Stihl “lumberjacks and jills” show their strength in Cherry Valley

(Photo Credit: NEWS10 ABC)

CHERRY VALLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Lumberjacks compete in one or the manliest sporting events in the country, but this year, they have some competition from the ladies.

“This is their passion, and so its ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” said Rodger Phelps, Stihl Corporate Communications Manager.

The Stihl Timbersports Competition is the Olympics of professional lumberjacking. That means sawing, throwing and plenty of chopping.

“It’s hard work but when you stand on top of a log and you have the right axe and the right piece of wood and you smash through it, there’s kind of nothing better for that 30 seconds,” said Erin Lavoie, professional “lumberjill.“

This year is the first year that women are competing for a world title in “lumberjill” events, and professionals like Erin Lavoie have been waiting for this day for years.

“This is something I’ve looked forward to for probably 15 years when I first started,” Lavoie said.

Professional lumberjack, Nathan Waterfield is also thrilled that women are stepping up to the block this year. He is the proud father of two young girls and is married to a professional “lumberjill.”

“Our youngest is eight months so she isn’t really swinging an axe yet, but Cora who’s five has started splitting and chopping,” Waterfield said.

Lumberjacks come from all over the country to compete in Upstate New York, so the competition is stiff this year. But, these guys chop wood like butter.

“When you watch it on TV whether it’s ESPN or whatever, they make it look easy until you try it. Then you realize just how much strength and how much skill is required to do it too,” Phelps said.

Those lumberjacks really worked hard in the Father’s Day heat which made the event tougher than ever, but these lumberjacks/jills are absolutely professional so may the toughest man or woman win.

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