Jamie Head’s a cut above the rest

Published 6:00am 28 January 2024

Jamie Head’s a cut above the rest
Words by Kylie Knight

Fourth generation woodchopper Jamie Head credits his longtime connection with local competitions for helping him become the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Individual World Champion.

Head, who grew up on the Redcliffe Peninsula and whose family runs the woodchopping competition at the Redcliffe Show, was crowned world champion in Stuttgart, Germany, in September.

He was also part of the Australian team which won the teams competition.

“That was my fifth win with the team and my first individual title. I had to win the Australian title in Wollongong in August and that allowed me to be in the team and to be our individual competitor,” he explains.

“You have to do the six disciplines yourself – there’s three sawing disciplines with two of them being chainsaw disciplines, and then the three chopping disciplines.

“It’s a one-on-one race, but it’s timed and then you gain points per event over the six events to see who has got the most points at the end of the day.”

It was his sixth appearance at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championships with the team and his first as an individual.

Head, who has called Burpengary East home for about eight years, started competing as an eight-year-old and his three children have also enjoyed the sport.

His wife Katrina competes in the women’s Timbersports and some woodchopping events.

“Timbersports is a very American-based style of event. Woodchopping basically originated here in Australia, that style of competition,” Jamie explains.

“Our success in Timbersports is due to our woodchopping background and the sheer number of competitors here, the volume of events that are here. We’ve been doing this here for the 150 years we’ve been competing. We’ve got pretty good, learnt the ways that work.”

Jamie Head’s a cut above the rest

Lifelong passion

Head, 37, has been a top-level competitor for the past 20 years and loves the sport which has been such a big part of his life.

“When you do something for so long, it’s hard to leave, I guess. It’s a good sport. It keeps you out of trouble,” he says.

“I think it’s becoming more and more popular because of the Timbersports being on TV and people being able to watch it on a weekly basis.

“It’s a good social sport. It caters for kids - from five years old you can start. We have events for the everyday hacker all the way through to your championship cutters and then veterans’ events for over 60s.

“There’s guys getting around and competing into their 80s. The women in the last 20 years have started with their own events. It’s getting bigger and bigger. This year they’ll have their first world titles at the Sydney show.”

Jamie Head’s a cut above the rest

Big year in 2024

This year will be another big one for Head who has his sights on another appearance at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championships.

“The next thing for us is we’re going to Sydney’s Royal Easter Show – where they have the woodchopping world titles,” he explains.

“After that, we’ll be onto the Queensland circuit doing the normal woodchopping where we have a lot of Queensland titles at.

“Whoever has the most points at the end of that becomes the Queensland Champion of Champions, which I’ve been lucky enough to win seven times previously.

“After that, we’re at the Ekka and then we’re back at the Australian STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series to try to qualify again to go to the World Series. That will be at the end of August, early September.”

In between all of that, he will be helping organise the woodchopping competition at the Redcliffe Show in June.

“We have one of the biggest events in Queensland. We run four Queensland titles for the men and two for the women,” he says.

So, will he be competing at the show again this year? You betcha.

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