The best axe throwers from across Australia are ready to chop down their competitors in Wollongong this weekend with two internationally recognised tournaments set to be some of the biggest the country has ever seen.
Battle Axe Throwing Wollongong has undergone impressive renovations to expand the space ahead of the inaugural Battle Axe Open on Saturday (27 January) with a bid in the 2024 International Axe Throwing Championships up for grabs for whoever comes out on top.
Matt Evans who owns the venue with partner Chloe Lyttle said the competition is set to be the largest yet, with 61 competitors already registering, and only three more people needed to take it to the next level.
“Currently where we’re at, it’s the biggest axe throwing tournament ever in Australia,” Matt said.
“In axe throwing if you get a 64 person tournament it’s quite a big deal because there’s a champion coin that you can award to the winner that you can’t win unless the tournament has 64 competitors, and no one has run a tournament that big yet so no one has one and we’re hoping to be the first.”
But the Battle Axe Open is just the beginning, with the venue also winning the bid for the Asia-Pacific Regional Tournament on the Sunday, which will send another competitor into qualifying for worlds.
“We got the bid out of everyone in the Southern Hemisphere,” Matt said.
“This is insane and for us, we’re over the moon.”
“We’re so enamoured and honoured to be the host because we’re a small venue in little Wollongong.”
Surrounding the two major tournaments is a series of other competitions with more epic prizes to be won.
This includes ‘skillz’ competitions on Friday 26 January which highlights variations on the traditional structure.
“We’re doing a big axe event, a 1.5 rotation event where you throw the axe with an extra spin on it and then also a doubles event where you throw with a partner at the same target.”
There will also be an event on Saturday morning exclusively for competitors with average scores under 45 points.
“It’s really a great way to showcase those players with lower averages who don’t get the spotlight at the major tournaments,” Matt said.
“That’s the one I’m most passionate about and I think it’s going to be really fun to watch.”
Battle Axe Throwing Wollongong opened two years ago and has continued to grow in popularity.
“It’s just blown up.”
“There was one league in the very first season that we ran and now we’re up to four that are at 30 person capacity each night which is amazing.”
And it’s more than just a fun pastime, with locals going on to represent overseas and raise the profile of the sport in the area.
“Our mission statement when we started the business, at the top of the business plan, was to elevate the competitive axe throwing scene in the Illawarra region,” Matt said.
“It wasn’t about having a place where people go once and say ‘I did axe throwing’ it was to really propagate this as a sport, and that’s our passion.”
Now the region will not only be a hub for throwers, it will also hold a place in the record books, with the success of this competition set to showcase the Illawarra even further within the axe throwing community.
The events kick off Friday 26 January 2024 and is free to watch at 284 – 286 Crown St, Wollongong with stalls, makers and plenty to see.
To find out more visit the Battle Axe website.