Wednesday 19 December 2018

Axe throwers shine at UK competition

UK Axe Throwing Champion Heath Dawson (left) and bronze medallist Anthony Clavin, who are both members of Wicklow Axe Throwers
UK Axe Throwing Champion Heath Dawson (left) and bronze medallist Anthony Clavin, who are both members of Wicklow Axe Throwers

Deborah Coleman

Two Co Wicklow axe throwers were part of the award-winning Irish squad which competed in the UK Open Axe Throwing competition recently.

Heath Dawson from Roundwood and Arklow man Anthony Clavin picked up first and third place medals respectively in the Double Bit axe throwing category while Anthony also came third in the long distance throw.

The team more than held its own against axe-throwers from across the UK and Germany, with Heath Dawson beating current German Champion Pierre Kaminski into second place.

The Irish Axe Throwers have come a long way from the first kernal of an idea in a shed in the Wicklow hills 18 months ago to now competing at a high level internationally.

Last June, an Irish team of three men and one woman competed in Germany at the World Championships, two of whom ended up in the top twenty.

Spurred on by this success, an expanded team of 15 competitors from the Irish Axe Club (Wicklow Axe Throwers) travelled to take part in the Nordic Championships in Sweden at the end of August, with the women's team returning with a bronze medal in the Jill & Jill CrossCut Sawing section.

Once an ancient tradition, axe throwing is now a fast-growing, global pastime that appeals to all age groups and genders. Previously the sport was centred in Nordic countries but it is now spreading rapidly within North America and gaining traction in Ireland.

The sport consists of throwing a specially made axe at a circular target from a distance of 21 feet. The aim is to hit the middle two-inch bullseye to score maximum points, with each outer ring a point fewer.

The team, which started out in a small Wicklow shed are looking for permanent training facilities and additional sponsorship for the upcoming Canadian Open championships this coming August.

The team is currently sponsored by Irish software company, Asavie, Hultafors Group (a global leader in axe and hand tools manufacturing which includes Snickers Workwear), Coillte, Wicklow Brewery and Glendalough Distillery

The club will be hosting the first Irish Open Competition this coming July with competitors already booked in from all over the world.

Wicklow People