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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Fireworks and wood chips fly

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A trio of Lismore residents Tom, Kieran and Emma, travelled north on Saturday just to see the fireworks at the opening of the Brunswick Valley Woodchop Festival.

On Saturday evening as the sun went down, hundreds were drawn to the banks of the Brunswick River at Banner Park for the traditional fireworks display that marks the start of the Festival of the Fish ’n’ Chips.

From this Wednesday to Sunday the Brunswick Valley Woodchop Carnival will take place. Close to 95 axemen, women and juniors will contest 34 events.

Competitors are coming from all eastern states of Australia and from New Zealand. To foster the family atmosphere both women and junior boys and girls get the opportunity to compete in single and mixed events alongside the men and veteran men. This encourages continuation of the sport.


Last year Brunswick Heads was awarded the opportunity present two Australian titles and they have that opportunity again.

The two title events are the Australian 375mm Standing Block and the 275mm Underhand Championships. Both will be keenly contested and as open events will be fast and exciting. Defending title holders Brad de Losa (Lithgow NSW) and Shane Jordan (NZ) will be back again.

Brad has achieved the highest point of his sporting career, a win in Stuttgart, Germany, in October of the 2013 Stihl Timbersports World Championship, competing against the world’s best lumberjack athletes from 14 countries. Brad took the trophy from his friend and world’s best great all-round axeman Jason Wynyard from New Zealand.

Against 120 of the world’s best axemen, Brad won three of the six disciplines and maintained good scores in the other events. Apart from some of the disciplines of underhand, standing block, sawing and tree that we see at Brunswick Heads, the axemen had to operate two chainsaw events.

One such event is the Hotsaw (custom chainsaw with a 250–300cc engine usually taken from a custom motorcycle or snowmobile). The other is the Stock Saw, an MS 660 Stihl Magnum chain saw.

The final of the Standing Block Championship will be at 8pm on Friday with heats during the day. The Underhand Championship final will be at 8.15pm on Saturday, heats of that event during the same day.

Saturday night also sees the finals of the Tree Championship, two- and three-man relays and the regular State of Origin. Will the young NSW team be able to repeat last year’s win by just one chop?

The women will be represented by Karmyn Wynyard, Jason’s wife, from New Zealand and Amanda Beams, from Tasmania, the Women’s Champion of Champions 2013 and Overall Handicap Points winners 2013; both are defending their titles.

The Brunswick Heads woodchop carnival is the biggest carnival outside the Sydney and Brisbane shows. It is interesting to note that descendants of many of the original organisers, competitors, volunteers and supporters continue to come each year.

There is no admission cost to the carnival and everyone is welcome to come along and watch the chips fly.

The session times are:

Wednesday: 12.45 to 5pm, 6.30 to 9pm

Thursday: 12.30 to 5.45pm, 7 to 9pm

Friday: 10am to 5pm, 7 to 8.45pm

Saturday: 11.30am to 5.30pm, 7 to 9.30pm.


~ Photos Tree Faerie





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  1. OK, the fireworks were great and your story is about the chips and what will happen But what about the FISH.
    Yes it happened on Sunday. the inaugural Lions Junior Fishing Competition. There were 40 entries of kids in 3 age groups, youngest 3 to eldest 16. Weigh-in was at 1-00pm and winners announced at 2-00pm. The organisers would be able to give you the results, but it seems the Echo isn’t interested in the whole Fish & Chips event.


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