Two masters visit the fair

Today two highly experienced Elmia Wood visitors walked through the entrance gates. Rolf Johansson of Hedemora, Sweden and Wayne Leblanc of British Columbia, Canada not only hold various masters titles from chainsaw competitions around the world, they have also visited every Elmia Wood since the 1980s.

On Thursday chainsaw masters Wayne Leblanc and Rolf Johansson extended their record of visiting every Elmia Wood since the 1980s.

“My first Elmia Wood was in 1983. I beat the world record, won the gold medal at the world chainsaw championships and had my birthday the same day. What a party!” Wayne Leblanc remembers.

It was via the chainsaw competitions that he became friends with Rolf Johansson.

“I actually have memories of Elmia Wood dating back to the 1970s,” Rolf says. “Back then, the fair was at the Elmia grounds in Jönköping. If anyone wanted to demonstrate their machine in operation in the forest, visitors were driven out to some forest owner’s place for the demo. There’s no comparison in the size of the fair between then and now.”

 

Heading for the big machines

Rolf and Wayne almost have iconic status in chainsaw circles thanks to their competition achievements.

“I don’t know if many people would still recognise us today,” laughs Wayne, who is looking forward to exploring the new machines on the large-scale trail.

“But I’ve been a distributor in Canada for products for small-scale forestry, so I’ll spend some hours there too. Elmia Wood brings together everything in one place and I really enjoy walking around and just trying to absorb all the new knowledge.”

 

Centre for forestry expertise

“We’ve done Elmia Wood as competition participants, given demos as stand personnel and in recent years been visitors. Coming here is a habit,” Rolf says.

“I’m going to be here every day. Elmia Wood is the centre of new forestry expertise in the world so it’s like Rolf says – coming here is a must,” Wayne adds.

Compared with the fairs in the ’70s and ’80s, the two friends say more planning is necessary now in order to get the most out of a visit.

“You need to decide beforehand what you really want to see. Otherwise it’s easy to get stuck talking somewhere. Though looking back, all those spontaneous conversations are also what makes Elmia Wood so fantastic,” Rolf concludes.

 

Published
6/8/2017
Images
On Thursday chainsaw masters Wayne Leblanc and Rolf Johansson extended their record of visiting every Elmia Wood since the 1980s.
On Thursday chainsaw masters Wayne Leblanc and Rolf Johansson extended their record of visiting every Elmia Wood since the 1980s.