Turlock woman takes sawing title

September 01, 2003 11:00 pm

By ERIN MAYES

Cindy Gibbs clamped her hands around a chain saw and buzzed her way through a huge log to win this year's women's bucksaw competition at the Logging Jamboree in White Pines Park.

"That's my mom!" yelled Chelsea Gibbs after her mother sliced off two rounds in 50.7 seconds. "I think it's cool. At the cabin, she chops down the trees and stuff. She just likes to chop stuff up."

The blonde mother from Turlock competed against Tina Harrison of Grass Valley at the eighth annual event near Arnold.

Though Harrison is a competition veteran, Gibbs had something to prove this year: She and her family come to the Jamboree every year and stay at their Dorrington cabin, but two years ago, she was disqualified from the contest for not making a whole cut.

This year, it wasn't a problem.

The Harrisons, including Tina's husband, George, and their son, George Jr., are major competitors. They took part in most of the weekend's contests, including ax-throws, buck-sawing and other blade-related events.

Father and son took home big awards — George Sr. was the weekend's top competitor, winning a chromed throwing ax for his efforts in most of the 26 competitions. George Jr. also won a $700 professional saw in a raffle.

"They're both just crackerjack loggers," said organizer Pat Bradley of Murphys, a board member with Friends of the Logging Museum.

"They both make the show lots of fun, and they are great guys," agreed Steve Kafka, who organized the competitions with help from Doug duBois of West Point and Dave Finn from Arnold.

Various local competitors entered the contests, but found it tough to beat the Harrisons, who go to logging events every couple of months. Bradley said they have acted as paid organizers for the events in the past, though they came strictly as competitors this year.

Organizers said the competitors put on a good show for the 2,000-plus people who showed up Sunday.

"All of our parking lots were full," said Friends board President Ron Bradley, Pat's husband.