Women chop their way through Bay Co. Women's Professional Lumber - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Women chop their way through Bay Co. Women's Professional Lumberjack competition

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AUBURN (WJRT) - (06/15/14) - Auburn spectators watched women cut, saw and hack their way through the area's first Women's Professional Lumberjack Competition.

Ladies from Australia and the U.S. competed against each other in Auburn this weekend at the inaugural Woodcutter's Ball. It's a heated competition, but it's also helping Mid-Michigan women in need.

The event director says this is the first event of its kind in the area. These women are top notch professional athletes, and it only makes sense that these Lumberjills compete in Mid-Michigan, where the logging industry has such a rich history.

Saginaw native and competitor Peg Engasser says it's a perfect fit. These professional lumberjacks,or rather, lumberjills, are a cut above the rest.

"We fight tooth and nail during the competition, but when it's all over, we go have a beer and just have a good time," Engasser said.

The U.S. team competes against Australia every year, just not typically in Auburn. Engasser is thrilled to be competing in her home state.

This competition includes a team relay event with a Jill and Jill competition, which means two women sawing, as well as an underhand chopping portion.

The U.S. team won the first relay event of the day. However, Australian Amanda Beams beat everyone in this standing chop competition, knocking it down in one minute flat.

"We got to experience how you do it over here, it's different than how we do it at home," she said.

For these women, it's all about those experiences, meeting new friends and traveling to new places.

"Even though we don't really talk the rest of the year, it's like old friends, you pick up when you left off," Engasser said.

Proceeds from the weekend's event are going to the Bay Area Women's Shelter and the Shelterhouse of Midland and Gladwin counties.

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