Germanfest to Host Timbersports National Championships
The 2017 Stihl Timbersports U.S. professional and collegiate championships will be take place this weekend at Henry Maier Festival Park as a part of this year’s Germanfest. Forty top timbersports competitors from across the country will participate over the festival’s three days, including Matt Cogar, who is trying for his fifth consecutive U.S. Championship.
The series, founded in 1985, is a sort of decathlon for lumberjacks. The events include various sawing and chopping races, with logs of up to 20 inches in diameter. Internationally, the series has been dominated in recent years by New Zealanders, who have claimed all but one of the series championships since 1997. Stateside, the game has been ruled by the Cogars, known as “the first family of competitive lumberjacking,” with Matt and his cousin, Arden, having claimed eight of the last nine U.S. titles.
The competition itself is as grueling as any pro sport, and timbersport television broadcasts draw more than 20 million people annually. Nathan “Bucket” Waterfield will be one of those challenging Matt Cogar for this national title. An arborist by day, Waterfield got into timbersports when he was going to college for forestry (it was the only organized sport this school offered) and joined the Stihl series in 2007. The sport has taken him to competitions in Spain and Australia. On the job, he uses similar, albeit less furious, chainsawing techniques in routine forestry management duties. Waterfield told Around MKE he is looking forward to competing in Milwaukee, as well as “the beer, Usinger brats, and cheese” the festival has to offer.
On Friday, July 28, the qualifying rounds will determine who advances to the professional championship round. The championship event will be featured on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. On Sunday, from 2-4 p.m., the collegiate championships determine the nation’s top amateur competitor. Those wishing to attend can buy Germanfest tickets for $9, a 25% discount of the normal price, using the promo code STIHL2017, or three days passes can be purchased for $21. To buy tickets, visit www.germanfest.com.