Slicing through the competition
Posted on : 10 April 2018
Written by: Katrina Nash
Poised as he concentrates on his next swing, a woodchopper braces himself before using brute strength to slice his axe through a block of wood.
Holding the axe is twelve-year-old Hayden Hewitt from Wamuran, QLD. A third-generation woodchopper, Hayden is following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather, competing at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Inspired by his father, Hayden began his woodchopping campaign at just three years of age and is the youngest competitor at the 2018 Sydney Royal Woodchopping & Sawing Competition.
“My first ever competition was at the Caboolture show in the underhand competition,” Hayden said.
And while most twelve-year-old boys are running around the footy field, playing video games or catching the latest flick at the movies, Hayden spends his spare time practicing for his next competition.
“I train every afternoon with wood we get from my Grandparents property.
“I sometimes have to cut up wood for firewood and we sell some of it off after we cut it.”
Keen to continue with his family’s tradition of woodchopping Hayden hopes to one day win the World Tree Felling title as his grandad once did at the Show.
“Wood felling is my favourite competition. It’s the most exciting,” Hayden said.
“You have to cut three holes in the tree, climb up using these boards that have a metal clip in the end that dig into the hole.
“And then when you get up on three boards you cut halfway through the block on top then come down and do the same on the other side.”
Competing in the tree felling, underhand and standing block competitions all in the opens age group, the Father and Son competition is the highlight of the event for Hayden’s family.
“I watched Dad Woodchopping when I was younger and I just wanted to do that.”
And although Hayden didn’t place in the open events, he was selected to compete in the junior development event, placing fourth in his final. An effort that makes his dad very proud.
“We’re not too worried about Hayden competing. He is trained well with the correct technique,” Lindsay Hewitt said.
“He does a lot of it himself and we give him a few pointers along the way.”