They came. They sawed. They conquered.

McGill’s men and women’s teams won top honours at the 58th annual Macdonald College Woodsmen competition, held January 27 at the Macdonald Campus in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.
McGill’s women’s team won it’s third-straight competition of the Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association season. / Photo: Anja Geitmann

McGill Woodsmen chop down the competition at the 58th annual Macdonald College Woodsmen event

By Jill Barker

McGill’s men and women’s teams won top honours at the 58th annual Macdonald College Woodsmen competition, held January 27 at the Macdonald Campus in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Qc. Nineteen teams representing seven schools, Dalhousie, UNB, Fleming College, Algonquin College, Dartmouth and Maritime College of Forest Technology, competed in team, double and individual chopping and sawing events showcasing skills reminiscent of traditional lumberjacking.

Some 130 competitors took part in the Mac event. / Photo: Neale McDevitt

The women dominated the field earning 1201.46 points, followed by Fleming College 1051.91 and Dalhousie 944.77. The team of Joséanne Naud, Danielle Duquette, Janine Lock, Justine Paré, Jessica Rouleau, Éliane Wubbolts won eight of 12 events including cross cut, pole climb, quarter split, single buck, standing block, super swede saw, swede saw and water boil. It’s the team’s third consecutive win of the season with the final competition February 10 at Dalhousie Agricultural College.

The men’s team of Thierry Phillipot, Alex Dohmen, Matthew Baillon, Phillip Gauthier, Olivier Lamarre-Tellier and Matthew Swennen earned its first win of the season scoring 1178.99 points. Wins in axe throw, log deck and standing block chop propelled the team past second place UNB (1146.22) and third place Fleming College (1047.56)

McGill lumberjack team earned its first victory of the season. / Photo: Anja Geitmann

“I’ve seen a lot of improvement and dedication in our men’s team in the last weeks and was confident they could do very well on home turf, but I was happily impressed at their outstanding performances during the day,” said interim coach Stephanie Belanger-Naud. “The men’s division has been very competitive across the Eastern Canadian universities and it’s been a couple of years since the Mac men’s team won, so it is a great accomplishment for them.”

McGill had two other men and women’s teams competing in the event, earning ninth and sixth position respectively.

“Our rookie men and women’s B teams also had a very good competition, improving their events competition after competition, and some even surpassing some of our A teams results,” said Belanger-Naud.

Competitors took part in events that included pole climbing, snowshoe racing, water boiling and axe throwing (above). / Photo: Neale McDevitt