Evident strength and agility

It seemed as if Raubichi and its neighbouring Olympic Sports Complex had seen so many events, large and modest, that no surprises could be left
By Boris Yulianov

However, the 30th World Lumberjack Championship, which gathered those from 28 countries, has seen our team claim ten medals. Competing against squads from Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany, Ecuador, Japan, Russia, Latvia, Norway and elsewhere, over three days, they took away two gold, five silver and three bronze medals.

Raubichi and the Logoisk District hosted a range of lumberjacking events which allowed the forestry experts to demonstrate their strength and skill. Naturally, it’s a career where muscle power is paramount. Those who rarely lift anything heavier than a pen would be at a loss. Carrying a chainsaw for a couple of hours is easily the equivalent of lifting weights at the gym. The idea of jumping fences while carrying a chainsaw is the stuff of fantasy.

“There’s no place for ninnies in this profession — as in boxing or wrestling. You need real strength to bring down a tree. Without it, nothing is possible,” notes Sergey Shkudrov Senior (on the Belarusian team, with son Sergey). A chainsaw is not a bag of sweets, so forestry has always been considered a male profession. Nevertheless, this year saw a female entrant for the first time, performing with the Luxembourg team. She took part in every exercise and did well.

The work of such loggers is incredibly spectacular, especially the actual felling of trees. However, there were four other events: mounting the saw chain, bucking by combined cuts, precise cutting and abnodation (cutting out knots). Within just a few minutes, a mighty pine can be felled to land exactly at a certain marked point (the further away the tree lands from there, the fewer points earned). How is it possible? Belarusian Alexander Sugako sees nothing surprising, telling us, “If you had years of training in the woods you’d be able to do the same. We’ve gathered the best loggers from around the world, so spectators seeing this for the first time are probably in shock. They’ll certainly have something to talk about later.”
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