The World Logging Championships, held from 19 to 22 April, expect 22 teams to participate. That is nearly 300 contestants and foreign guests. Estonian fans are naturally the most supportive of the Estonian team. Let’s take a closer look at the achievements of its members.
As the organising country, Estonia has the right to have two national teams – Team A and Team B. However, only Team A participates in the official competition, while Team B members can compare and test themselves against the top contestants.
Team A comprises Taavi Ehrpais, Helvis Koort and Jarro Mihkelson in the professional category, Karina Riive in the women's category, and Peeter Mitt in the junior (U24) category. All are experienced loggers, as you can see from some of their achievements pointed out below.
Taavi Ehrpais (competing with Husqvarna) is the most experienced team member, who started with logging in 1996 already. The seasoned forestry professional has achieved a lot since then. He is a six-time Estonian champion, team world champion and the world champion in one individual discipline. Taavi has represented Estonia many times in logging world championships.
Helvis Koort (Husqvarna) has been engaged in logging for over ten years. He has become the Estonian champion twice (in 2019 and 2021) and won the first prize in the European Junior Championships in 2010.
Jarro Mihkelson (STIHL) is a well-known and decorated contestant – he has won the Estonian Junior Championships multiple times, was the runner-up in the European Junior Championships, and won the fifth and third place in the World Junior Championships, etc. In 2018, he became a professional athlete and the Estonian champion among professionals for the first time and repeated the result in 2022.
In 2020, at the Estonian championships at Luua Forestry School, Jarro completed limbing in 14.13 seconds, scoring 464 points and setting a record that has remained unbroken so far.
Karina Riive, competing with STIHL, made it to the team in the women's category. Karina started logging some years ago while studying at Luua Forestry School. Since then, she has become Estonia's best female logging athlete, won several championships and competitions, and set two records – in fitting another chain in 12.93 seconds (score 122) at Estonian championships in 2021 at Järvselja, and in limbing in 23.63 seconds (score 426) at the Spring Cup 2022 in Tartu.In the U24 category, Peeter Mitt, competing with Husqvarna, was selected for the national team. Although he is still a junior category contestant, he has many noteworthy achievements, including an overall record to his name: 660 points scored in felling (in 84 seconds). Peeter set the record at the Spring Cup 2019 in Tartu. Last year, he achieved another record at the Estonian championships in Jõhvi, 9.08 in fitting another chain.
Peeter regards felling as the most interesting of the various technical disciplines. “There are so many details you must consider. However, if you do well, it is the discipline where you can score the most points,” he explains. Thanks to his result in felling, he became the 2022 Estonian junior champion.
The members of Team B also have many achievements. The team members are Raino Kivi, Sulev Tooming and Markus Mitt in the professional category, Kertu Evert in the women's category and Ralf Elfenbein in the junior (U24) category.
Among the professional-category contestants, Sulev Tooming is undoubtedly the most renowned. He is a three-time Estonian champion, has won medals in many competitions, and has previously belonged to the Estonian team at world championships. Sulev cannot tell what his favourite discipline in logging is, as it has changed over time.