GOL Competitors and Judges photo (back row L to R) Mike Thurlow -judge, Steve Tatko-judge, John Grignon, Steve Laweryson -judge, Chris Roberts, Tyler McIntosh, Any Wood-head judge and MC, Barrett Carle-judge, John Cullen-judge. (Front row L to R) Jeremy Grignon – 3rd, Andrew Marquis-2nd, Steve Pinkham winner
GREENVILLE, Maine – It came down to the directional felling final event for Steve Pinkham of Rumford to pass the field of competitors to win the 26th Annual Game of Logging competition in Greenville, Maine, on August 14th, 2021. Steve, with a total of 224 points, competed against 5 other skilled loggers and beat the 2019 champ, Andrew Marquis of St Agatha by 7 points. Jeremy Grignon from Dixfield finished in 3rd place with a respectable 208-point total. All six competitors had a shot at winning until the last event.
Rain showers did not deter the larger than usual crowd, which stayed to the end cheering on the competitors. Last year’s competition was postponed due to COVID, and everyone was glad to see the event return as part of Forest Heritage Days. Andy Wood-MEMIC, head judge and event coordinator, thanked the crowd for raising $1000.00 from the sale raffle tickets to benefit The Children’s Miracle Network, Log -A-Load for kids program awarding the proceeds to the Northern Light neonatal unit in Bangor. The raffle winner of the wooden bear carved by logger Mike Thurlow was Melissa Carrier of Shirley. The Husqvarna chainsaw was 5-year-old Brock Guay of Greenville.
The Game of Logging competition is a test of precision felling and chainsaw skills, which includes 11 different stations. The overall goal of the training system is to help loggers be safe and productive, improve the quality and utilization of forest products, all while considering the environmental impact of the harvest site. In short, chainsaw operators develop skills to fall trees in the intended direction. In addition, the Colby College Woodman’s team provided demonstrations of more traditional logging events to include Axe throwing, crosscut saw, wood chopping, and the popular campfire building competition.
Steve Pinkham credits his incentive to practice safe logging techniques from an unfortunate incident resulting in a fatal injury that occurred to an associate. He states, “that loss of a friend hit close to home.” In previous competitions, Steve finished 4th and twice in 3rd place. Tracy Pinkham, Steve’s wife, stated, “I am happy to see that all the practice time and effort Steve spends on improving his skills has paid off
This event prizes of $1000 for first place, chainsaw for second, and safety equipment for third place along with the hundreds of hours for setting up could not happen without the support of numerous sponsors to include MEMIC, Maine University Forests, Weyerhaeuser, Appalachian Mountain Club, Certified Logging Professional program, Tel-Power, Husqvarna, and many other supporting contributors. Forest Heritage Days and the sponsors wish Steve Pinkham and Andrew Marquis the best of luck in the national competition in spring 2022.