Women take an axe to show competition


By Kirra Livingstone

THE Maleny Show will this year feature women woodchoppers for the first time in its history, including national and international competitors.

The Show will feature seven female woodchoppers and marks the first year for woodchopping events at all since 2019.

Queensland champion Renee Retschlag currently holds the Queensland Jill Underhand Champion title and was the 2021 Women’s Stihl Timbersports Champion.

She will be chopping alongside five other women from across Australia, while New Zealand competitor Anne Paterson will also compete.

The show will feature a junior’s, men’s and women’s show with underhand, standing block (just for the men), and sawing, and Renee said the Australian competitors may have an advantage.

“The international competitors may struggle when they compete in Australia because our timber is a lot more solid than timber from other countries,”
she said.

“They will still do well but maybe not as well as they usually do.”

Renee said the more shows that showcase the sport the more they gain followers and traction.

“When I started out there weren’t many women competing in Queensland,” she said.

“At the moment there’s about 12 women off the top of my head, who compete from Queensland.

“I think the sport is expanding, especially when you go to the big royal shows you have people travelling interstate to compete.”

As for tips on what makes a champion woodchopper, Renee said it was not just a battle against others, but a battle against yourself.

“We compete nearly every weekend and see everyone and it’s like a big family, it’s great catching up with everyone,” she said.

Renee has been competing for nine years, ever since she was a spectator at her husband’s woodchopping events.

“I like that it’s different from other sports, it’s not a usual sport,” she said.

One of Renee’s daughters has also fallen in love with the sport and is competing at a junior level.

The woodchopping and sawing events are held on Saturday, May 28 from 10am at the Maleny Show.

Grab your tickets online at https://malenyshowsociety.org.au/shop/

Advertisement