We previously reported in this blog on Ron Elliott and the team at The Country Group(Botany NSW) who, on Australia Day this year, ‘carried’ the Aussie flag in the US Spec Mix 500 Competition for the title of Best Bricklayer in the World! Brian Freeman had been visiting the annual event for some years and decided with workmates Ron and Mark Reese to have a crack at the title in January this year.
Well they didn’t win but Ron says it was an amazing experience and they learned a heap about competing in the event and hope to do it again in 2013. Ron said the atmosphere was ‘mad’ – like a footy final in Australia.
The excitement among the crowd was fantastic, with cheering and screaming and a barrage of commentary coming from the loudspeaker all adding to rev up the competition.
The US bricks and mortar are different and take a bit of getting used to. The bricks there are much smaller and the mortar is more sandy and loose, so the bricks slide more – all of which means you need a bit of experience working with them to perform at your best. Ron and the team received lots of positive feedback from the crowd, with compliments on the quality and accuracy of the constructed wall.
Other competitors were very friendly and the team was given lots of good advice. Now they know what to expect they believe they’ve a strong chance of doing well representing Australia in Spec Mix 500 2013.
This year, a US team came in first and a Canadian second, both of whom had been competing for several years at this event. The Country Group represented Australia along with a UK and two Canadian teams; otherwise it was a US competition based on regional title winners.
The Country Group has two second year apprentices in the team. With this team’s enthusiasm and attitude, it sounds like a great learning and work environment in which to train for the apprenticeship.
ABBTF NSW State Manager