Family favourites return to Redcliffe show

Published 10:00am 4 June 2021

Family favourites return to Redcliffe show
Words by Kylie Knight

Woodchop events are carved into the history of the Redcliffe Show, but they have evolved with technology and the popularity of high-energy timbersports.

Co-Head Steward Tom Wilkinson said the show’s woodchopping program was one of the biggest outside of a Royal Show.

This year’s bumper program will feature 25 events, including four Queensland titles.

Mr Wilkinson said about 70 competitors would battle it out, including 10 women and children, and some of these are high-profile interstate competitors from the Stihl Series.

“A lot of the guys that are coming are world champions,” he said.

These include Mitch Argent from Blackbutt, who is the current world title holder in the standing block. He has won this for three consecutive years, and only one of four who have achieved this.

Redcliffe’s Jamie Head, the other Head Steward for the woodchop arena, will also compete and is the current world title holder in the double-handed saw.

Victoria’s Laurence O’Toole, of the well-known woodchopping O’Toole family, has held many world titles include the underhand chop which he has won 11 times at the Royal Easter Show.

“The best of the best, you can get in Australia at the moment, will be here,” Mr Wilkinson said.

“The hot saw event is a pretty big drawcard. We were the first show in Queensland to run a hot saw event and this will be the second year we’ve done it.”

It will be on June 26 about 3pm.

Spectators will also have the chance to watch the springboard event, as seen in the Stihl Timbersports Series.

Family favourites return to Redcliffe show

Welcome return

Mr Wilkinson is keen to see action return to the woodchopping arena after the show was cancelled last year.

It will be a chance to try out $20,000 in new standing block dummies, which are now made of steel. Mr Wilkinson said the old timber ones had been there for about 40 years.

“They secure the blocks a lot better and are quicker and easier to set up,” he said.

They were installed last year ahead of the show, which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

“They haven’t been used and have been sitting there for 18 months,” he said.

And he is looking forward to competing in 15 events across the weekend including all four Queensland titles.

Mr Wilkinson said strong support from the local business community had built the event up over the years.

Ready for big show

Other Head Stewards are also gearing up for a big show, including Woodcraft head steward Valentine Millway.

“The Redcliffe and District Woodcraft Society Inc will be having their display of fine woodwork

from many talented members. The display will feature scroll work, woodturning, pyrography and wood carving,” he said.

Honey Head Steward Norma Bouveng said there would be three different species of active Australian native bees in observation hives at the show.

“You can learn how you can help save the bees and maybe become a beekeeper with Northside Beekeepers Association.

Plus, we have lots of honey and many products made from honey and beeswax available for sale.

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