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Curtis, 14, follows father and grandfather in Easter Show woodchopping competition

Curtis Bennet, 14, was one of the youngest competitors in the World Championship Standing Block Woodchop heats at the Easter Show. Picture: Rohan Kelly Source: News Corp Australia

WHEN your grandfather is a world champion woodchopper and your father has taken out Australian competitions, it’s inevitable that you’ll also end up in the sport.

Curtis Bennett, 14, is one of the youngest competitors at the Woodchopping and Sawing Competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

He has cut 1000 blocks just this year in preparation for the competition and this week he was chopping against men at least three times his age in the 275mm underhand category.

Swingin’ safari ... Curtis Bennett shows his style with the axe. Picture: Rohan Kelly Source: News Corp Australia

While he was the last of the six competitors to chop through his block, there was a huge cheer from the crowd once he swung the axe for the final blow.

Curtis said mental strength was the hardest part of woodchopping, although the physical toll was huge and the lungs and throat burned the most during the competition.

“One guy threw up the other day, that’s how hard you are working. I’ve seen times where Dad has come off and he is coughing up blood ‒ it’s a fairly regular occurrence,” he said.

Wood you believe it ... Curtis Bennett, 14, his grandfather Len, 74, and father Simon, 48, are are something of a woodchopping dynasty. Picture: Rohan Kelly Source: News Corp Australia
Curtis Bennett hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father, an Australian Champion, and grandfather, a World Champion. Picture: Rohan Kelly Source: News Corp Australia  

His grandfather Len Bennett, 74, was crowned World Champion in 1975 and said Curtis was a born natural. “I woodchopped for 40 to 50 years and Curtis has only been chopping for a little over 12 months. He is unflappable, he has no nerves and the perfect temperament and one day he’ll be the best ever,” he said. Curtis’ father Simon, 48, is also competing at the Show and the three of them have brought $50,000 worth of gear, including 40 axes and sharpening stones.

No axe to grind ... Adam Lowe, a New Zealand competitor in the World Championship Standing Block Woodchop heats, and Curtis Bennett. Picture: Rohan Kelly Source: News Corp Australia.

And Curtis’ long term goal? To become a world champion woodchopper just like his grandfather, of course.


The Woodchopping & Sawing Competition has been a part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show for over a century.

Around 200 male and female competitors compete in 65 different classes.

It is the only Show competition that is also a World Titles event, so is known as the “Wimbledon of Woodchopping”.

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