BILL MCQUARRIE PHOTOS The 10th annual Logger Sports event in Port McNeill drew a massive crowd of 300 people to the waterfront area.

10th annual Logger Sports event in Port McNeill draws crowd of 300 to watch festivities

Hyde Creek’s Ally Briscoe is heading this fall to the Canadian Championships in Mississauga, Ontario.

Last weekend, more than 300 fans watched 48 athletes compete at Port McNeill’s 10th Anniversary Logger Sports show.

It was the season opener for the island, and when the two day event ended, $12,000 in prizes had been handed out and four competitors had put in enough hard work to qualify for the fall Nationals in Mississauga, Ontario.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the show and Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom credits the success to the hard work of volunteers, saying, “Strong community and volunteer support over the past years is what has made it so successful.”

Nick Russell, who has been working as a volunteer for all of those 10 years agrees, and when asked what the secret to the event’s success was, answered without hesitation, saying, “Community spirit! It is as strong today as it was 10 years ago.”

Russell went on to explain how the Logger Sports show has grown in both size and significance. “It has become a mainstay event of our town. People look forward to it now and many plan their schedules around the show dates.”

When asked if there was a special moment or experience that he remembers or enjoys the most, Russell said, “I really enjoy walking through the weekend crowds, talking with them, seeing the smiles, watching how engaged the spectators are and hearing the positive feedback from those in the audience.”

Another volunteer, Ann-Marie Baron, spoke of the growth she’s seen in the ladies events. Going from three to seven events, Baron described how the North Island competition has gained a reputation for having more female athletes than most others.

“Over the past two years,” she explained, “female participation has doubled and is expected to continue that kind of growth in the years to come.”

Baron also spoke about the drawing power of the Port McNeill Logger Sports weekend and how competitors come from around BC and as far away as Alberta and Oregon. “We had teams travel here from UBC, Bowen Island, Whistler, Kaslo and the U.S., to mention just a few.”

Noting the many visitors in town because of the show, Wickstrom estimates the Logger Sports weekend added between $25,000 and $30,000 to the local economy.

What began at the turn of the century as friendly competition in remote logging camps has become Canada’s ultimate extreme heritage sport, attracting competitors from around the world. A world-class competition in which the North Island has consistently held its own, sending athletes to the nationals on a regular basis.

This year is no different and following Sunday’s STIHL qualifiers, Hyde Creek’s Ally Briscoe is heading this fall to the Canadian Championships in Mississauga, Ontario.

Results from the event are as follows:

Stihl Timbersports names

Pro Men

Lukas Brown John, Kamloops, BC

Pro Ladies

Danielle Tkach, Sexsmith, AB

Ally Briscoe, Port McNeill, BC

Rookies

Brad Constantine, Dobson Corner, NB

Overall point standings

Open Men

Karl Bischoff- 19 points

Dave MacLeod – 17 points

Nick Russell – 16 points

Nick Hall – 16 points

Novice

Dan Knapp – 8 points (own tie breaker rule)

Thomas Symons 8 points

Ladies

Ally Briscoe- 21 points

Danielle Tkach – 16 points

Sarah Mooney- 9 points

Anita Jezowski – 8 points

– Bill McQuarrie article

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