The eye catching supporting event of the finals was the ABBTF “Gun Trowel” speed competition. It drew a huge and rowdy crowd of spectators who jostled for a spot five deep around the perimeter of the competition area. CSR/PGH Queensland Manager Trent Cosh provided a colourful commentary and introduction of competitors, entertaining us while the golden Gun 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 bricklaying competitors raced to complete the four brick pier first 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.
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. This was an exceptional performance by Matthew Barratt and not a complete surprise given the proud history of WorldSkills success in the Barratt family.