THE IRONY of being crowned Women’s Champion wood chopper for a woman who owns her own sawmill isn’t lost on Debbie Clissold.
The 41-year-old qualified for the Stihl Timbersports Australian Championships for the first time and the wood chips fell her way, taking out the top spot.
“I got into wood chopping through my husband, I’d been following him around for two years sitting on the sideline and I got sick and tired of it,” she said.
“So I decided to take up an axe and do the underhand where you stand on top of the log, and started competing there.”
The most consistent athlete on the day, Clissold took nine points in the stocksaw, eight in the single buck and six in the underhand chop – finishing just ahead of Queensland’s Renee Retschlag.
Three years in, her goal was just to beat her own personal best, but she ended up doing far better – focusing on her own performance.
“I’m still shocked that I actually won,” she said.
“Leading up to this I did six weeks of cutting eight discs, stocksaw, I got help from some professional athletes who game me two or three extra tips that helped me get technical assistance and that made a huge difference.
“You don’t have to be the biggest or strongest, it comes down to technique.
“It’s built on high expectations, speed, pressure and see who comes out on top.”
The two-day event at the Gold Coast saw more than 30 athletes compete for a crowd of 10,000.
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