Contestants from all over the world competed in the 10th annual Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 competition, which included masons and tenders from Australia, Canada, and England. Leif Reints of Reints Masonry Works, Neosho, Mo., took first place after laying 583 bricks in one hour.
This was Reints’ second time participating in the competition, although his first career choice was to be an auto mechanic. He thanked Bud Johnson and his “mud man” Gustavo Soriano for their support.
The bleachers were packed, Wednesday, January 25, with spectators cheering on 21 two-man teams—made up of a mason and mason tender— competing to lay the most bricks while meeting strictly defined quality standards.
The competition has the largest winner’s purse of any masonry competition, with approximately $100,000 in gifts, cash, and prizes at stake.
Along with claiming the “World’s Best Bricklayer” title, Reints won a fully loaded 2012 Ford F-250 4x4 XLT Crew Cab truck, $5000 cash, and sponsor prizes worth thousands of dollars.
Second place winner Filipe Orfao of Squire Masonry, Cookstown, Ontario, Canada, took home a $4000 check and sponsor prizes for laying 547 bricks. 42-year-old Orfao has been working as a mason for more than 26 years, having learned the trade from his older brothers.
Justin Jakubisin of Giambrone Masonry Inc., Hudson, Ohio, took third place, laying 544 bricks to win $3000 cash and prizes. It was Jakubisin’s fourth time in the competion, after being inspired by his grandfather—also a mason—to learn the trade.
The Spec Mix Top Craftsman was nine-year competitor and first-time winner Scott Tuttle of Quik Trowel Masonry, Clearfield, Utah, who claimed $5000 after laying 474 bricks. After competing in three previous Bricklayer 500 contests, Tuttle prepared by reviewing videos of his performance. He vowed to “relax more” this time around.
Nick Miller of Exteriors Plus, Jefferson, Wis. , won the Spec Mix Toughest Tender competition for demonstrating organization, safety, and hustle—including setting up his team’s work area, brick, and tools the fastest. He won $2500 cash and sponsor prizes for his hard work.
To view the free Web broadcast of the event, check out www.smbl500.com.