NORTH FORK — Local lumberjack Nate Hodges will compete next month in the 2019 Stihl Timbersports World Championships.
The event, which takes place Nov. 1-2 in Prague, Czech Republic, brings together more than 100 of the world’s best timbersport athletes from nearly two dozen countries.
Hodges, whose day job is as a general contractor, stands 5’11” and weighs in at a rock-solid 220 pounds. He began competing in lumberjack competitions when he was 19.
Team USA will be fielding a strong team at the world championships this year. In addition to Hodges, a rising star in the sport, the team will be headlined by 2019 U.S. Champion Cassidy Scheer and also includes six-time U.S. champion Matt Cogar and 2019 U.S. Collegiate Champion Andrew Sergent.
The athletes will be competing in six disciplines handling axes, chainsaws and a two-meter-long cross-cut saw.
In the individual competition, the athletes receive points depending on how quickly they complete each discipline.
The overall winner is the athlete with the most points after all six disciplines.
The competition is divided into three rounds; the first round covers the basic disciplines, the second round the advanced disciplines and the third round the Hot Saw as the pinnacle event.
After each round, the competitors with the lowest score are eliminated.
Laurence O’Toole from Australia won the 2018 Individual World Championship with a stunning performance, securing his win only in the last discipline, the Hot Saw.
“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t physically or mentally train for this sport,” Hodges said. “I do max interval training six days a week, run at least twice a week, and train the actual TIMBERSPORTS events a minimum of four times a week, sometimes every day. I will also spend countless hours studying other competitors and myself on coaches’ eye.”
Hodges said his favorite discipline is Springboard chop. Why? “Because it’s awesome!” he said.
Both days of the event will be live-streamed from the Czech capital’s iconic Industrial Palace.