LEHI Conditions were far from ideal when Jason Wynyard hacked and chopped his way through six events during the first round of the STIHL Timbersports Series at Thanksgiving Point.
The wind, at times, made the saws flap around, which complicated cutting through logs and blocks. But none of it stopped Wynyard, a seven-time STIHL champion out of New Zealand, from dominating his pool of eight lumberjacks.
The defending STIHL Sports Champion scored 40 points and won four events to win his pool on Friday afternoon. David Bolstad, another New Zealander and a three-time STIHL champion himself, managed the same feat to claim the top spot in the other eight-man pool.
Both champions put together some solid times amid windy conditions that lingered throughout the day.
Wynyard's winning standing block time, 14.06 seconds, fell 1.95 seconds shy of the world record he set in 2003. Bolstad came even closer to a record on the hot saw. He finished in 6.34 seconds, 1.25 seconds off the mark set by former world champion Matt Bush in 2003.
"You can't expect to step up there and pull a world record every time you go out," Wynyard said. "There's so many things that got to be going for you. "
Bolstad admitted feeling some fatigue after traveling to Utah. He wasn't satisfied with some of his finishing times, but he is happy that he still gained the individual event victories when he needed them.
"I'm happy to make the second round, and I'll be happier to make the finals," Bolstad said.
Four lumberjacks from both pools moved onto the next round in Georgia. Wisconsin's Carson Bosworth was the lone U.S. lumberjack to advance after he finished second to Bolstad in Pool A with 35 points. Bosworth helped his cause after winning the single buck event with a time of 13.42 seconds.
Australia joined New Zealand in advancing a pair of lumberjacks after Justin Beckett (35 points) and Laurence O' Toole (31 points) finished second and third respectively behind Wynyard in Pool A. Other Georgia qualifiers included Canada's Gaston Duperre, Switzerland's Christophe Geissler and Marin Komarek of the Czech Republic.A total of eight lumberjacks will advance from two remaining eight-man pools in the final day of competition this afternoon. Live video of the event will be streamed throughout the day on ESPNoutdoors.com.