World champion woodchopper set to swing the axe at Royal Show

World champion woodchopper set to swing the axe at Royal Show
World champion woodchopper set to swing the axe at Royal Show

BRENT Rees has chopped his way to world championship status and is set to dominate at this year’s Perth Royal Show.

The third generation woodchopper, who quit his full-time job two years ago to chip away at the sport, has had a big year.

With between 70 and 80 axes in his possession, some worth about $1500, his dedication to the sport could not be mistaken.

“I went over to the World Championship in Sydney and I won that,” he said.

“They hold 12 Australian championships around Australia throughout the year and I went to all them and I won the Australian champion of champions.”

After winning the 15 inch standing block round at the Sydney Easter Show, he is off to the Royal Adelaide Show this month and plans to smash the foot world category at this year’s Perth Royal Show.

“This sport, it’s not like you go to one place like the Olympics where you run everything for one week and it’s all over,” he said.

“Our sport, they spread it throughout the whole year, so you can’t have a job; you spend different parts of the year in different states (competing).”

Also on the horizon is the Timbersports Australian Championship in December, which could be his greatest challenge.

“At the Royal Show you enter in the unhandled standblocks, then you’ve got the tree pegging, which is where you go up the tree, but you don’t have to do them all, you can choose,” he said.

“In the Timbersports, you have to be good at all six disciplines; you have to do all of them in one day.”

While Rees has enjoyed the glory of being top of the sport in Australia, he said there were certainly risks involved.

“My back’s been my worst, I’ve had a lot of trouble with that,” he said.

“People do cut their feet off, I’ve seen it heaps of times. If you go to the show every day you are almost guaranteed to see one person do it.”

There is also the issue of excess wood after months of training for a big competition.

“When I trained for the world championships, my backyard was full (of wood) and it was getting out of control and I had people come and take it for firewood.”