Madis Jaaska is the two-time champion of the log house builders’ competition!

On Saturday (June 10), the 13th international professional competition for log house builders was held in Hiiumaa, Estonia. At the competition, professionals in their field and students studying the field from Estonia and abroad competed. Two Canadian and one Finnish log house builder competed alongside Estonian specialists.

The contestants must show speed and skill in making one of the most important parts of the log house – corner notch and a groove of a log. Competitors can choose between different corner types: dovetail corner with wind lock, square notch with wind lock, Scandinavian notch or Saddle notch. The winner has to complete the task in the shortest time and most correctly. The competition is held in three categories – professionals, students, and axmen. While all hand and power tools and other work tools are allowed in the category of professionals and students, only non-motorized hand tools may be used in the so-called axeman’s class.

Several factors made this year’s competition exceptional and exciting. First of all, there was a record number of log house builders in the competition – 35 registered participants, which shows the strength and sustainability of keeping log house building traditions. Secondly, three foreign competitors – two from Canada (from the company Laverty Log Homes) and one from the northern neighbors, Finland – provided the Estonian competitors a nervous tension. Thirdly, for the first time, a female competitor – Tiina Liiv (Hiiumaa Vocational School) took part in the competition, which shows that log construction and the field of construction, which is mainly dominant by men, also appeals to women.

A record 35 participants registered for the competition in three categories, of which 32 entered the competition. The best log building champion in the professional category in 2023 is Madis Jaaska (Hobbiton OÜ), who defended last year’s championship. The student category was won by Jürgo Jartsev-Moont (Hiiumaa Vocational School) and the axeman category was also won by Alari Suun (Hobbiton OÜ) for the second year in a row.

Madis Jaaska’s finishing time was 20 minutes and 39 seconds. It is noteworthy that the judges did not notice any mistakes in the winner’s performance, i.e. Madis Jaaska did not earn a single penalty second with the correct performance of the corner notch.

Käsitöö palkmajaehitajate kutsevõistlus 2023 Hiiumaal. Foto: Karl-Markus Antson
Competition for handcrafted log house builders 2023 in Hiiumaal. Photo: Karl-Markus Antson

The second place in the professional category was won by multiple champion Veiko Palm (Palmaster OÜ) with a time of 21 min 53 sec, and third place by Ahto Naruski (Hobbiton OÜ) with a time of 32 minutes and 11 seconds.

Alari Suun (Hobbiton OÜ) won first place in the category of traditional hand tools (axmen category). The best performance in the student category was made by Jürgo Jartsev-Moont from Hiiumaa Vocational School with a time of 46 min 14 sec. Mikko Kokkmaa took the second place and Mart Mölder (Hiiumaa Vocational School) took the third place.

2023.a palkmajaehitajate kutsevõistluse esikolmik professionaalide kategoorias. Foto: Karl-Markus Antson
The top three in the professional category of the 2023 log house builders’ professional competition. Photo: Karl-Markus Antson

Estonian Woodhouse Association expects that the event will grow into World Championships of Log House Builders as several new international contestants are interested in participating at the event. The next professional competition for handcrafted log house builders will take place on May 25, 2024 in Räpina, the birthplace of the competition, in Southern Estonia. The competition will be held right after International Log Building Conference in Estonia – May 23-24 2024. Stay tuned!

Käsitöö palkmajaehitajate kutsevõistlus 2023 osalejad ja korraldajad. Foto: Karl-Markus Antson
Participants and organizers of the log house builders’ competition. Photo: Karl-Markus Antson

Woodhouse Estonia (Estonian Woodhouse Association and cluster) together with South Estonian log house manufacturers and Hiiumaa Vocational School organized the competition for the 13th time. The professional log house builders competition is the only event of its kind both in Estonia and internationally, where professional log house builders can compare their skills with other colleagues. The purpose of the competition is to introduce and value the profession of a log house builder and to promote log house construction and its tradition. The competition task of the professional competition is to make one corner notch of a log house, at which the judges evaluate the speed and accuracy of the log placement. The competition is won by the competitor who completed the task in the shortest time and most correctly.

The Estonian Woodhouse Association thanks all the participants and supporters!

The organization of competition was partially supported by the Estonian Wooden Houses Export Cluster project, which is financed by the EAS clusters measure, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.