Tom Chapman - 5 October 2013
Despite his many successes in the past and being now somewhat semi-retired from the sport, the 14th Australian Masters Games is Bill Youd’s first. The 73 year old says he spends more time playing golf than wood chopping these days, but with his daughter living nearby, he thought it the perfect opportunity to travel from Deloraine in Tasmania to compete at Geelong.
Youd first started competing in wood chopping at the age of 16, however he had an axe in his hand much earlier being the youngest of seven brothers, all of whom worked in the forestry industry.
“All my brothers were working in the forest, and some were competing, so it was inevitable I was going to go the same way,” Youd said.
“I first competed at 16, but the area where I succeeded most was in treefelling, which I didn’t start until I was 30.
“I didn’t think I was good enough as my brothers were older and were the champions at the time, but at the Huonville show one day I decided to give it a go, and in my first go got a silver medal.”
As it turned out Youd was better than most, and went on to win 19 tree felling championships in a row at the Royal Melbourne Show, and nine at the Sydney version.
“In my final go in Sydney I was 53 and up against much younger blokes who were in their prime. But I had a good log and ended winning and breaking a world record that had stood for 12 years.”
That record, set back in 1993, still stands highlighting just how good the humble 73 year old really was in his prime.
In his first Masters Games, Youd is competing in “about” six events and by the end of the first day of competition had picked up three silver medals and one gold.
“I compete every now and then”, Youd said.
“But the ‘now and thens’ are getting further apart. I spend my spare time playing golf as opposed to chopping wood.”
The Australian Masters Games will be staged until Saturday 12 October and is one of Australia’s largest multi sporting events.
For further Australian Masters Games information and to register, visit - www.AustralianMastersGames.com
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