More than $100,000 in cash and prizes, and the prestige of being the “world’s best bricklayer” were on the line at the 2012 SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 at World of Concrete in Las Vegas on Jan. 25. When the dust settled after one hour of toiling and sweat, Leif Reints took home the honor.
Reints, 31, a mason with Reints Masonry in Neosho, Mo., captured first place by laying 583 brick in 60 minutes.
The SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 is always an exciting event at WOC. Twenty-one two-man teams made up of a mason and mason tender compete to lay the most brick while meeting strictly defined quality standards. The competition has the largest winner’s purse of any masonry competition.
Laying brick was not Reints’ initial career goal. He first wanted to be an auto mechanic after graduating from high school. But those classes at school were already full, so he took masonry classes instead. That switch has paid off handsomely. For winning the competition, he won a new 2012 Ford F-250, XLT, V8, SuperDuty, CrewCab, 4x4 truck. He also walked away with $5000 cash, a Stihl TS 420 A-EWC Cutquik cut-off machine, and other sponsor prizes. This was Reints’ second time competing in the national event. His tender, Gustavo Soriano, is also of Reints Masonry.
The Top Craftsman Award went to Scott Tuttle, 36, of Quik Trowell Masonry, Clearfield, Utah. Tuttle laid 474 brick. The combined brick count and the quality of his wall was judged the “most sellable.” As Top Craftsman, he won $5000 cash, a Multiquip EM120S mixer, a Stihl cut-off machine, and other sponsor prizes. His tender was Brian Tuttle of Clearfield, Utah.
To many contestants, the Top Craftsman is the most coveted award of the event. Twenty-seven carefully selected masonry officials averaging 20 years of bricklaying experience evaluate each wall and select the Top Craftsman winner.
Filipe Orfao, 42, of Squire Masonry, Cookstown, Ontario, Canada, won second place for laying 547 brick. He won $4000 cash and sponsor prizes. His tender was Manuel Oliveira.
Third place went to Justin Jakubisin, 31, of Giambrone Masonry, Hudson, Ohio. He laid 544 brick, and his tender was Aaron Cooke, of Brunswick Hills, Ohio. Jakubisin won $3000 cash and sponsor prizes.
Nick Miller, 26, of Exteriors Plus, Jefferson, Wis., won $2500 cash and sponsor prizes for being the Toughest Tender winner. In this preliminary event held just before the Bricklayer 500, tenders race the clock to set up a predefined work area for the masons. Miller’s winning time was 17 minutes, 52 seconds.
The competition was made up of winning bricklayers from 16 regional qualifying competitions held throughout the U.S. and Canada. The 2011 champion, Ray Robinson, and the 2011 Top Craftsman winner, Dave Moyle, both returned to defend their titles.
For more on the event, visit www.specmixbricklayer500.com.