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Axemen from across the East Coast take on timber festival

MILLIMETRE PRECISION: Fence post splitting has become one of the favourite attractions at the woodchop and will again be front and centre at the Glenreagh Timber Festival this weekend.
MILLIMETRE PRECISION: Fence post splitting has become one of the favourite attractions at the woodchop and will again be front and centre at the Glenreagh Timber Festival this weekend. Leigh Jensen

WOODCHOP: North Coast Axemen have sharpened the blades and practised their swing as they prepare to welcome more than 20 visiting choppers for this weekend's Glenreagh Timber Festival.

While the festival will be packed with entertainment and sideshows for the family, the sport of woodchopping will take pride of place as the North Coast Axemen's Association hosts the Kevin Smith Memorial NSW 250mm Championship.

Along with the state title event there will be four separate handicaps - double-handed sawing, veteran chop event and the annual post splitting competition.

According to North Coast Axemen's Association secretary Michele Kellett it is the varied events that help attract a strong field to the festival.

"On average you get between 15 to 20 axemen so to get 33 to this event is a really good roll up," she said.

"If an axemen wants to travel, he wants to have plenty of events to chop in so we try to vary the line up as much as possible."

The 250mm championship will be a combined event with competitors chopping both underhand and standing block.

Grafton axeman Chris Owen will again compete for the NSW title but he will not have it easy with reigning champion Dorrigo's Michael Kellett eyeing off back-to-back titles.

"Both local guys will go into the event in good form," Kellett said. "There is no real quiet time for axemen and because we are always competing it means the guys are always ready for a chop.

"It will be standing room only at the woodchop. We're all very excited."

Topics:  chris owen glenreagh timber festival woodchop