Powell River, You Did it: Logger Sports is Coming to Town
It’s been more than a decade since Powell River hosted a world championship logger sport competition. But this summer, we’re back on the circuit. That’s thanks in large part to local logger and businessman Bob Marquis, who has once again harnessed the energy of the forestry community to put on a show.
It’s coming to Willingdon Beach July 16 and 17 – sandwiched between Kathaumixw and Seafair. Bob, along with a few dozen volunteers, is rebuilding the old amphitheatre behind the Forestry Museum to accommodate the events (see sidebar for the complete list). That includes erecting two new climbing poles; the old ones rotted out and were chopped down a few years back, leaving only stumps. In July’s Ferns & Fallers magazine, Marquis said he’d bring the competition back to town if 5,000 people said they wanted it – and if a team of volunteers came forward. The staff at Powell River Living posted a Facebook page, and to date, 3,378 people have signed up. That was enough to convince him. I saw some of the Facebook posts from kids who are all grown up, who said some of their fondest memories were going to see logger sports at Willingdon,” he said. “It’s a good Canadian event. It’s why the community is here. This is a forest community. We’re doing a good job of managing the forest this time around, these past 30 years. We can support a lot of families from the forest. So let’s put on a show.”
In October, Bob went to the Canadian Logger Sports Association annual meeting in Nanaimo; he lobbied to host several Canadian Worlds. People were happy to see him, he recalled, because Powell River put on one of the best shows in North America. A revival is most welcome.
“It’s better than the PNE,” he noted, “where you spend two hours competing and four hours getting out of the #&@^ing parking lot.”
Key to hosting the events – which in the past attracted as many as 11,000 outoftowners – is volunteers. Bob insists he will not be running the show this time, and he’s relying on old hands and new blood to take on the bulk of the work associated with the events. Art Lloyd, who’s pictured on the cover, is a key volunteer. He competed in logger sports as a teenager back in the mid1970s, before he settled into building log homes (the caretakers’ cabin at Willingdon is one of his) and logging. During Powell River’s run hosting championship logger sports, he was head field judge.
“I like the young guys getting involved,” he said, referencing the strong showing by under 30s at the beach photo shoot in late November. “They have lots of energy.” Powell River will host several Canadian World Championship events, which tend to attract a crew of travelling competitors.
Championship Events List
Novice men’s axe throw
Novice men’s tree climb
(Note: Bob Marquis will offer a special cash prize to any Powell River climber who wins
Intermediate men’s doublebuck
Open springboard chop
Open hot saw
Open Underhand chop
Open Obstacle pole
Open GP Accuracy chop
Championship chair carving
Other events, local competition and not part of the championships, are:
Hand sawing events
Single buck and double buck
Hot saw events
Ladies axe throw
Ladies’ hand sawing events
Ladies’ double buck
Ladies’ nail drive