In his career, Allan Knapp has won three Canadian championships in logger sports. With another year of experience under his belt, the Powell River native is hungry for more titles and wants to win again in his hometown in front of thousands of cheering fans at Powell River Logger Sports from Friday, July 14, to Sunday, July 16.
As for those cheering fans, Knapp said they cause him some nervousness.
“I should have trained more,” said Knapp. “Otherwise, it’s great to show the town this great sport. It’s a nice feeling to have some locals cheer you on.”
Knapp’s first national titles came in 2013 and 2014 in choker events. Last year’s success at home has made him eager to earn more.
“I received the Canadian championship for novice Obstacle Pole and first place in intermediate Choker Race in Powell River,” said Knapp. He added a handful of second and third place finishes at logger sports events in Kaslo, Port McNeill, Squamish, Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Missoula, Montana.
If he does not place here this year, Knapp would be more than satisfied with winning at any number of more than a dozen logger sports competitions held in Canada and the United States, he said.
After a lengthy absence, the return of Powell River Logger Sports in 2016 was a success beyond all expectations. This weekend, the Axemen return.
Powell River Axemen is a local logger sports team that includes Knapp, Brett Marquis, Jeff Coburn, Julian Welp, Kevin Cote, Michelle Silvester, Paulina Schmidt, Rosalea Pagani, Sam Richards, Tyler Brady, Verjall Ham, Zach Swan and Bob Marquis.
At 26 years old, Knapp is the youngest member of team. Axemen president Bob Marquis says Knapp is everything a logger should be.
“Great kid, salt of the earth, hard worker, good performer and better sportsman, and that’s what we like on the Powell River Axemen’s club,” said Marquis. “We’re great winners, but we’re graceful losers. Can’t win them all.”
As an athlete, Knapp is fast, according Marquis, and his speed gives him his most competitive edge in the choker and obstacle events he is already enjoying success in.
“I met him last year when we brought the circuit back because he was on the UBC team,” said Marquis. “We met him when we resurrected the show.”
Knapp became involved in the sport while working in Holberg, BC, as a summer student in 2013.
“Two of my coworkers were from out east, and competed in collegiate logger sports as captains of their university teams“ said Knapp. “I only had to watch them practice once to know I wanted in on the action, and then our home suddenly became a house of guys swinging and throwing axes.”
Knapp and his roommates trained and went to compete in Port McNeill.
“Once I had my first taste of a competition, I was sold,” he said. “Sign me up for another, please.”