Convenor Of Selectors Report 2014-2015

For many many years New Zealand competitors have been competing in International competitions throughout the world and at home. New Zealand
doe’s not have as many members as other countries, but manage to produce outstanding performances consistently against the odds.

This year at the Sydney Royal Show the NZAA National Team displayed why they are ranked number one in the world with 3 such performances. Having won the previous year 3 nil against Australia their was an expectation from the sidelines we needed to back it up to be truly the World Champions.

The last two years both selectors Willie and I chose to name a NZAA Squad of candidates for higher honors. Creating an environment internally within the squad that both challenged their ability to perform under pressure and motivate them to contest Team Selection was the desired outcome. You can coach ability and skill but only having a great attitude produces what we call “form”. The Sydney Royal Show is the ultimate challenge for any member of a NZAA Team to find some “form”. It is the cauldron of Wood chopping and Sawing.

Prior the Sydney Show Squad members had performed strongly and positions were wide opened in some of the disciplines. Final naming of the Team was postponed until after the start of the show that gave me more time to monitor individual performances of squad members competing at Sydney in the hard woods.

The International series was made up of three races all highly charged with the usual pre match banter and jibes at the block draw and rigging before getting called out into the arena.

National anthems were played. Everyone took their places the order of axemen and sawyers never changed for NZ.
Jack Jordan first UH, Shane Jordan first Std, David McDonald SHS, Warren Riddle and Fa’vee Sefo DHS, Kyle Lemon (Capt.) last UH and Adam Lowe last STD. Jack Jordan the youngest Team Member and first time in Senior Team displayed true form giving NZ a start in all three races.

It should also be mention Jack along with NZ SHS David McDonald were outstanding in the Individual World Titles winning them both respectively in their chosen disciplines. They both have big futures in the sport and are still very young.

Without singling out anyone other than Jack Jordan everyone produced strong performances in all three races to win the series. Although we lost one race by a very small margin after examination of the blocks and analyzing the Australian members efforts I was more than happy with my team’s result leading up to the third and final Test that we won again. The Team was a tight-relaxed unit and focused on the task at hand, at the appropriate time they needed to be. This Team of men have won 5 out of the last 6 Tests against Australia 4 of them consecutively never been done before in Australia. The good news is we can get better. The support for everyone is growing nationally. I’m getting phone calls from guys that want to make the squad this coming year then push for a Team position that is great for our future.

With the emergence of Jack Jordan and some younger NZ competitors at the Show itself winning with creditable performances we can be optimistic moving forward. It’s worth mentioning that the NZ competitors such as Chris Lord who impressed me with his wins and is still improving bode well for the future.

I would like to mention the huge contribution that was made by the wider squad members that supported, rigged blocks, lifted, carried, nailed and run around getting anything and everything for the Team members. These guys went into the arena making sure that instructions from the Team Members such as positioning of stands, saws and axes were correct. Willie McDonald was huge with his contribution right throughout the duration of the show in this department for everyone.

I would like to congratulate the NZAA Women’s Team for winning the first Test at Sydney and narrowly losing the other two tests. I’m sure they will come back all the more determined next year. NZ women certainly have enough ability and promise if everyone is available and unified to produce a series win in my view against anyone in the world.

Congratulations to all the NZ individual axemen and sawyers that competed at the show. It is always extremely difficult to win at Sydney but just to get to compete there is very rewarding and an achievement in itself.

NZAA Stihl Timbersports Team

This year NZAA approached Stihl NZ and held discussions to promote our sport both Nationally and Internationally alongside what Sthil had been doing globally for some time as Stihl Timber Sports. Out of these discussions with head of Stihl NZ Jim Bibby and Senior management we created an opportunity for the NZAA to select an Official NZAA Representative Team to compete in Poland, November 2015 at the Stihl Timber Sports World Championships.

For a number of years NZAA Axe men & Sawyers had been participating but the National body had not been involved in the selection process. Timber Sports are well known in USA , Europe, Australia and other Countries. Timber Sports is the fastest growing competitions in the world. Both in number of new competitors and spectator viewing not just on pay to view, or television but attendance at comps.

NZAA see Timber Sports as being a natural transition for some of our competitors and opportunities for everyone. . It is the fastest growing area of participation from existing and new entrants into our sport globally. There are a mixture of disciplines and skills that are required but our guys have successfully won the title already 4 times out of six. So we know we can beat anyone within this type of format.
Chainsaw, SHS, UH, STD are the Teams Race disciplines
Chainsaw, SHS, UH, STD, Hot Saw, Springboard are the Individual disciplines

NZAA in conjunction with Stihl NZ held a competition at Mystery Creek Field Days this year and from that event an official NZAA Stihl Timber Sports Team was selected: Jason Wynyard, Adam Lowe, Shane Jordan, Kyle Lemon, Reserve: David McDonald. This Team will travel to Poland to compete at the World Stihl Timber Sports Championships.

I encourage both North Island and South Island Associations to promote and run some Timber Sport Events so that competitors grow their confidence and skill levels to actively compete for NZAA selection. Timber Sports is also financially sound and offer a wide spread of prizes and monetary contributions. Stihl Globally are looking at putting a Rookie competition in place that would open up the way forward for promising young competitors. All great initiatives and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Stihl NZ in a positive manner throughout NZ wood chopping and sawing competitions.

The NZAA are doing there best to foster and grow the sport nation wide and always looking for more participants and key stakeholders to support the Association.

Thank you everyone for your support and especially the many that have rang or spoken personally to Willie Able and myself. Informing us both we are going in the right direction with Team Selection and associated criteria.

Mook Hohneck, Convener of Selector’s