Kilcoy local Gerald Youles at the Rookie Championships.
Kilcoy local Gerald Youles at the Rookie Championships. Rookie Championships

TOP OF THE CHOP: Kilcoy local sets woodchopping world record

AT THE Stihl Timbersports Australian Championships on the Gold Coast this past weekend, Kilcoy local Gerald Youles was tying with the winner, before he was beaten by just 0.02 seconds.

David Reumer from Canyonleigh, New South Wales, was crowned Australia's rookie champion, followed by Gerald Youles, and then Blackbutt's Jack Argent in third place.

Winners: Second place Gerald Youles, first place David Reumer and third place Jack Argent.
Winners: Second place Gerald Youles, first place David Reumer and third place Jack Argent. Rookie Championships

With the top two athletes tied on 24 points at the end of four chopping and sawing disciplines, the 23-year-old was pitted at the post by Reumer by a minuscule margin of just 0.02 seconds.

Youles did not walk away empty-handed, ensuring his performance set a new rookie world record in the underhand chop with a time of 14.26 seconds - over a second faster than the previous time. 

"0.02 of a second - it doesn't get much closer than that. David did well all day and put up some ripper cuts in the standing block and in the single, so I can't take anything away from him, he did an awesome job,” Youles said.

More than 5000 spectators turned out for the one-day event on the Gold Coast to witness more than 30 athletes, including men, women, and rookies (under 25), fight tooth and nail with razor-sharp axes and high-powered chainsaws in the bid to be crowned Australia's champion in their respective division.

Not to be outdone, Reumer stepped it up a notch to claim the rookie world record in the standing block chop with a time of 12.16 seconds to set up a thrilling finale in the single buck saw.

It was a state of origin battle with the Queenslander and New South Welshman knowing the winner of the single buck saw would likely take the championship.

Reumer took the heat win with a new personal best of 14.96 seconds - crucially 2.81 seconds faster than Youles to take the win and break the tie by the 0.02 second margin.

Winner David Reumer at the Rookie Championships.
Winner David Reumer at the Rookie Championships. Rookie Championships

Reumer's win secure him a spot in the Australian Chopperoos team, who will be looking to claim their fifth team world championship at the Stihl Timbersports World Championships in Prague in November, after beating out six of the country's best rookie athletes to claim the under-25 title.

He'll also go on to represent Australia in the rookie world championship in Europe early next year.

"I can't do any better than to win by 0.02 of a second. It's great to be up there with my mates, I'm rapt and couldn't be any happier if I tried,” Reumer said.

"It shows how close the competition is over here and how far everyone has come that you can't let off in any area and have to just go for it all day.

"It's the best thing you can do, to be able to represent your country in your chosen sport, whatever it is. It's the greatest honour, to get to put on the green and gold over in Europe and show the world what we've got.”

Event director Lee Gooch said the athletes put on a thrilling show for the thousands of spectators who turned out to witness the closest competitions in history.

"We had an impressive turnout last year, which is why we decided to bring the Stihl Timbersports Australian Championships back to the Gold Coast, and the crowds didn't disappoint,” Gooch said.

"We had a great atmosphere with impressive athletes and nail-biting performances, which showed the sport is really on the rise in Australia.”

Final Rookie Championship Placings

1. David Reumer (NSW) - 24 points (1:00.55)

2. Gerald Youles (QLD) - 24 points (1:00.57)

3. Jack Argent (QLD) - 20 points

4. Daniel Beams (TAS) - 13 points

5. Curtis Bennent (NSW) - 12 points

6. Matt Coffey (VIC) - 12 points

7. Lane Chant (VIC) - 6 points

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