16 April, 2024

Woodchopper on song

Kilcoy-based Renee Retschlag is set to represent Australia in woodchopping for the second time, having earned selection for this year’s Royal Adelaide Show.

By Liam Hauser

Kilcoy’s Renee Retschlag will represent Australia in woodchopping at the Royal Adelaide Show.
Kilcoy’s Renee Retschlag will represent Australia in woodchopping at the Royal Adelaide Show.

It will be the second time Retschlag has competed in the Australian women’s woodchopping team at this event, having been in the title-winning team in 2019 before COVID resulted in the event going into hiatus until this year.

Australia will again go head-to-head with New Zealand in cross-cut sawing, as well as woodchopping.

Retschlag will be considered for both categories due to being an all-rounder, while some of her teammates specialise in one category.

There will be podium placings for the top-three place-getters in the individual events, while there are winner and runner-up placings in the team events.

Retschlag said it was “really exciting” to be selected again.

“It’s good to know all of my hard work and training have paid off ,” she said.

Along with Retschlag, fellow Queenslanders Jodie Beutel and Kris Brown will back up from the 2019 event, as will Maddie Kirley of NSW and Amanda Beams of Tasmania.

Beams has been named captain this year, while debutants are Queensland’s Takiah Moore-Barrett and NSW duo Jinaya Shadlow and Madeleine Kirwan-Edwards.

Retschlag said she anticipated the debutants would do well, after she had competed against them numerous times over the years.

One of Retschlag’s career highlights was about three years ago when she won the STIHL Timbersports Australian Women’s Championship in St Kilda.

Beutel placed second, while Brown and Beams were also in the top six. Retschlag nonetheless said being selected to represent one’s country was hard to top.

“We’ve got a really good team of competitors,” she said.

“I will be nervous on the day but I’m more excited than anything else at the moment. It’ll be fun. It’s a good group of ladies.”

Retschlag and her teammates earned selection after selectors had watched them at various events.

From February to September, Retschlag and her husband Jamie and daughter Millie spend many weekends in a variety of towns for annual shows, to compete in woodchopping and sawing.

At the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Retschlag claimed a fourth placing and a ninth placing in world title events.

Additionally, Retschlag and her daughter also had a fifth placing in double-handed sawing.

Retschlag said she and her Australian teammates were sure to compete in this year’s Brisbane exhibition, not long before the Royal Adelaide Show.

Retschlag said in her own time she often went to a gym to focus on strength, and also did sawing and chopping blocks at home.

“It’s a totally different type of training from the gym,” she said.

“The only way to get better is to chop.”

Having progressed as far as she has, Retschlag said, “None of this would be possible without the support of my husband, family and friends.”


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