Not many people get to represent their country in the sport that they love, but five lucky TIMBERSPORTS athletes will be doing just that as part of Team GB at the 2018 TIMBERSPORTS World Championship in October.

Selection is based on the athletes’ current form, and the 2018 British TIMBERSPORTS Championship was the perfect opportunity for the selection committee to see who was up to the challenge of joining Team GB.

The competitors all put in passionate performances this year; the competition for Team GB places is fierce. But this year, with the World Championship taking place in Liverpool at the Echo Arena for the first time, it was more than just pride at stake.

The athletes who qualified for the British Team will be taking on the rest of the world in front of a home crowd, with the support of friends and family motivating them more than ever.

Elgan Pugh, who won this year’s British Championship automatically qualifies for the Individual World Championship on Saturday 20 October, but the selection committee, including Spike Milton, TIMBERSPORTS Global Sporting Director and Head British trainer, had their work cut out for them. “Two members of last year’s British Team did not compete in the British Championship this year, and couldn’t be included for selection, so we really weren’t sure who would be selected. But I am delighted to say that we have a new team, which is full of promise,” said Spike.

As a four-time British Champion, Elgan Pugh will also feature as part of the team, with 2017 team member, Glen Penlington joining him. Andrew Evans, who came third overall in the British Championship and has years of TIMBERSPORTS experience both as a competitor and trainer, takes the third space in the team.

Team GB newcomer, Dave Thomas, finished eighth in the 2017 British Championship. But he had clearly been taking his training extremely seriously this year and came second overall in 2018, smashing personal bests in five out of the six TIMBERSPORTS disciplines. The selection committee decided that this impressive performance deserved a place on the four-man team. The teams are also allowed to take a reserve, in case of any injuries, and Craig Golder was selected to fill this role. Craig came seventh in this year’s British Championship, which includes all six of the TIMBERSPORTS events. However, he scored the fifth highest number of points for the four disciplines that are part of the Team World Championship so he was an obvious choice.

The team will now be taking part in training both together and individually.

The TIMBERSPORTS disciplines

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS comprises six disciplines: three with an axe and three with a saw. Disciplines replicate lumberjack skills, simulating the practice of felling or managing felled trees.

Underhand Chop

This discipline simulates cutting up a felled tree. The athletes stand on a horizontally positioned block and must cut through a 32 cm thick trunk with their axe. The block has to be chopped from both sides. Cutting through from one side only leads to disqualification in this discipline. The best European times in the underhand chop are under 20 seconds.

Stock Saw

In this discipline all the contestants use the MS 660, a standard STIHL chainsaw. After allowing the saw to warm up it is then placed on the ground. On the ‘Go’ signal it is seized and applied to the wood (diameter 40 cm). Two cookies (discs of wood) of a certain thickness must be sawn from the horizontal tree trunk in one down cut and one up cut.

Standing Block Chop

The Standing Block Chop simulates the felling of a tree. The objective is to chop through a 30 cm dia wood block as quickly as possible, from the side. Precise delivery of the axe blows and a powerful swing are decisive for quick success in the Standing Block Chop, Top European times in this discipline are around 20 seconds.

Single Buck

The competitor makes one cut through 19 inches of white pine using a single man cross-cut saw. The competitor may have a helper wedge his cut into the log to prevent the saw teeth from sticking. Time ends when the block is clearly severed. The primary challenges of this event are technique, brute strength and stamina.


In this discipline, two springboards are slotted one below the other into a vertical tree trunk. The aim is to cut through a block of wood on top of the trunk (diameter 27 cm) at a height of about 2.8 m above the ground. Springboard is also described as the ‘supreme discipline’ because as well as precise technique and strength, it also requires balance and skill from the athlete.

Hot Saw

This discipline uses specially tuned, extremely powerful chainsaws. The aim is to cut three cookies of a specified thickness from a horizontally positioned trunk (diameter 46 cm) as quickly as possible. The particular appeal of this discipline is controlling the concentrated power of the chainsaw (up to 62 hp). With a chain speed of 240 km/h and a weight of approx. 27 kg, these machines demand maximum performance from the athletes.

If you want to be part of the crowd supporting Team GB in October, get your tickets for the TIMBERSPORTS World Championship from the Echo Arena Liverpool and watch the original extreme sport in action!

Adult tickets start from just £22.25 for one night, or £38.50 for both Friday and Saturday night.

Next month, in the concluding part of this series, we will bring you full coverage from the World Championships in Liverpool.