The 300mm underhand race at the Mount Perry Axemen and Sawyers Annual 25th Woodchop
The 300mm underhand race at the Mount Perry Axemen and Sawyers Annual 25th Woodchop Sam Turner

Mt Perry is the home of woodchopping

FOR president of the Mt Perry Axemen and Sawyers Club Peter Dingle, woodchopping is a family affair.

"My grandfather chopped, my father chopped, I chopped, and now my two sons are chopping.”

A long list of Dingles were out in action at the 25th Annual woodchop for the club, with Peter admitting he "leaves the chopping to the young ones” nowadays.

Hosted at the Mt Perry Grand Hotel, axemen from Mt Perry, Rockhampton, Gympie, Biloela and more competed for prize money and chopping glory.

Being a huge milestone for the event, Peter said the sport has come a long way since back in the days when it was only chopping oriented.

"Now with women and young juniors getting involved, we incorporate chainsaws, cross cuttings and sawing among other things,” Peter said.

Running over the entire day with raffles, food and live music, Peter said the event has been a staple for the community.

"We have more sponsors on board now, and have competitors who've represented Queensland and Australia come to these meets.”

Some of the events on the day were the A, B, and C grade championships, standing block, relay, chainsaw demonstrations and underhand, all working with plantation timber.

These events often have handicap rules, where competitors will start chopping governed on the amount of prize money they've won.

"The more money you've won, the bigger your handicap, so it makes it an easier and fairer chop,” Peter said.

This competition often pays homage to the traditional sides of woodchopping, with underhand being a more classic method used.

"With the 300mm underhand, it demonstrated the style of when a timber fella in the old days felled a tree, and they'd go across and chop the log off the end,” Peter said.

"This was the common way of doing it before cross cut saws came out.”

Many of the competitors who used to work in the bush as loggers now work in the mines according to Peter, but many still come back because it's more of a traditional sport.

"Mt Perry has always been the home of woodchopping, we've just always been a strong area for so long,” Peter said.

"It brings everybody together in the community, because we're strong and demonstrate to the crowds what we can do.

"Some areas have football teams, we have woodchopping.”

Jake Dingle took out the championship in the A grade category, with Brodie Dingle second and Carson Jones third.


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