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Wynyard prevails over Bolstad
By Steve Bowman
Great Outdoor Games staff

OSHKOSH, Wisc. — Jason Wynyard has his points title, proving to those who might have had any doubts that he is back on top of the lumberjack world in the Stihl TimberSports Series.

He did it with a back injury that hampered some of his performances, but was helped by Bolstad, who had a series of mishaps in four of the events.

  The Big Twelve
The 12 lumberjacks qualifying for the Stihl TimberSports Championship, to be held in September in Branson, Missouri, are:

1. Jason Wynyard — 681 points
2. Dave Bolstad — 661
3. Matt Bush — 637
4. Dave Jewett — 612
5. Kerry Head — 601
6. Dale Ryan — 588
7. Mel Lentz — 574
8. Brad Turner — 568
9. Dion Lane — 557
10. Harry Burnsworth — 548
11. Carson Bosworth — 541
12. Arden Cogar, Jr. — 495

In the end, Wynyard staved off the charging Bolstad to wind up with a 20-point lead after six events in Saturday's events. The margin of victory was a huge cushion following Friday's round, when Bolstad had cut Wynyard's lead to three points. And it was even more profound considering that after the first event of the day, the Springboard, Bolstad had overtaken Wynyard in the points standings with his own one-point lead.

"We made it," Wynyard said. "Now it's time to get treatment."

The burly lumberjack strained ligaments in his back during Friday's competition and wasn't sure how he would perform in the final event of the season. The difference, though, came in the qualifying rounds when Wynyard qualified to compete in all six of the events that make up the series. Meanwhile, Bolstad, who had a banner day on Friday, was only able to qualify for four events in Saturday's round.

Not being able to gain points in two events basically washed away Bolstad's chances. If that weren't enough, in each of the events Bolstad competed in he experienced serious mishaps.

In the Springboard, Bolstad slipped on the first board, regained his composure and then fell, but was still able to win the event. It was the same story in the Underhand Chop. Bolstad slipped off the log once, and was off balance during the whole round, but was able to best Wynyard in a head-to-head contest.

David Bolstad
Dave Bolstad fell while climbing in the Springboard, but still managed to win the event.
"He's like the running back in the NFL who has that extra gear no one else has," said Ken Waldron, organizer of the Stihl TimberSports Series. "He's got that extra gear."

The extra gear, though, wasn't enough to help him rebound in the Hot Saw competition when he got his chaps caught in the chain, or in the Single Buck when his hands slipped off the saw.

"I'm just glad this day is over," Bolstad said.

Wynyard might agree. Since the start of the series he has been playing catch up.

Bolstad of Taumarunui, New Zealand won the TimberSports Championship in 2001, virtually walking away with the championship after winning four of the six events. In the four years preceding that contest, Wynyard, of Auckland, New Zealand, was the undisputed champion, having won four straight TimberSports championships.

"This year (Wynyard) is here to win it again," said John Hughes, ESPN timber analyst. "He's had a headhunter attitude all season. I think he may feel like he let it get away from him last year."

Matt Bush
Matt Bush worked out the kinks in his modified, 85-hp chainsaw and established a new world-record time in the Hot Saw.
To punctuate the quest, Wynyard has lead the points standings throughout the series, with the exception of the few minutes following the Springboard competition.

The real test, though, will come in the TimberSports Championship scheduled for September in Branson, Missouri.

The field for that event will include the top 12 lumberjacks from the four TimberSports Series competitions. The event will include competitions in all six of the disciplines that make up the TimberSports Series. Like a track meet, the highest finishing lumberjack will be crowned the king of the sport and win a new Dodge truck.

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