Defending champ Ted Ott and a host of challengers will compete for the 11th Annual World Championship Cutting Competition at the BLADE Show (www.bladeshow.com) May 31-June 2 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta.
The World Championship will be conducted by BladeSports International (BSI) the Saturday of the show at 4:15 p.m. in “The Courtyard”—the parking lot of the show's host hotel, the Renaissance Waverly. Current qualifiers include Ott, past champ Gary Bond, Donavon Phillips, Jim Cottingham, Michael Eubanks, Dwight Schoneweis, Dan Keffeler, Bud Robbins and Chris Rowland. Whether more will qualify by the time of the competition, including at least one international contestant, remains to be seen.
Speed, power, technique and a good knife are all important ingredients to winning the competitions. All certified beforehand by BSI, the knives must be no longer than 15 inches overall, with a blade 10 inches or shorter and no more than 2 inches wide. There are no thickness or weight limits. The majority of the knives are custom made, with the balance being factory.
The contestants perform a number of cuts, all of which are timed. Points are deducted from the total time for successful cuts, and the low score wins. While some cuts such as slicing through hanging ropes, water-filled plastic bottles and chopping 2x4s are standard fare, there are usually a couple of surprise cuts for which the competitors cannot prepare. The knives are inspected after each round and disqualified if the blade is damaged.
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