In front of the cameras of TSN, it was a familiar face that grabbed the Logger of the Day award at the Loggers Sports World Class Open Show on Sunday (Aug. 4).
Oregon resident Brian Bartow picked up first place in the chokerman's race and tree topping world championships to go along with seconds in the climb, birling and obstacle pole bucking. It's the third straight year he's captured the award. Bartow competed in a total of eight events on the afternoon and said it was a long day.
“They definitely kept me busy,” he said with a smile after winning the award. “I'm pretty happy to win Logger of the Day again, I wasn't really sure I had much of a chance, but it feels nice to win. I was just really hoping to win the climb.”
He said it's great for Squamish to be on TSN, but that most of the competitors are used to dealing with the spotlight.
“We do a bunch of other shows that they film,” he said. “And some of the big shows in the States also tape us. It should be great for Squamish to get on TV though.”
Bartow said Squamish is one of his favourite stops on the loggers sports tour.
“I've been coming here since I was 18 and it's always been one of my favourite shows,” he said, adding his girlfriend is a Squamish resident.
Montana resident Lauren Bergman took home the Lady Logger of the Day with a solid all-around showing. She picked up a total of 16 points, with a first place showing in the axe throw and a second place finish in the choker race. Bergman edged out Slocan, B.C. resident Janice Burns and Squamish's Jamey-Lyn Horth.
It was the Loggers Sports debut for Horth and she wowed her fellow competitors with such a strong initial showing. Horth finished second in the axe throw and third in the choker race at her first loggers sports event.
“I called her and convinced her,” said Squamish's Marie Grindlay, who was tied for seventh overall. “She had never even picked up an axe before today. It was amazing what she did and I'm so proud of her.”
Other individual men's winners included: Mike Forrester (underhand chop), Lukas Brown-John (axe throw), Branden Sirguy (single bucking), Wayne Paulsen (speed bucking), Mitch Hewitt (spring board chop), Carson Bischoff (obstacle pole bucking), Walt Page and Sirguy (double hand bucking), Stirling Hart (climb), David McDonald/Jesse Whitehead/Kevin Steward (standing butcher block chop) and Dennis Cahoon (powersaw tree falling).
The other women-specific event saw the Alberta tandem of Danielle Tkach and Katherine Spencer win the jill and jill hand bucking contest.
Another impressive showing by a female was Wisconsin's Shana Martin, who beat out the guys to win the birling championship. Martin is an elite loggers sports athlete who also made her Squamish debut on Sunday.
Sunday also marked the final appearance of legendary announcer and long-time Squamish Loggers Sports clown Paul MacKenzie. He was honoured for his decades of work in both roles with a “key” to the loggers sports grounds and also local loggers carved out the letters to spell “clown” for him to keep.
Competitors said MacKenzie will be a big loss to the Squamish experience. Grindlay said she was close to tears when MacKenzie was overwhelmed emotionally after kind words from organizers and the gifts.
“Personally it really affected me,” she said. “When you hear Paul's voice it kind of makes us all feel comfortable and he knows all the tricks of the trade.”
“It's sad to see him leave, but I think Armand [Hurford – new host] will step up,” Bartow added.
Hurford helped with hosting duties last year and this year, and both Bartow and Grindlay said he has big shoes to fill, but he should do a great job replacing MacKenzie.
Loggers sports action also took place on Saturday (Aug. 3) with many strong showings from local competitors at the novice and intermediate show.
Squamish-based winners included: Tyler Kion (intermediate obstacle pole bucking), Allan Carson (novice birling), Phil Cairns (novice axe throw) and Darwin Cardiff (junior birling).
Carson and Kion also picked up a third and fourth respectively in the novice chokerman's race.
Other winners on Saturday included: Nick Van Brocklin (int. underhand chop), Brandon Hintz (novice underhand chop and novice stock appearing powersaw), Lukas Brown-John (int. double hand bucking), Ian Freeburg (novice climb and novice standing block chop), Jake Forrester (novice chokerman's race) and Nick Hall (int. springboard chop).
For more information on the event, visit www.squamishdays.ca.