All entrants to the bricklaying WorldSkills competition participated in the event.
And what an event it was! Standing room only, spectators were five deep around the perimeter of the competition area and drawn from a wide range of other WorldSkills activities happening at the stadium.
Trent Cosh’s colourful commentary and introduction of competitors entertained us while the Golden Trowel Trophy was passed around the crowd to admiring comments.
The atmosphere was electric – flashing trowels and flying mortar amid the cheering created a great event as the crowd was gripped by the excitement of the race, counting down to the start and finish at ‘trowels down’ to huge applause.
The 13 WorldSkills regional winning bricklayer entrants raced to complete the four brick pier in the allotted 20 minutes – and it was a tight race.
Coming out winner was third year apprentice from Adelaide, Matthew Cheso. Congratulations Matthew! Sounds like some of those ‘tricks of the trade’ picked up from Colin Sontag paid off! Colin has been a top bricklayer for around 40 years in SA and has been a big part of Matthew’s apprenticeship. Matthew attends the Gilles Plains campus of TAFE SA.
But very close behind Matthew Cheso was runner up Matthew Barratt from Tasmania. Only after painstaking measuring and re-measuring was the winner decided by the barest of margins from Matthew Barratt of Tasmania. However, some compensation no doubt was Matthew Barratt’s Bronze in the main National WorldSkills Bricklaying competition that followed. This was an exceptional performance overall and not a complete surprise given the proud history of WorldSkills success in the Barratt family.
General Manager, ABBTF