World champion wood chopper dominates Wandoan
WANDOAN was awash with talent at their recent annual country show, but a particular guest from out of town had everyone talking.
The recently crowned World Champion wood chopper, Gerald Youles from Kilcoy, managed to live up to his speedy reputation with a busy day collecting ribbons.
Mr Youles took home third in the double handed sawing handicap, second in the double handed saw championship, the 11 inch underhand handicap title and the cherry on top, the 300 millimetre underhand championship.
After competing at the recent Toowoomba Royal Show and earning himself 12 inch underhand championship title, Youles said it was good to get back to a country show.
"The little country shows are where it's at, I always enjoy attending them over the big Royal shows because of the community aspect,” he said.
"The percentage of the community that turn to regional shows is far higher than the turn up in the cities, and I think that says a lot.”
Contrary to what some may think, Gerald Youles is not exactly what you might call "a chip off the old block.”
Unlike many young professional wood choppers, Mr Youles is the first in his family to take to the axe.
Growing up on a property, the Youles family farmed dairy cattle and shorthorns and like most country boys, young Gerald took to campdrafting and mustering like a fish to water.
It wasn't until a family friend suggested a fresh faced Mr Youles have a crack at the wood chop event in 2010 that his new-found passion was discovered.
Now, 24 Youles travels Australia and the world competing at shows and wood chopping championships, with his eye already on the prize for his next conquest.
This week's Sydney Royal Show will be Youles first time defending his World Champion title and he certainly won't be looking to give it away easily.
"The Sydney Royal is like the Wimbledon of wood cutting. They will be hosting five world titles and I am going to be chasing three of them,” Mr Youles said.