On the
road again

....Dateline: Falun – This is a charming 1,000 year old town of about 50,000 people near the geographic center of Sweden, northwest of Stockholm.
....Falun is noted in history as the Copper Town. For it was from here in the 17th Century that two thirds of the world’s Copper was mined and smelted from a single mine – that still operates!
....The surrounding area is a mixture of

rolling hills, lakes, farms and forest – a setting not uncommon to many parts of picturesque Scandinavia.
....It was time again for the World Chain Saw Competition for Loggers. And here we were all the way from little old British Columbia to uphold Cana-dian loggers’ chain saw skills against teams from 12 other nations.
....This marked our fourth trip to Europe and this time the Swedes were our hosts. And very generous and kind hosts they were. From the moment we landed at Stockholm’s airport they looked after all our wants. Excellent housing, great food and a language mix to keep everyone alert.
....The countries competing were Fin-land, Norway, Denmark, The Nether-lands, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Rus-sia, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Rom-ania, Sweden and ourselves.
....If you recall last year’s competition that I reported on from Finland (BCL, Oct. ’83) you might remember that we took a new team made up Wayne LeBlanc, Bryan couture and Ralph Bischoff, with Gord Hart as technical chief. We added Glen Erickson as a tree climber when our hosts asked us to put on a Canadian logging show after the competition . And to add some color to our shy little group we welcomed two dear ladies – Judy Hart and Jan Moore. A fine lot!
....Our new team had been surprised last year at the expertise of the European loggers with their chain saws. Gord and I were not, for we had seen them in action many times and their competitiveness were something to be admired.
....One should remember that many of
our western Canadian contests. It was an afternoon of good practice and our team felt they were ready for tomorrow.
....We were taken from the practice area to our lodgings and a bit later were bussed into the downtown square of Falun for our official reception by leaders of he competition and the town representatives.  It  was  a  rather  nice
ceremony with young Swedish ladies dressed in traditional costumes leading each team, with a brass band out front
Our flags all flew high and it should be noted that Bryan Couture loves a par-
ade – flags, bands, costumes et al. Right on Bryan!
....The next day was the real thing out in the forest. A 70 acre site had been felled and logged except for the compe-tition felling trees. These were in groups – all marked with the competitors’ numbers. All contestants had drawn their numbers the evening beforehand as one logger finished falling his tree another logger was called to pre-pare his tree.
....The tree felling drew a crowd of about 2,500. Considering the show was out in the forest and the spectators were held back a long distance from the felled trees, it was a compliment to the competition that so many turned out. The day was cloudy but cool compe-tition weather. There was a bit of puffy wind that affected the points of many loggers – including us. But our boys hung in and we came ninth out of 18. Not bad for a second year. Wait till–!
....Gord Hart was not in the judges’ pool that day and was therefore able to stay with the boys and pick up on the wrongs we did. We had great talks that evening back at our motel and like most champions all the loggers are free with tips and new ideas to help each other. This is where the interpreters come in handy, as the mix of languages gets quite heavy in a crowded room.
....The next morning we were all bussed to the bottom of Falun’s giant ski jump. This site played host to the World Ski Championships in 1954 and 1974.
by: Bill Moore
the loggers from the Eastern block find it nearly impossible to travel outside their country except by winning a place on their nation’s three-man team. This is done by regional and national rundowns throughout the year. Some of them can only take a few dollars out of their borders because of economic condi-tions. I can only add that we in the West really don’t know how damn well off we are.
....There is a real camaraderie amongst the loggers who gather at these competitions. Friendly faces and a great waving of arms as a substitute for speaking similar languages are the order of the day. We were very fortunate to have assigned to us as a translator, a charming young Swedish forestry student named Kicki Johansson. Lapel pins and small gifts are exchanged the first evening and then it’s down to the business of the five chain saw events.
....We were taken by bus along with three other teams to an area that was presently being logged – about a 250 acre opening. Here selected trees had been left in clumps for our boys to practice felling. Bucking logs had also been set up for our practice use and judges were on hand to explain the rules.
....I sneaked off for a bit and watched the efficiency of the forwarders and self loading double trailer log trucks at work.
....Wayne, Bryan and Ralph spent several hours felling trees and checking the rules. European felling contests adhere much more to safety and production oriented competition than do

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With seating for 5,000 spectators it made an impressive area for our chain saw events of the day. They would be, in order, the inspection of the chain saw, then two bucking contests and finally the limbing contest.
....These contests seem at first sight to be a bit dull for spectators to sit through. But really they are quite exciting to the audience as the points are called out for each country’s contestant. The real value lies again in the fact that they are all oriented to intelligent production, speed and safety. Our colleagues in the Ontario Loggers’ Sports Association have modeled themselves more on the European methods and the training value to the logger is unquestionable.
....The “inspection of the chain saw” as a contest looks so simple and yet it requires split second timing and skill. The contestant places his saw on a small table and the judges inspect the machine and torque the bar nuts. They inspect the contestant’s hands for cuts or scratches and when satisfied that the logger is standing back from the table about eight feet they signal “go.” The contestant springs forward to the table and using the bar wrench, undoes the two bar nuts, takes off the bar and chain and places a new chain on the bar. He adjusts for slack and tightens the bar nuts and leaps back to his starting point.
....Simple, yes – if you are speedy and do everything correctly. But suppose, in a hurry, you do what all loggers do at
When one disc is completed he runs to his second log and performs the task again.
....It is a tricky contest and the wise ones saw down to what they feel is about an eighth of an inch of wood left holding. One doesn’t get the full points, but it is the best strategy. Our team came in tenth in this contest.
....The other bucking contest is an under-buck followed by a top buck, to meet as close as possible. To com-plicate cutting the disk off, one log is facing uphill and the other is facing downhill.
....Both of these contests are very relative to normal work in the woods and they allow an audience to see and appreciate the skill of a logger. It is a pleasure to watch some of the experts at their work.
....The final event, the limbing, was exci-ting to watch and we have hopes it will be introduced to all the Canlog shows over here. Squamish Loggers’ Sports Day performed it last August and it went over well. Great care is taken in selecting the trees to be limbed and getting them all even. Twenty-eight to 32 limbs are left on each contestant’s tree. Individual limbs are cut back so they are about three feet long. The tree looks like a skeleton. Both ends of the tree are then placed on saw-horses and the contest is ready.
....On the word “go” the contestant picks up his running saw and proceeds to cut off the limbs as he walks alongside the tree. A normal time for the
contest is 50 seconds and points are awarded at two per second for bettering 50. If the logger moves when his chain is running and sawing on his side of the tree he will get demerits. Points are also taken off if he leaves a stub over five mm or cuts into the tree over five mm. If he moves a branch, with his hand while the saw is running he also loses points.
....In all five contests if the logger does not have his proper first aid kit in his possession he is disqualified. The em-phasis is on safety and in looking after yourself. Why not!
....Well, we came in tenth out of thirteen nations. Better than last year and with just a bit more skill and practice and a few breaks, we could have wound up a few notches higher. But that’s for next year - We know we are up against the best of Europe and they’ll hear more from us in the future.
....On the final afternoon our lads put on a Canadian Loggers’ Show for a crowd of 5,000 and they loved it. Glen Erickson was excellent in his climb and his fast drop brought out the oohs and aahs.
....The final event was a chair carving contest of five little chairs. When our five loggers held the chairs up for the crowd, they had spelled the name ‘Falun’ on the back of the chairs – That brought down the house, believe me. They like us in Sweden!
....That night we were wined and dined at a lovely banquet. We again presen-ted three throwing axes, this time to the
some inopportune moment and place the chain on the bar backwards. The rules are that you proceed to the next three contests without correcting your chain. In other words, if you don’t do your preparatory work properly you are out of luck, Buckly.
....The “inspection” contest is often done in 25 seconds. I am pleased to relate to you that Wayne LeBlanc did it in 18 and a portion seconds and won the gold medal as the fastest time ever. Bryan Couture was beaten out of the bronze by a second and a half.
....We were really lifted by these per-formances. But it was on to the bucking contests and tough times. One contest is that of a lathed log., 35 cm in diameter, that lies flat on a heavy piece of plywood. Sawdust is placed around the bottom of the log to obscure its touching point. On the word “go” the contestant picks up his already startted saw and proceeds to buck off a disc of about 75 mm – without touching the plywood with his chain.
CANADIAN TEAM member Ralph Bischoff works away in the bucking contest in the World Chain Saw Competition for Loggers held in Sweden.
BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN               NOVEMBER 1984   ·     25

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lively Netherlands team, the excellent Hungarians, and to the Russians. Our hope is that our axe target contest and their tree limbing contest will turn out to be future international contests.
....The Finland team came first, followed close by the Swedes and then the Hungarians. Individual places were Hannu Kilkki of Finland, the very pop-ular Svante Hanson of Sweden, second, and Laszloo Roznik of Hungary third.
....The forest around us is in so many places. We enjoyed and thank our kind Swedish hosts for their hospitality. May all loggers –

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore