The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series is coming to Florence on 16 May. The Piazzale Michelangelo, with its view over the rooftops of the city, provides the perfect backdrop for the toughest competition of the year: the 2015 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champions Trophy. Like the gladiators in ancient Rome, the athletes here will go up against each other in head-to-head competition. If they lose once, they’re out. The mission: to cut four blocks of wood at lightning-fast speed with saws and axes.
Eight athletes in four disciplines in pursuit of one title.
The Champions Trophy is a competition in which the eight top athletes from the World Championship duel each other in a relay-like contest, all with a single goal: to be faster than the other. All four disciplines are completed directly one after the other without a break. This type of competition requires the utmost concentration, stamina and precision from the athletes, pushing them to deliver a feat of technical strength as they transition from one discipline − and one round − to the next. For spectators, this type of direct head-to-head contest is incredible to watch. For the athletes, it’s extremely demanding.
Lose once and you’re out.
The aim is to complete four disciplines one right after another. Each duel begins with the chainsaw discipline known as “Stock Saw”, which requires competitors to cut off a disc from a block of wood in a downwards cut. Then comes the axe discipline “Underhand Chop”, which simulates cutting up a felled tree. This is followed by “Single Buck”, requiring athletes to cut through another wooden block with a two-metre-long saw. Finally, the competitors have to show what they are made of once more in the “Standing Block Chop”, which simulates felling a tree with an axe. The clock is stopped with the final swing of the axe that cuts fully through the wooden block. Hundredths of a second often mean the difference between victory and defeat. Anyone defeated in the head-to-head competition loses their chance at the title.
Battle of the titans − a first-rate field of competitors
At last year’s Champions Trophy in Budapest, the final round was an exciting showdown between two notorious competitors. For Brad “The Australian Rock” Delosa and TIMBERSPORTS® legend Jason Wynyard from New Zealand, it was a fierce head-to-head race all the way to the thrilling finale for the title. In the last stage, Delosa just edged out his competitor for the win, and Wynyard ended up − visibly disappointed and with a strained thigh − in second place. Following his victory at the World Championship last November, Wynyard will now do everything he can to win back the title.
The other athletes are also well prepared and ready to go after victory, such as Paolo Vicenzi, the Italian athlete, who will be cheered on by a home crowd to deliver a top performance. Martin Komárek from the Czech Republic, known for his flawless technique, and the young athlete Stirling Hart, a tree climber from Canada with incredible stamina, also have their sights set on the top prize. TIMBERSPORTS® veteran Arden Cogar from the United States comes from a family of lumberjack athletes. His decades of experience could serve him well. Swiss athlete Christophe Geissler is known for speed and his fighting spirit − he is sure to do whatever he can to see himself come out on top on 16 May. A home-grown athlete has also qualified to compete in the Champions Trophy. As shown by his great finish at the World Championship in Innsbruck, Dirk Braun from Winterberg is a strong, versatile and experienced opponent who will represent Germany at the competition in Italy.
The competition will be streamed live on the internet for those who are unable to be there in person to watch the event. More information available at: www.stihl-timbersports.com