Matthew Moffatt


 This Friday and Saturday (19th-20th October), the Echo Arena in Liverpool will play host to the Stihl Timbersports World Championships. Described as “the most exciting sport you’ve never heard of”, it is the major league of lumberjack sports.

The World Championships are being held here in the UK for the very first time this month. The sport celebrates pioneer skills and has grown in popularity since the official Stihl Timbersports series was launched in 1985. It has a massive global fan-base, who follow the original extreme sport around the world. Their next stop: Liverpool.

The event is made up of six different disciplines, three with an axe and three with a saw, and is designed to replicate traditional lumberjack skills, simulating the felling of trees. Some of the disciplines included are the underhand chop, stock saw, standing block chop, single buck, springboard and hot saw. The disciplines test the athlete’s strength, endurance and technical ability in a pulsating race against the clock.

Elgan Pugh is the current British world champion and a 36-year-old father of four. The Welshman has said he is determined to keep improving after a 9th place finish in the previous World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. Elgan has been training intensively for the upcoming championships to keep himself in top physical condition. Most of Pugh’s fitness training is done in the evening when he focuses on cycling, running and playing five-a-side football. However, Pugh believes that the best form of training is to specifically practice the separate disciplines to hone his skills. “You can never stop improving,” Pugh explained.

New Zealand are the reigning World Champions after completing a clean sweep in 2017, winning both the individual and team events. With 22 nations competing in the championships this year, New Zealand will be hoping to repeat their success in the team event. However, rivals Australia will prove tough competition after winning four of the last seven World Championships.

New Zealand’s star man, Jason Wynyard is reigning individual World Champion and aiming to win his 15th World Championship in Echo Arena this October. Despite Wynyard’s dominance, an exciting young field of athletes will hope that 2018 is their year.

Credit: Echo Arena

There are around 8,000 people expected to attend the event in Liverpool.  The team World Championship takes place on Friday 19th October and the individual World Championship takes place on Saturday 20th October. Tickets are still available on Echo Arena’s website and start from £22.25 for adults. The World Championships will also be streamed live on Facebook from the official Stihl Timbersports page so thousands more can watch the edge of your seat action.

The thrilling sport will showcase elite lumberjacks doing what they do best to thousands of adoring fans. Sawing, chopping and slicing at speed, you’ll see it all this October at the Timbersports World Championships.