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Students and tutors combine for title

Several Cuts above the Rest

It seems you can’t beat the 2013 combination of Waiariki Institute of Technology forestry management students and forest operations tutors.

That’s what the opposition discovered when head of department forest operations Richard Stringfellow and his fellow Waiariki crew emerged with the Alfie Roxburgh Memorial Trophy for the STIHL Festival of Logging Skills competition at the annual Field Days at Mystery Creek, Hamilton recently.

It was the first time Waiariki has brought the silverware back to Rotorua and just the second time in the last 10 years the Tokoroa-based STIHL Cutters Club hadn’t won the trophy. The only other crew to get a handle on the trophy since 2003 when the event started was Manawatu’s The Tree Fellas back in 2005.

The STIHL Festival of Logging Skills competition was a six man relay with the first leg requiring a chain put onto the chainsaw bar, then vertical cuts, de-limbing, lateral cuts, cut into six then split and finally a series of down, up and down cuts with the fastest time winning. Waiariki tutors Tom Moengaroa, Simon Geddes and students Matt Foley, Wiremu Ruru, Mitchell White and Brenden Hawkins combined for the winning time while Stringfellow, Mark McNaught, Brent Cannard, Steve Hyde, Warren Stephens and Joel Scott took part in the heats across the day.

Waiariki has a skills area at Waipa Campus and has been competing in the STIHL event for about the last five years and this was by far the best result among largely industry-based teams.


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