STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® 2017 Pro Tour Qualifier

Wrap Up Round by Round

Wrap up Report: 2017 Pro Tour Qualifier

You didn't need an axe to cut the tension at the 2017 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Pro Tour qualifier presented by Amarok V6, it was that tight.

Nine of the country's top STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® athletes battled it out for just five spots on next year's pro tour.

With World Championship gold medal winning Chopperoos Brad De Losa (NSW), Laurence O'Toole (VIC) and Brayden Meyer (VIC) already qualified, fellow team members Mitch Argent (QLD) and Jamie Head (QLD) were the favourites to make the podium, and they didn't disappoint.

The real battle of the day was for the 5th spot with the remaining seven athletes moving in and out of the qualification positions all day. In STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® tradition, it all came down to the Hot Saw.

Round 1 – Springboard
In the first round of the day it was Jamie Head (Qld) who took maximum points cutting a near text book Springboard in 52.40 secs, just over his personal best. Mitch Argent (Qld) took second place in 52.40 secs and Dale Beams (TAS) third in 55.57 secs.

Former Australian springboard record holder Matt Gurr (TAS) managed to claim forth place, but complaining of a neck injury looked doubtful to continue the competition.

Spring Board Times:
Jamie Head (Qld): 52.40 secs Kody Steers (Tas): 67.67 secs
Mitch Argent (Qld): 52.50 secs Glen Gillam (Vic): 78.90 secs
Dale Beams (Tas): 55.57 secs Brad Turner (Vic): 99.80 secs
Matthew Gurr (Tas): 62.52 secs Justin Beckett (NSW): 124.77 secs
Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 64.66 secs
Jamie Head (Qld): 52.40 secs

Round 2 – Stock Saw
Gurr bounced back in round two, making the fastest time of 13.35 secs on the STIHL Stock Saw.

A DQ for Queensland state champion Lindsay Hewitt all but blew his chances of making the top 5, meaning he was well off the pace and needing a miracle to come back. Justin Beckett (NSW) claimed 2nd to make up for taking last place in round 1.

Jamie Head (Qld) settled his pre-round nerves taking 3rd place and leading the Amarok V6 leader board after 2 rounds with Gurr (Tas), Argent (Qld), Beams (Tas) and Beckett (NSW) in the qualification spots.

Stock Saw Times:
Matthew Gurr (Tas): 13.35 secs Kody Steers (Tas): 13.79 secs
Justin Beckett (NSW): 13.40 secs Dale Beams (Tas): 14.05 secs
Jamie Head (Qld): 13.45 secs Glen Gillam (Vic): 14.89 secs
Mitch Argent (Qld): 13.61 secs Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): DQ (cut line)
Brad Turner (Vic): 13.62 secs

Amarok V6 Leader Board after 2 of 6 rounds:
Jamie Head (Qld): 16 pts
Matthew Gurr (Tas): 15 pts
Mitch Argent (Qld): 14 pts
Dale Beams (Tas): 10 pts
Justin Beckett (NSW): 9 pts
Kody Steers (Tas): 8 pts
Brad Turner (Vic): 7 pts
Glen Gillam (Vic): 5 pts
Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 5 pts

Round 3 – Standing Block Chop
Glen Gillam (Vic) needed a good standing block to get back into the mix and the big man set the fastest time of the day in the second heat in 23.55 secs but that wasn't enough to claim the win though – Steers (Tas) 22.90 secs, Beams 20.26 secs and Argent 17.31 secs all beat his time.

Mitch Argent (Qld) claimed the out right lead of the Amarok V6 leader board at the halfway stage, with Steers (Tas) pushing Beckett (NSW) out of the automatic qualification spots.

Standing Block Times:
Mitch Argent (Qld): 17.31 secs Matthew Gurr (Tas): 28.10 secs
Dale Beams (Tas): 20.26 secs Justin Beckett (NSW): 28.26 secs
Kody Steers (Tas): 22.90 secs Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 32.41 secs
Glen Gillam (Vic): 23.55 secs Brad Turner (Vic): 32.43 secs
Jamie Head (Qld): 25.13 secs

Amarok V6 Leader Board after 4 of 6 rounds:
Mitch Argent (Qld): 29 pts
Jamie Head (Qld): 29 pts
Kody Steers (Tas): 22 pts
Matthew Gurr (Tas): 22 pts
Justin Beckett (NSW): 21 pts
Dale Beams (Tas): 19 pts
Glen Gillam (Vic): 15 pts
Brad Turner (Vic): 13 pts
Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 9 pts

Round 4 – Single Buck
The single buck normally separates the men from the boys, and the biggest victim in this round was Dale Beams (TAS). The experienced single bucker, with many state titles to his name, was expected to win the round but five major hang ups (when the saw bites and stops) left him in last place with a time of 30.26 secs.

Round winner Justin Beckett (NSW) finished over 12 seconds faster than beams in 18.15 secs to give him the maximum points and put him back in contention. Head (Qld) took 2nd place and Steers (Tas) showed he's put in the hard yards in the training ring to claim a surprising 3rd spot.

Single Buck Times:
Justin Beckett (NSW): 18.15 secs Glen Gillam (Vic): 23.90 secs
Jamie Head (Qld): 21.05 secs Matthew Gurr (Tas): 26.57 secs
Kody Steers (Tas): 22.52 secs Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 27.81 secs
Mitch Argent (Qld): 23.29 secs Dale Beams (Tas): 30.26 secs
Brad Turner (Vic): 23.42 secs

Round 5 – Underhand Chop
Brad Turner (Vic) started off the Underhand round taking the win in heat 1 with a great cut in 29.83 seconds but it wasn't enough to give the veteran a chance of qualification.

Gillam needed to claim maximum points to put the pressure on the leaders and a time of 24.46 secs looked to do just that. But outstanding performances from Head, Argent and Steers all saw faster times, which strengthened their leads. This gave Head and Argent automatic qualification into next year's STIHLTIMBERSPORTS® Pro Tour with one round to go.

All but Hewitt could mathematically still qualify.

Underhand Chop Times:
Kody Steers (Tas): 19.92 secs Brad Turner (Vic): 29.83 secs
Mitch Argent (Qld): 21.24 secs Dale Beams (Tas): 30.39 secs
Jamie Head (Qld): 24.45 secs Matthew Gurr (Tas): 32.47 secs
Glen Gillam (Vic): 24.46 secs Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 58.35 secs
Justin Beckett (NSW): 27.84 secs

Amarok V6 Leader Board after 5 of 6 rounds:
Mitch Argent (Qld): 37 pts
Jamie Head (Qld): 36 pts
Kody Steers (Tas): 31 pts
Justin Beckett (NSW): 26 pts
Matthew Gurr (Tas): 24 pts
Dale Beams (Tas): 22 pts
Glen Gillam (Vic): 21 pts
Brad Turner (Vic): 17 pts
Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 10 pts

Round 6 – Hot Saw
The Hot Saw always proves the pivotal discipline in STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® competitions and once again it delivered. Gillam (Vic) set a new PB of 9.20 secs to move into 4th position overall but with six athletes still to compete, he needed errors to qualify.

Beams (Tas) provided one moment of hope for Gillam - an unfortunate stall on his 3rd of 3 cookies meant his day was over taking zero points.

Gurr (Tas) competing with his new Hot Saw, built by his son Luke, wowed the crowd setting an outstanding PB of 7.19 secs.

Beckett (NSW) and Steers (Tas) both needed just 3 good cookies and they would leap frog Gillam and they did...although Steers only just limped over the line not being very familiar with good friend Brayden Meyer's Hot Saw. Steers time of 16.75 secs was well off the pace.

Head and Argent could go for broke as they had both qualified but neither could beat Gurr's
7.19 secs with Head DQ'd for cutting the line and Argent putting in a leisurely 10.61 secs.

Hot Saw Times:
Matthew Gurr (Tas): 7.19 secs PB Kody Steers (Tas): 16.75 secs
Glen Gillam (Vic): 9.20 secs PB Jamie Head (Qld): DQ (cut line)
Justin Beckett (NSW): 9.40 secs Dale Beams (Tas): DQ (timed out, stall on 3rd disk)
Mitch Argent (Qld): 10.61 secs Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): DQ (cut line)
Brad Turner (Vic): 14.16 secs

Queensland's Mitch Argent won the day, but the win wasn't as important as securing a position in the top 5 and the chance to battle it, once again, on the 2017 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australia Pro Tour.

VW Amarok V6 Official Leader Board Results for the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® 2017 Pro Tour Qualifier:
Mitch Argent (Qld): 43 pts
Jamie Head (Qld): 36 pts
Kody Steers (Tas): 35 pts
Matthew Gurr (Tas): 33 pts
Justin Beckett (NSW): 33 pts
Glen Gillam (Vic): 29 pts
Brad Turner (Vic): 22 pts
Dale Beams (Tas): 22 pts
Lindsay Hewitt (Qld): 10 pts

Mitch Argent (Qld), Jamie Head (Qld), Kody Steers (Tas), Matt Gurr (Tas) and Justin Beckett (NSW) join Brad De Losa (NSW), Laurence O'Toole (Vic) and Brayden Meyer (Vic) on the
2017 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australian Pro Tour.