When David Chavez was topped the world’s greatest bricklayer in 2018, he acquired a tattoo to have a good time. Three years later, he might get inked once more.
Chavez earned the title reserved for elite masonry on the World of Concrete’s Spec Combine Bricklayer 500 competitors on Wednesday.
The Bricklayer 500 had 20 two-person groups of masons and their tenders working collectively to construct one of the best and largest 26-foot-long brick wall with the least quantity of errors. Chavez, of Houston, Texas, laid 678 bricks in an hour, successful him bragging rights — plus $5,000 and the keys to a brand new Ford F-250 truck.
“I nonetheless have cramps as a result of it was a tricky workday, however it was price it,” he mentioned by means of a translator when accepting his win.
The occasion provided $125,000 in money and prizes for the Bricklayer 500 — often known as “the Tremendous Bowl of Masonry” — and different competitions for tenders and masonry apprentices all through the morning. The “greatest craftsman,” a rank earned for probably the most excellent wall decided by judges, additionally received money, prizes and an off-road utility car, the Kubota RTV-X1140. Returning greatest craftsman Darian Douthit, of Miami, Oklahoma, took the title.
Craftsmen from throughout the U.S. have been chosen to compete Wednesday by means of 16 regional qualifiers, plus a number of wildcard entries and returning champions.
The competitors offered a brand new problem for masons this yr. Often, the conference is held in January. The desert’s summer season warmth put the bricklayers in a brand new atmosphere.
“It was completely different as a result of that is summer season,” third place winner Marty Marrs, of Terre Haute, Indiana, mentioned. “That is at all times in January. It was completely different for everyone. We use mortar and mortar is affected by the warmth. So, it was a much bigger problem.”
This yr’s competitors was held in June at World of Concrete’s rescheduled occasion. It’s the primary main commerce present in the USA for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic’s nationwide shutdown in 2020. Earlier years have drawn as many as 60,000 masonry professionals.
The celebratory air was not simply because bricklayers have been feeling the power of competitors. Pleasure over the return was noticeable amongst opponents and spectators.
“It’s good to be near again to regular,” Marrs, who laid 615 bricks, mentioned. “Everybody’s fairly comfortable. Win or lose, we’re having fun with life out right here.”
World of Concrete will return to Las Vegas in about six months for its often held conference from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20, 2022.
McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a nationwide service program that locations journalists into native newsrooms. Contact her at [email protected]. Comply with @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.