Chip off the block: Chopping champion Brad Hains, of Ballarat, didn’t let a tree get in the way of his jounrey.
Chip off the block: Chopping champion Brad Hains, of Ballarat, didn’t let a tree get in the way of his jounrey. Northern Star

Champion axeman to the rescue

IF you’re stuck on a tree-blocked road in the current conditions you could wait for the emergency services. But you might not need to if you’re lucky enough to have a champion woodchopper sitting a couple of cars behind you.

That’s exactly what happened to Gold Coast residents Graeme and Wendy Sutton on Monday, 10 kilometres west of Drake.

“On our trip home from Armidale we were stranded with other motorists on the Bruxner Highway,” said the couple.

“The highway was completely blocked by a huge fallen gum tree and everyone was expecting a long wait for any help to come.

“To our disbelief a strong young man travelling with his family pulled a very large axe from his van, which we were parked behind, and proceeded towards the tree.

“With many amazing swings at the tree we all realised he really knew how to swing an axe. This hero cleared enough branches to open a lane and get the line-up moving.”

That strong young man was none other than Brad Hains, a competitor in today’s 51st Brunswick Woodchop Carnival, who had travelled all the way from Ballarat.

“I had my axe in the back of the van so I cut the head off the tree and another car was able to tow it off the road,” Mr Hains said.

“Then we had one side of the road clear, so at least traffic was able to get through. I’d say there were 30 to 40 cars waiting.”

Mr Hains, a 33-year-old prison officer, has been coming to the festival since 1997. Last year he won the Division 1.325mm Under-hand Handicap and was one of the three-man relay team to win that event.



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