JOSH Bakes has sealed his spot in the Chopperoos team for the upcoming world titles after taking out the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australian Rookies Championship in a competition filled with drama on the Gold Coast.
The 20-year-old, who finished on 25 points, edged out fellow Tasmanian Daniel Beams (24 points) by just one point to claim the title but the biggest storyline was Queenslander and competition favourite Jack Argent being disqualified for an early start in the stocksaw discipline which all but ended his championship and podium hopes.
Bakes was impressive across all four disciplines, including a personal best time of 18.83 seconds in the standing block, which booked his ticket to England next month to be part of the Australian team at the World Championships.
He also finished with a time of 16.18 seconds in the stocksaw, 18.36 seconds in the single buck and 23.01 seconds in the underhand chop. It was the single buck where the competition was decided with Beams sawing towards a quick time in the heat against the eventual champion, but was held up on the last couple of strokes allowing Bakes to record the quickest time and ultimately win the championship.
“It’s obviously a great feeling to win, I haven’t been far off in the past and I put in a fair bit of work over the past year, especially into the stocksaw and standing block and it’s great to see that pay off,” Bakes said.
“You get pretty nervous waiting for results in the last heat to see how it all finished up but I was lucky enough to finish on top.”
David Reumer (NSW) claimed the bronze medal with 23 points despite earning just three points from the opening discipline in the stocksaw. The 24-year-old from Grafton used a powerful display in the standing block, where he beat his personal best by more than 13 seconds and recorded a time of 15.99 seconds, to jump back up the rankings before also winning the underhand chop to take the bronze medal.
A raucous crowd on the Gold Coast was left shattered when Queenslander Jack Argent jumped the gun by less than 0.03 seconds in the stocksaw discipline to receive a disqualification. However, he was able to bounce back with personal bests of 16.73 seconds in the standing block and 18.75 seconds in the single buck to finish in fourth position and just miss out on a podium finish.
Fellow Queenslander Gerald Youles finished fifth with 16 points followed by Zack Beams (TAS) with 14 points, Kyle Meyer (VIC) with 12 points and James Geiger finished in eighth spot with nine points for the competition.
“The event was a huge success here on the Gold Coast, we had a great atmosphere with great athletes and exceptional competition across the weekend,” Gooch said.
“In every competition, including the women’s and rookie’s championships, we saw some impressive performances which showed the sport is really on the rise.
“We had more than 10,000 spectators across the weekend, and the livestreams reached over 79,000 people online, which is a great result and we couldn’t have held it in a better location than here on the Gold Coast.”
ROOKIES FINAL RANKINGS
- Josh Bakes (TAS) – 25 points
- Daniel Beams (TAS) – 24 points
- David Reumer (NSW) – 23 points
- Jack Argent (QLD) – 18 points
- Gerald Youles (QLD) – 16 points
- Zack Beams (TAS) – 14 points
- Kyle Meyer (VIC) – 12 points
- James Geiger (QLD) – 9 points