A Caber (often mistaken for a phone pole) is a section of a tree that tapers from one end to the other and is probably the most recognizable event of the Heavy Events.
The athlete will attempt to “pick” or pick up the Caber and balance it straight up and down while holding the small end. Once under balances he will then start to run with the Caber and when sufficient momentum is gained he will attempt to flip the Caber end over end.
The Caber is not thrown for distance but rather accuracy using the hands of a clock. The athlete’s goal is for the Caber to flip and land straight in line with the direction he was running, a perfect score being a 12 o’clock.
Cabers of all different sizes are used for the different classes in the games. There are three factors in deciding the difficulty of a caber.
First is the weight which can range from 50lbs to 150lbs, second is the length which can range from 13’ to 22’ and third is the amount of taper that the caber has.
The bigger the taper (or weight difference between the bottom and top) the easier the caber will be to flip. The Victoria Challenge Caber is just over 19’ long, about 140lbs and has very little taper to it which is what makes it one of the hardest cabers in the world.
It has only ever been turned by two men (Andy Vincent, Scott Rider) and it has been attempted by some of the best.