Oldest Lumberjill chops a trail for gender in male dominated sport

By KBJR News 1

July 25, 2014 Updated Jul 25, 2014 at 7:19 PM CDT

Hayward, WI (NNCNOW.com) -- The 55th Annual Lumberjack World Championships are underway in Hayward Wisconsin this weekend.

It's an event that draws thousands from close to home and around the world.

A six time world champion in Women's single buck and a three time "all around Lady-Jill," Sheree Taylor has been sawing her way through the competition for years.

"I have been coming here since 1995. I know that I am the oldest woman competitor, but it always provides me with a challenge to try and get right up besides these young girls you know, so it's good," said Taylor.

The 60 year old New Zealand native has chopped a trail for her gender in the male dominated sport.

"When I first started in New Zealand I was the only woman competing and I had to compete with the men and that was a bit difficult because I was basically in a male domain. That's why I love coming to Hayward because they cater to the woman and woman's events you know, and that was just amazing."

The Lumberjack show draws between 10-15,000 people to Hayward every year to watch lumberjacks and Jills test their agility and strength in the various events.

"We are from the North and South Island of New Zealand and we've come over to cheer on Jason Wynyard and Gil Lane for the event," said Anthony Mildren. "He says this is probably the best event that he comes to so we got on a plane and traveled over 30 hours to come and have a look at their event."

Businesses like the Namekagon Cone and the River Deck are right in the middle of all the sawing action and this is the weekend they live for.

"Well this weekend pays the rent for us, this is a huge weekend, we sell a lot of Ice cream, my freezers are full right now to the brim and I hope to get rid of all of it," said Linda Fenton, owner of the Namekagon Cone.

"Last year, in the three days of Lumberjack weekend, we served just over 600 people, which is a lot for this tiny little space," said Kait Craig, a server at the River Deck.

Preliminary rounds continue Friday and the best of the best in each event will move on to compete Saturday starting at 3 p.m.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.