Sport

Owen the new national woodchop champ

CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK: Grafton woodchop champion Chris Owen is a third-generation participant in the sport.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK: Grafton woodchop champion Chris Owen is a third-generation participant in the sport.

GRAFTON woodchopper Chris Owen is Australia's new 375mm standing block champion, but that is only the beginning for him this year as he trains for more woodchopping glory.

Owen won the title at the Brunswick Heads Woodchop Carnival last week.

"Next weekend I'm heading to La Trobe for the 300mm elimination championship," Owen said.

Owen hopes to break the 50-year-old record of 13.7 seconds to win a purse of $50,000.

The winner of the event is also awarded $8000.

Afterwards, Owen will focus on the 375mm world title at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

"I'm chasing a major sponsor and heading to the world titles in Sydney at the Royal Easter Show. There will be 32 axemen, and a strong contingent from New Zealand," he said.

Owen will then compete in the NSW Stihl Timbersports Series, which takes the top six woodchoppers in their discipline in the state on a tour through to Eastern Creek, Bathurst and Homebush.

"I will also compete in a couple of relays. We take on the New Zealand South Island and Queensland teams," he said.

At the Brunswick Heads Woodchop Carnival, Owen faced rival and friend Brad de Losa.

"It felt pretty good to win. We are good mates and always cut against each other," Owen said.

"I've come close to beating him all year and finally got him at Brunswick Heads."

Owen cut through his log in 53 seconds with de Losa finishing at 60 seconds.

"I cut quite well and my wood was quite clear. Brad had to stop once or twice to clear a chip and that let me get ahead.

"It was neck and neck at the start but I just kept going through it.

"The record for 375mm is 33 seconds, but the wood was a lot softer that year."

Owen is a third-generation woodchopper and is grandson to woodchop notable Max Kroehnert.

"There is a good social aspect to it. You meet a lot of social people," Owen said.

"It takes the best part of the day when you go to a chop.

"At the Grafton Show we get up to 400 people come watch the wood chop."

Owen started competing at 12. He is now 25.

In the lead-up to a major woodchopping event he trains three times a week at the back of his grandfather's house.

"Out the back of my granddad's place there is a training arena.

"I also do the swimming for cardio and endurance."

A good competing axe can cost $750 and Owen will take up to 12 axes to a competition.

"The main brand is Tuatahi, from New Zealand.

"The head is eight inches wide by eight inches long.

"They're very thin and have a 13 to 16 degree bevel.

"They're also very sharp, you can shave with them."

OWEN'S Wins

Australian title 375mm standing block

Two Grafton Show championships

Country show champion at Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Macksville, Casino and Lismore

Represented Australia in under-21 team

Six-time NSW representative

Won B-grade championship in Brisbane

Topics:  chris owen grafton woodchopping



Look My Way into ArtExpress

Ruby Sullivan of McAuley Catholic College has had her major HSC artwork accepted into the annual ArtExpress exhibition.

McAuley student's HSC artwork selected for exhibition

'That's not a brown!': Rare snake found lurking

Snakes have an inoffensive nature and are reluctance to bite

Spotify Summer tour kicks back in the Clarence Valley

David Harrison, Thom Moore and Beatrice McBride pose in the back of their truck for #spotifysummer

Head down to Minnie Water and Wooli to meet the crew from Spotify.

Local Partners

Dakota's world beating spectacular performance

Dancer helps break world record at School Spectacular performance


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Ready to rumble: Boxing makes long-awaited return to Grafton

DETERMINED: Grafton Amateur Boxing Club members Zac Cotten (Cruiserweight), James Morrison (Jnr Featherweight), Eddie Debono (Super Heavyweight), Rhys Walters (Light Heavyweight), Joseph Pigg (Jnr Welterweight), Jamie Mansfield (Cruiserweight) are prearing for upcoming fight night in Grafton.

Five North Coast title belts up for grabs

Cyclist's 24 hours of pain for mental health

International endurance mountain-bike rider Morgan Pilley is used to pushing through the elements, but this weekend he'll push on to raise money for local mental health services in a charity ride at Junction Hill.

Ride For Youth to raise money for local youth mental health services

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Five South Grafton houses that won't break the bank

Check out these South Grafton houses for sale

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Give a little more this Christmas

TIME TO GIVE: Lee Johns, Courtney Smith and Daniel Kelly of Ray White Yamba promote their Little Ray Of Giving Christmas gift appeal.

Call out for presents, big or small

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!