State family duos to chop

FAMILY FORCE: Winkleigh son and father Daniel and Dale Beams will compete in Sydney this weekend. Picture: Neil Richardson
FAMILY FORCE: Winkleigh son and father Daniel and Dale Beams will compete in Sydney this weekend. Picture: Neil Richardson

A HEFTY contingent of Tasmanian axemen will compete in the final round of the 2016 Timbersports Australia series this weekend.

Among the travellers will be father and son duos Dale and Daniel Beams and Matthew and Daniel Gurr.

The round will be a sideshow to the penultimate Supercars round at Sydney’s Olympic Park and feature the nation’s best lumberjacks.

On Saturday, nine athletes will battle for the remaining five spots on next year’s Pro Tour and places in the Chopperoos squad for the world championships in Norway.

This year’s Australian champion Brad De Losa (NSW), Laurence O'Toole and Brayden Meyer (Victoria) have already booked a place on the tour with Tasmanians Dale Beams, Matthew Gurr and Kody Steers among a group hoping to join them.

“I missed out last year due to a couple of DQs (disqualifications) so this is my chance to make my way back into the top eight,” state round winner Dale said.

“I’ll be going in underdone, a little green.”

The Winkleigh product will compete in multiple disciplines: springboard, underhand and standing block chops as well as the single buck saw, stock saw and hot saw.

Participants will receive one to 10 points for each contest with the most successful axemen overall crowned the winner.

“To finish in the top five over six disciplines you want to finish no lower than third or fourth all the way through,” Dale said.

“I am a little hungry but I just haven't had the time to do what I need to do in preparation.”

Dale was part of the Australian team that won the world timbersports title in 2014.

On Sunday, the leading eight under-25 choppers will go head-to-head for the Australian rookie championship title and a chance to compete at the world’s in Europe early next year.

Westbury’s reigning rookie world championship runner up Andrew Kelly, 24, is the hot-favourite but by the rules cannot return to contest the title, guaranteeing a fresh Australian representative next year. The rookie field includes three more Tasmanians in Daniel Beams, 20, Daniel Gurr, 19, and wildcard entrant Josh Bakes, 19.

NSW brothers Blake and Brendan Marsh and Queenslanders Tom Wilkinson and Jack Argent round out the line-up that will clash in the stock saw, standing block and single underhand.

2017 Pro Tour qualifier field: Jamie Head, Lindsay Hewitt, Mitch Argent (QLD), Matthew Gurr, Kody Steers, Dale Beams (TAS), Glen Gillam, Brad Turner (VIC), Justin Beckett (NSW).