By Kathy Johnson
The Barrington River was teeming with colourful canoes and pealing with laughter on May 5 as paddlers from various areas of southwestern Nova Scotia took part in the second annual Barrington River Run.
“It was good to see so many people having fun on the river,” said organizer and five time world log rolling champion Darren Hudson. “Everybody’s talking about next year already.”
An estimated 25 canoes and kayaks were paddled over the course which began at Clement’s Pond and ended up near the head of the Barrington River at Hudson’s Riverside Park, with still waters and fast moving rapids in between.
Hudson, who has travelled the world performing and competing as a professional lumberjack for the past 16 years, is once again calling the banks along the Barrington River home base.
“This is my culture. This is where I grew up. This is where I draw my inspiration from,” said Hudson. “When I’m doing any competition it’s the Barrington River that flowing through my veins.”
While Hudson is still competing and performing on the international stage, he is trying to get more on the go locally, and is tentatively planning a number of weekend lumberjack sporting events for his Riverside Park that will attract both competitors and spectators.
Meanwhile he’s getting ready to go to London, England in June to perform in a lumberjack show there, and will be vying for his sixth world log rolling championship title later in the summer in the U.S.
“I know everybody is going to be after me hot and heavy,” said Hudson “but I’ll give them a run for their money.”
Hudson won his fifth title in 2011. “I was very blessed to win title number five,” he said. “It felt almost as good as winning the first one.”
Hudson has also won the Canadian log rolling championship nine times as well as a number of other national and international titles in lumberjack sports.
Hudson, whose uncle Phil Scot is a nine-time world log rolling champion, is a fifth generation lumberjack.