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Sydney Royal Easter Show, March 19, 2004

Naked lady woodwork - click to enlargeRemember the naked lady dartboard from last year? This must be by the same guy. It's like he does another piece of porno woodwork every summer.

Howie Complex - click to enlargeThis building has my nickname on it! (Actually my brother gets called "Howie" by his college buddies too.)

Midway - click to enlargeA shot down the midway...

Jack and Jill sawing - click to enlargeOne of my favourite Show events: competitive woodchopping! This was the "Jack and Jill" sawing event which the Americans, pictured here, won handily.

More Jack and Jill - click to enlargeMore of the Jack and Jill in action...

Standing and chopping - click to enlargeThis was the "Standing and Chopping" contest. (What, like I know the official name?) A massive Kiwi guy won this one.

Tree felling - click to enlargeThis is the one I really wanted to see: tree felling. Each guy would take a couple whacks, then wedge a board in the cut he just made. Then he'd stand on that and make another, laddering himself up to the top. Once they were on the third board, they'd chop halfway through the trunk. Then they'd jump down and repeat the whole thing so they could chop the other side. I drew in some red arrows so you could spot the guys on the boards.

Three tree fellers - click to enlargeThe other interesting part of this one is that each competitor had a handicap. Not in the sense that they were disabled, but in that each guy had a certain number of seconds to wait before he could start so it was a fair contest. The last guy was the reigning world champion and had to wait nearly two minutes before he could start chopping.

Champion on the right - click to enlargeThe champion guy is on the right. Even with the late start he still made up ground frighteningly fast. Apparently you use a different axe for chopping the board holds than you do for felling the tree, so he ran into trouble when dropping his first axe to the ground. It had a bad bounce and the blade whacked against the steel collar holding the tree up. So Mr. Champion ended up having to scratch since his axe was broken.

Competitive ute-driving! - click to enlargeOn to precision ute-driving! This was the neatest trick, where one guy drove really fast in reverse as another guy drove forwards with their hoods practically touching.

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