what a beautyfull country, there! where cows are milked by a lion and a tiger!
Can't wait to hear what contests involving alcohol look like . This is really interesting and I've been totally oblivious to everything you take time to describe here, thanks.
what a beautyfull country, there! where cows are milked by a lion and a tiger!
Moonw there is not alcohol involved between competitors, indeed after each competition the federation makes them antidopping analisies. Maybe you can find it in not federative amateur challenges, but I have never listened anything about it.
The alcohol sometimes helps in the birth of challenges. Some challenges do born when, let's say, an axeman goes to a bar or restaurant with his friends and he meets another axeman. Usually both axeman respect each other. But the friend groups start provoking each other and that derives in a challenge and high quantity bets between the two friend groups. The alcohol helps in this type of scenario.
You are right about the beauty of our lands, as in any other part of the world we are ruining it in high speed but we live in a truly beautiful place.
But let's continue with the axemen.
Getaria 2016/05/08 Eusko Label axemen contest, last knockout before the semifinal in the town were the first man who circumnavigated the world was born.
This time they have good wood but with criminal knots. Those knots are so bad they break one of the axes of Donato Larretxea, the man in orange. You can see it in the sixth minute of the video, he gets so angry he throws the axe.
I miss a very good and young axeman in this competition, Iker Vicente. In this period he was competing in Australia in the Sydney Easter Show. I haven't got any video of 2016, but here you can see him one year ago when he was 17 years old competing versus two Australian axemen. He is the man in red,
Galdakao 2016/05/15 Eusko Label axemen contest, first semifinal.
All the axeman start cutting two logs in the first phase. The fastest will compete vs the slowest and the two other between them in the second phase cutting four logs in a row. The times of the two phases are added and the axeman who has the best overall time in each couple passes to the final.
Very interesting that there are anti-doping tests. And while in other athletic sports once you are past a certain age you are considered "done", here as we can see experience competes successfully with the grit of the youth.
Above, I didn't mean about alcohol in these organized endeavours, but since betting is in your blood, I meant it in a more general way.
Now all I need to do is convince my better half Basque Country is a must see place . You're making a great case here.
Is there an official website with the location and dates of these competitions?
Ataun 2016/05/22, Eusko Label axemen contest, second semifinal.
All the axeman start cutting two logs in the first phase. The fastest will compete vs the slowest and the two other between them in the second phase cutting two vertical logs (we can't see it in this video) and four horizontal logs. The times of the two phases are added and the axeman who has the best overall time in each couple passes to the final.
Axemanship is so rooted in our culture you can find a competition, exibition or a bet every week in spring, summer and the first part of the Autum. There are periods in the Summer were you have axemen exibitions everyday in festivals in different towns, like this one in Zumarraga,
The most difficult thing is to know were do they compete each day, there is not a unified public calendar.
I see, thanks!
There is not a centralized calendar but we know when are the festivals of each town of the zone we live and some events are very known. Like the axemen competition at in the middle of August in our province capital, Donostia.
Moonw, maybe the gastronomical aspect can help to convince your better half, that is allways a good argument,
Azpeitia 2016-06-05 Eusko Label axemen contest the grand final.
We have three events here, the young axemen final. Here compete axemens younger than 23 years old, Eneko Saralegi vs Oier Kañamares. Xanta Sousa will try to mark a new Txingalari record with 50K txingas, and the third event will be the main final. This is the sequence we see in the video,
Senior axemen start cutting a log in as less swing as they can.
The two young axemen cut each one a standing log.
Each senior axemen cut a log against the clock.
Young axemen cut a log against the clock.
Senior axemen cutting standing log.
Young axemen cutting a log against the clock.
Senior axemen cutting a log against the clock.
Xanta Sousa trying a new mark with a 50Kg txinga in each hand, impressive.
Senior axemen cutting a vertical and horizontal log.
Young axemen last race, they have to cut four logs. Eneko Saralegi starts with an advantage of 1 minute and 21 seconds due to his performance in the logs they have cut before.
Senior axemen last race, they have to cut five logs. Aitzol Atutxa starts with the best time, in the second position Jon Recondo to 14 seconds, third position for Arria 5th to 44 seconds and in the last position Eneko Otaño to 1 minute and 35 seconds. The times are tigh and there is not a big advantage for the work they have to do.
All Basque rural sports have homesteading background, all of them derived from a job which was made at the farm. I have talked about txinga, this sport derived from milk mess tin transportation. Nowadays instead of mess tins they use steel weights, usually a 25Kg weight in each hand.
We are approaching the summer were you can find all types of rural sports everywere, it's not inusual to have more that one axemen envent in different towns in the same day. To talk about them it would take me days, so I will centre in the most important. it seems I can only insert three videos in each message so the next message will come in three parts.
Like the world known San Fermin, they start the 6th of July.
These are the festivals of Iruñea, Pamplona as it is known in Spanish. They are known as a very participative festivals, their txupinazo is very known,
Bullruns are known and retransmited worldwide, a lot of people of all around the world comes to see and take part in it,
The party is crazy and very safe for women. There were agressions some years ago and the population of the city, specially the peñas (young groups of people who has historically been the soul of the party) take active part in avoiding it. If you see or suffer an agression ask for help and be sure someone will help you.
A lot of foreigner ask us to explain the party, nobody can do it, you have to live it. It's a kind of unorganized, inmersive and crazy party with its own rationaland irrational laws and traditions. Quite a lot of foreigner people who lives San Fermin comments how few fights and angry people sees in the streets. I allways get stunned, how can you consider a party as a party with angry people fighting in the streets?
Let's focus, here you have a vagabrothers documentary about the festival. They think the same as I do, Bullfigts are a tradition to erradicate but San Fermin is great,
Last edited by Ugaldie; 12-21-2016 at 12:40 AM.
But what most of the people doesn't realize is the quite complete rural sports events you have at least for four days. You can see differents types of sports, axemen included,
9th of July there weren't any loggers,
10th of July they payed the Navarrean axemen championship in couples,
11th of July, Navarrean 3rd division axemen championship,
12th of July, there is a bit of woodcutting but not axemen,
I have contacted the video makers several times to say them to insert the publicity in a other way to noy to ruin the axemen video. The last message had a response, they say I'm right and they will try to change it.
If you know to swim into the festival of San Fermin you can find much more than you can see here, you can find from formal cultural events to the most enjoyable party (and anything between, up, down, left, right, far, close, better or worse to those two types to ways to enjoy your time).
In the first week of August takes part the festival of an other Basque city of the interior, Gasteiz, the European green capital of 2012,
This also is a high-octane festival, specially the starting day,
As usually this festival has a very complete rural sports event, I don't have the video of this year, but you can make an idea with this,
And now we reach the festival of my province capital, the European Culture capital of this year, Donostia,
The festivals take part in the second week of August, after San Fermin and Gasteiz this festival is more clam and cultural, but still anybody can find anything he wants. For the axe lover this festival has the best axemen event of all the Basque capitals, the golden coup.
For those of you who want to see an old school axemen competition and enjoy first class woodchopping, here you have the 31th competition of the city of Donostia. Each axeman has to cut 14 French Pyrenaic beech logs in a row and be the fastest to win the coup. Each log measures 40 centimeters (15,75 inches) in diameter.
Last edited by Ugaldie; 12-21-2016 at 01:56 AM.
any jay alay video? to show that squash is a sport for retired!
Let's continue with axemen and rural sports. There are seven Basque provinces, four under Spanish administration and three under French administration. Anually a rural sports competition is played between them, here you have this year competition,
Donostia 2016/07/04 a very hot day, rural sport competitions between the seven Basque lands.
The first competition consist in collecting all the corn ears you have in your front. Laws are easy, you can only touch an ear at a time, the first who collects all of them wins. This time they are using wood pieces as substitutes.
Second competition are the Txingak. It consist in taking a 50Kg weight in each hand (a total of 100Kg) and make as much laps as you can untill the first txinga drops from your hand. Here the time doesn't count for anything, the team who makes the most laps wins.
Third competition is sack race. This sport has smuggling roots between the border of Spanish and French administration. Each team consists in three runners, each runner will have to run 2 laps (120 meters) with a 80kg sack at his back, the fastest team wins.
Fourth competition is the stone lifting, each lifter has to lift a 100Kg stone to his shoulder as many times as he can in two minutes. The one who lifts the most times wins.
Fifth competition is the chariot lifting. Consist in lifting a chariot and make as much turns as you can untill the wheels touch the floor, there is not time limit.
Sixth competition is the straw lifting. Consists in lifting a 45Kg straw as many times as you can in two minutes. The one who lifts the most times wins. This sport is quite spectacular.
Seventh competition is the anvil lifting. Consists in lifting a 18Kg anvil as many times as you can in two minutes. The one who lifts the most times wins.
Eight competition is the tug of war, quite known sport.
Ninth competition is the crosscut saw. Consist in making 10 cuts as fast as possible.
Tenth competition, the place of honor, is for the axemen. Fast work, they have to cut four beech logs 32cm in diameter as fast as possible.
Last edited by Ugaldie; 12-26-2016 at 05:11 AM.
A former 88 years old axeman Jokin Sarasola enjoyng a sunny beach day. Nothing healthier than cutting some logs storm brought to the beach of the city center.
flexo there are pelota modalities harder than the zesta punta. Barehand is the harder in my opinion, they use some protection but the ball they hit is the same type as used in Jai Alai,
Bilbao, top notch axemanship and one of the hardest axemen event of 2016, 1st division Basque axemen final of 2016. Enjoy it!
Last edited by Ugaldie; 12-26-2016 at 04:24 PM.
Do you remember the challenge of Xabier Orbegozo that was was taken by two young axemen? They negotiated the terms and concluded to compete in a challenge consisting in cutting 20 beech logs 40 centímeters in diameter and running circularly 20 kilometers in the sand of a bullring. Two vs one seems uncompensated but the axemen pair is composed by two second division axemen, the lone axeman is a first division axeman and he will choose the logs. This last point will give him significant advantage.
They bet each other 12.000€. Here you have the poster of the event,
2016-10-30 Leitza, the golden axe competition has started, here you have the first knockout,
Nowadays the term epic is so overused it has lost its real meaning. If you want come back to the origins and remember the root of the word look at this competition.
2016/11/20 Tolosa Xabier Orbegozo alone faced to a couple formed by Arkaitz Jauregi Gorrotxategi and Julen Kañamares Mugerza in a really hard challenge in the bullring of Tolosa. Each team had to cut 20 beech logs 40 centímeters in diameter and then they had to run 20 kilometers circularly in the sand of the bullring, take in account what does this mean to running circularly in the sand compared to running a straight path in a solid surface.
Xabier had to do all this work in a row, the couple had its own rules. Julen had to cut 10 logs, when he finished the tenth log Arkaitz would cut the remaining 10 logs and run 10 kilometers, when he ended it Julen had to run the last 10 kilometers. They bet each other 16000€ in this challenge.
Here you have a quite inusual video, you can see how they prepared the challenge the day before of the event,
The challenge took more than two hours and this video lasts an hour, take in account we can't see all minutes. It's a pity, nevertheless enjoy it!
Here you can see another short video of the competition,
This has been the top axemen event of 2016.
Last edited by Ugaldie; 12-27-2016 at 04:12 PM.
Between all the axemen events we have had this past summer the next one worths mention.
Abaltzisketa 2016/04/26 The challenge consists in one axeman (Iñaki Aierbe) vs two axewomen (Maika Aristegi and Irune Izkue), they have to cut four 40 beech logs 40 centimeters in diameter. The women will work in free round, the man will cut the log with only one hand. Enjoy the video!
If you want to see some photos click in this link,
In this type of events you tend to find bets in nearby bars. Someone writes his conditions in a paper, if you like it you take it, you can see an example of this in the last photo of the link.
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