Woodfest carves out records | News | Kawerau

Woodfest carves out records

30 September 2015

SAW RACING: Waata Novata competes in the chainsaw racing event in Prideaux Park.

KAWERAU’S Woodfest weekend drew thousands of visitors and broke records over the three days of woodcrafts, carving, chainsaw racing and woodchip shovelling.

Organiser Lee Barton said 8000 to 10,000 people attended from Friday to Sunday, with Saturday drawing the largest crowd.

One of the most popular and hotly-contested events was the Big Dig – the annual team woodchip shovelling race.

A team from Hubbard Contracting regained top spot on Sunday morning following a controversial loss in 2014.

“Hubbard Contracting finished the dig first last year, then as they racked their shovels one slid off the leveller and landed on the floor at a funny angle,” Mr Barton said.

The competition’s rules required shovels to be racked correctly, so the team was disqualified, he said.

Mr Barton said a few years ago the top teams recorded times around 3 minutes 30 seconds, but Hubbard

Contractors recorded 3:03 in their heat, before dropping the time even further in the final.

“They smashed the world record in the final with 2:56 minutes,” Mr Barton said.

A team from Kawerau South School won the children’s woodchip shovelling race on Saturday morning.

The Woodskills competition in the Ron Hardie Recreation Centre opened on Friday morning and included carving, woodturning, furniture-making, weaving, marquetry and intarsia.

Mr Barton said more than 200 wooden creations were entered, the greatest number in the event’s 25-year history.

“During the prizegiving evening on Thursday they ran out of catalogues, which has never happened before,” he said.

“They usually get 100 printed and have a few left over but the room just kept filling up.”

Another record was matched, but not beaten, by one person at the Purex Record Setter Games.

Over Saturday and Sunday, visitors could compete for the world record in a number of toilet paper challenges and one person matched a record by stacking 17 toilet rolls in 30 seconds.

Mr Barton said the New Zealand Stihl Timber Sports team, a new edition, was immensely popular.

During their lunch break the team picked four others and competed in the Canteen fundraising truck pull competition and pulled the 16-tonne Watchorn truck 40 metres in 23 seconds.

“No one even came close to touching that time,” Mr Barton said.

The group won the $500 top prize and donated it back to Canteen.

“All of a sudden that started a bit of a trend and the teams that came second and third donated their money too,” Mr Barton said.

The weekend also included trail bike demonstrations, dog agility, a gypsy fair, chainsaw races, a craft market and live sculpting at the Woodbugs event.

 WOODSKILLS: Leith Gray and Derek Krewood, below, demonstrate careful wood crafting at Woodskills in the Ron Hardie Recreation Centre.

WOOD BUG: Peter Akurangi refines his sculpture as part of the Wood Bugs carving symposium.

 WOODSKILLS: Leith Gray and Derek Krewood, below, demonstrate careful wood crafting at Woodskills in the Ron Hardie Recreation Centre.

 BIG DIG: Kurt Whiteley nd Jon Playle shovel woodchips during the Big Dig on Saturday morning.

 TALL CHOPPING: Axe man competitor Adam Lowe takes aim as he chops a block of wood in a timber sports event on Saturday. Photo by: Paula Massey.

 AGILE PERFORMANCE: A dog performs during Chelsea Marriner’s trick show on Saturday and Sunday of Woodfest.

 MOTOCROSS DEMO: Motocross demonstrations thrilled the crowd in Prideaux Park.

Source: Whakatane Beacon