In the world of competitive wood chopping, Laurence O'Toole needs no introduction. Renowned for his impressive achievements and unwavering dedication to the sport, Laurence once again displayed his exceptional talent at the 2023 Melbourne Royal Woodchop Championships. His well-crafted skills secured him the prestigious Golden Axe Trophy, adding yet another accolade to his already lavishly decorated trophy cabinet.
The Golden Axe Trophy, presented to the highest-scoring competitor in the grand finals after four-day competition, is an enduring symbol of excellence in wood chopping.
Awarded at the Melbourne Royal Show since its inception in 1955, the championship itself provides a platform for champion and handicap woodchoppers to showcase their skills across a multitude of events, including tree-felling, standing block, underhand, sawing, and team relays.
An incredible eight world titles at the Sydney Royal Easter Show’s event, which Laurence refers to as the ‘Wimbledon of Woodchopping,’ has given him legendary status, winning the 375mm Underhand World title in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018.
After his eighth win in 2018, Laurence was inducted into the Australian Axeman's Hall of Fame.
“I’ve been using axes since I could crawl,” said Laurence.
“My grandfather was a world champion woodchopper as was my father and uncle, so naturally I followed in their footsteps,” he said.
“I won my first world championship in 2003 when I was twenty-two, which made me the youngest world champion at that stage by about six or seven years,” said Laurence.
Hailing from Doncaster in Melbourne, Victoria, he’s been competing at the Melbourne Royal Show since 1992.
“The Melbourne Royal Show has always been a highlight for me,” said Laurence.
“It’s my home turf and the competition is one of the most prestigious I compete in.”
While Laurence's recent victory in the Golden Axe Trophy once again demonstrates his lasting prowess with the chopping block, it's not his first time on the podium. He previously claimed the Golden Axe trophy an astounding seven times, initially in 2005, and subsequently in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
He has also secured First Place in the Hard Hitting Championship at the Melbourne Royal Show consistently from 2003 to 2022.
Beyond his personal accomplishments, Laurence serves as the captain of the Australian Chopperoos, a testament to his leadership and dedication to the sport. His commitment to wood chopping, coupled with a legacy deeply rooted in his family's tradition, has established Laurence as a legendary figure in the world of wood chopping.
Laurence's achievements continue to inspire a new generation of woodchoppers and uphold the sport's rich heritage, cementing his status as a true legend of wood chopping.
Click here to view all of the results to the 2023 Melbourne Royal Woodchop Championships.