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Good showing at the Lumberjack World Championships
The Washington team of David Moses Jr. on the saw while David Sr. assists.
The Pacific Northwest is known for its misty rain, while the Upper Great Lakes can have low temperatures. At times those conditions blend. One of those times occurred July 25-27, 2013, at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wisc. With highs in the mid to upper fifties, thermometers registered in the lower fifties by the start of the evening’s competition, dropping so low on the final night that spectators could see their breath in the night air.
Hart Forecasts Performance
It was during that final night of competition that Stirling Hart, world-class pole climber from Maple Ridge, B.C., was asked whether the light rains accompanying the cool temperatures were a problem. Or if, being from the Pacific Northwest, he was accustomed to climbing in the rain.
Hart said the wet pole made the climb and descent a bit difficult as the spurs sank in a bit deeper. Later Stirling went on to set a new 90’ Open Climb world record, outpacing Brian Bartow of Molalla, Ore., to win in 18.30 seconds; nearly a full second ahead of the record he set last year. Apparently what Stirling said about not liking a wet pole was true because he sure seemed in a hurry to get off of it.
Bartow Goes Home with Title
Bartow did not go home without a title as he proved to be the best climber in the 60’ Traditional Climb event against formidable competitors. Brian took 1st on the opening day, registering 12.49 seconds, then slipped to 3rd with a slow (for him) 17.48. Shaving more than five seconds off that showing, Bartow took the championship with Derek Knutson, a Hayward native, on the other pole.
Part of a six-man heat in the Men’s Standing Chop, Stirling Hart and Brian Bartow found themselves in the same round as David Moses Jr. of Snoqualmie, Wash. All three men survived Thursday’s eliminations; Moses finished 8th with 41.49 seconds, Hart was 11th with 43.96 seconds, and Bartow came in 12th at 46.48.
The mid-point of the competition saw them finish in that same order but with improved times: Moses in 1st-32.50, Hart in 2nd-34.10, and Bartow in 5th-38.72. With Moses and Hart advancing to Saturday’s championship, the roles were reversed. The event was won by New Zealand’s Jason Wynyard, who blasted his way through the 12” aspen log in just 24.10 seconds. Hart came in 5th at 32.10, and Moses was 6th with a time of 37.34.
Moses Chews up the Pine
David Moses Jr., also finished in the money for zipping through 20 inches of white pine in the Men’s Single Buck. With David Moses Sr. (Fall City, Wash.) spraying the lube and handling the wedge, the younger David timed out at 16.87 on Friday — good enough for 8th place. Somehow the championship round causes competitors to kick it up a notch, and Moses did just that, finishing 4th with 13.88 tallied on the stopwatches.
David Moses Sr. had his own moment in the sun (make that “cold rain”) in the Masters Underhand Chop. On Thursday, Moses whittled one 12” piece of aspen into two pieces in 1:10.97 and tightened that up to 1:00.23 on Friday. But when the money was on the line the following day, he turned in a time of 47.77 seconds, finishing 2nd to Minnesota’s Gus Carlson.
Another western competitor — T. J. Bexton of Aberdeen, Wash. — had his best event in the Hot Saw competition. Working three cuts through a 20” white pine log in 7.73 seconds on Friday, T.J. pushed it up a bit on Saturday, posting a time of 7.71. That was good enough for 5th behind event winner Mike Sullivan (CT), who took the title in 6.17 seconds.
Each year it seems that the number of West Coast competitors making the trek to the Lumberjack World Championships in Wisconsin grows. That trend, judging by their performances, is likely to continue.