Youngster chops his way to victory

Camperdown’s Dylan Robertson is quickly building a reputation as one of WVAA’s promising talents after taking out the novice wood chop at Rheola’s Charity Carnival on Easter Monday.

DYLAN Robertson may not say too much, but the 12 year-old’s ability to chop wood has people talking.

A member of the Western Victorian Axemen Association (WVAA), Dylan has been involved in the sport of woodchopping for the past two years.

Now one of his sporting passions, Dylan broke through for the biggest result of his woodchopping career on Easter Monday.

That was at the 148th Rheola Charity Carnival, a one day festival held in the township of Rheola, located in Central Victoria.

“I had three chops; the boys, novice and then I cut one in the open section for something to do,” Dylan said.

“I got first in the novice (section) and second in the boys.

“I won some money for coming first.”

Dylan has always admired the sport from afar, regularly watching YouTube and going to the Melbourne Show to see some of the best woodchoppers in action.

However, his introduction into the sport originally took some time, with the Camperdown College student very keen to get involved.

His father, Jason, wanted Dylan to wait until he grew a little bigger before letting him try the sport.

Jason said Dylan “was always chopping wood in the woodpile at home” and eventually he made the decision to let Dylan try the sport after his son’s constant pleas.

“Three years ago (he wanted to do it) but he was a bit small but he nagged me about it,” Jason said.

“Twelve months later I googled it and got onto a guy from Colac and went from there.”

Dylan is pleased he can now compete in the shows and said he “likes cutting through the wood”.

He enjoys the challenge of woodchopping and has a best time of two minutes and 12 seconds, but he already has plans to improve.

“It’s fun,” Dylan said.

“It’s something to do on the weekend, and I want to get quicker and better at it.”

Ian and Anne Duryea were the people Jason originally made contact with, with Ian becoming Dylan’s first coach.

They have since become valuable supporters to Dylan as he continues to improve his skills and progress from underhand to standing block woodchopping.

Dylan recognises Ian’s teaching ability but said he has also learnt the tips of the trade off others and aspires to learn even more off the sport’s elite.

“My main coach is Ian, he got me started and he got me to do it properly,” Dylan said.

“And then there are other things I learnt off other people.

“I look up to Brayden Myers and Laurence O’Toole.

“They’re really good (woodchoppers) and I want to learn other things off them.”

The woodchop season runs from September to July and so far, Dylan has competed in the Birregurra Street Festival and the Royal Geelong, Coleraine and Noorat shows.

He also competed in the Heywood Wood, Wine and Roses Festival and the Heytesbury Show and featured at Allansford’s Field Days before competing at Rheola.

His performances across the season have seen Dylan improve his skills, resulting in “a fourth and a couple of thirds and a second too.”

There is currently one event left in the season held by the WVAA, the Bellbrae School Fair woodchop on May 5.

Dylan will compete at the event, before taking a short break ahead of some coaching from Clunes’ Bobby Price in the off-season.

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