four disciplines of Stock Saw, Standing Block Chop, Single Buck and Underhand Chop, with each team member designated their strongest discipline.
Australia is going for a hat-trick, after winning in 2014 and 2015.
On November 12, the pressure will shift solely to De Losa in the individual competition, which takes place over six disciplines with the addition of Springboard and Hot Saw.
De Losa admits the Hot Saw adds an element of the unknown, after a frustrating experience in 2014.
"I finished third then after a poor preparation. I had big troubles with my Hot Saw," De Losa said.
"I had sent over spare Hot Saw parts as backup but they didn't arrive and it became a really stressful experience.
"I was second all day and then my Hot Saw stalled out in the competition. It was a DQ and Jason (Wynyard) went on to win it.
"That isn't a happy memory for me."
Winning the 2016 STIHL Timbersports Australia Championship, however, is up there with one of De Losa's favourite moments.
He clinched it with victory in a sudden-death Stock Saw showdown in Bathurst on October 8.
"I have had a bit of time to reflect on it and I think it has finally sunk in," De Losa said.
"It was a relief after quite a long year. I hadn't performed as well as I was hoping to but getting that win took the pressure off and has allowed me to focus on the World Championship."