Broadford’s STIHL Timbersports World Champion Brayden Meyer has won the first-ever virtual Australian Championship last week.
Meyer won ahead of Laurence O’Toole and Glen Gillam in the six-discipline competition held at four different locations across Australia.
The Victorian athletes’ domination also earned them gold in the state battle after scoring 156 points, edging out Queensland by a healthy margin, 124 points, followed by Tasmania (98 points) and New South Wales, 84 points.
After five of the six disciplines, O’Toole was in the box seat but a mistake from O’Toole in the hotsaw and a clutch performance from Meyer, who cut three discs off a 46-centimetre log with a custom-built in just 5.8 seconds, saw Meyer bring home the title.
Meyer started strongly by placing first in the underhand chop, a discipline that he has held the world record in since 2015.
However, things didn’t go to plan in the stocksaw and standing block, placing well down the field in seventh and sixth.
At the halfway stage, Meyer sat in fourth place on the ladder behind fellow Victorians O’Toole and Gillam, who were competing at the same venue, and Queenslander Mitchell Argent at their own event.
The next two disciplines saw Meyer take second in the singlebuck, followed by third in the springboard.
With just one discipline remaining, the hotsaw, which sees competitors cut three discs from a 46-centimetre log with custom-built 300-380cc chainsaws, Meyer climbed to second on the ladder, but O’Toole’s lead at the top had stretched to five points.
Meyer stepped up to the wood first and set a blisteringly fast time of 5.80 seconds, a new personal best.
The pressure seemingly got to the usually cool O’Toole as he failed to start his saw on the first attempt. After resetting the starting cord, he completed his cut in 26.59 seconds placing fifth and gaining six points.
Meyer’s time took first place and gave him the points he needed to claim victory and the STIHL Timbersports Virtual Australian Championship.
With the competition held virtually at four locations over four days due to continued border closures and restrictions, Meyer only found out where he placed while watching the as-live airing on Facebook with the rest of the world Sunday evening.
“Being at the same event as Laurence in Victoria, I knew I was in with a chance, but not knowing how times would unfold at the other three events last week it was a nervous wait watching with the family,” Meyer said.
“While the feeling wasn’t as good as being up on the big stage, it’s still great to win the virtual title and I had a few beers to celebrate.”