Mark Roese, Cathy Bellenger and Ron Elliott at Bondi Beach. They will be going to the World Bricklaying Championships at Las Vegas. Picture: Anthony Reginato Source: The Sunday Telegraph.
The USA’s annual quest to find ‘The World’s Best Bricklayer’ is on again and Aussie blokes Ron Elliott and Mark Roese are heading back for a second try. Aussie Cathy Bellenger, who was runner-up last year in the all-female amateur bricklaying category is also back, confident of a win this time.
The event, now in its 13th year, can be viewed live on Wednesday February 6, 2013; information is available at the Specmix Bricklayer 500 website. The event is held in conjunction with the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas, USA.
Entrants come mainly from around the USA but Australian Ron Elliott submitted a video last year to demonstrate his capability and gained entry and this year was invited to return having done very well in 2012. The aim is to lay as many bricks in one hour on a wall as possible. The 2012 winner won with 572 per hour (9.5/minute) last year compared to Ron’s 6th place with 540, so this year he’s is training to achieve 600. A very healthy $US100,000 in total prize money is shared, so it’s worth the effort of training the 3 hours/day the team is putting in. The final wall is also judged on quality – how level and straight it is and crooked or chipped bricks are deducted from the total.
The team comes from The Country Group, bricklayers from Botany NSW. Mark Roese is Ron’s labourer in the event, providing him with his materials (mud ‘n bricks) and he takes part in a similar competition against his peers. Cathy, as mentioned above, is a strong contender for the all-female amateur award! As reported in a blog HERE on last year’s event, The Country Group has two bricklaying apprentices in the team. What an enthusiastic, ‘can do’ environment in which to be training for your Apprenticeship!
Their boss, Brian Freeman, believes they can win. “For Ron and Mark to be competing against the world’s best and to come out on top would be an absolute honour. It’s a pretty big deal to be judged by your peers in this industry and to be called the world’s best.”
The guys have a host of sponsors, including the ABBTF as a lead supporter, all hoping for the top result. However they finish though, it’s a great challenge and all credit to them for having a crack at it and giving their best!! The team at ABBTF will be glued to the pc screen!