Page 17 - 2018 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship Magazine
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MASONRY’S BIGGEST STAGE | HISTORY OF THE SMBL500

Whether it’s on job sites, in the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 logo that lenges facing the masonry industry: work-
contractor offices, at material
dealer yards, or during industry has ignited the competitive fire inside masons force recruitment, development and retention.
meetings, members of the masonry trade have
caught the fire of the SPEC MIX BRICK- throughout North America and abroad. That year, SPEC MIX introduced a theme for
LAYER 500® movement. For the last 15 years,
much of the buzz in the masonry industry has Like athletes, these masons and their trusted the World Championship event: “KEEPING
centered around one simple question, who tenders train, practice and work as a team THE TRADE STRONG” to further define the
will be the next “World’s Best Bricklayer?” to display a fiery drive as they race to win event and its mission to promote masonry
the competition that has become one of the construction and its craft. The message still
The 2017 Event was a historic year for the industry’s greatest achievements. For many, resonates today, stronger than ever.
SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500. The Competi-
tion celebrated its 15th Anniversary and Matt just winning a Regional Qualifier contest and HOW IT ALL BEGAN...
Cash, the 35 year old bricklayer from North
Carolina, was crowned the World Champion. securing a spot on the World Championship In 2003 when the SPEC MIX team crafted the
His mason tender teammate, Chet Huntley, roster is an honor, but like any sport, winning bricklaying battle, they wanted it to parallel
who is also his boss and joint owner of Hunt- is everything. The World Championship the energy, excitement, and passion of profes-
ley Brothers Company, won top honors in the offers the greatest total prize purse for a trade sional sports. Their mission was simple: To
SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER Competi- competition, annually valued at more than highlight the attributes and pride that define
tion earlier in the day. The pair from Mint $125,000, including a new FORD F-250 XLT the makings of a great mason: SKILL, SPEED,
Hill, NC are the first team to ever claim first 4x4 plus thousands in cash and prizes. and STAMINA. “Bricklaying is truly an art
place victories in their respective competi-
tions in the same year. The 2017 SPEC MIX The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 has sparked that requires incredible hand-eye coordina-
TOP CRAFTSMAN winner, Brian Tuttle, is a
record holder himself, having competed in a a huge interest in high school kids and young tion, especially when laying 700 bricks in one
14 of 15 total World Championship competi-
tions. Matt, Chet, and Brian (with help from adults seeking both an identity and career… hour. To appreciate this level of skill, people
his mason tender brother, 2016 World Cham-
pion, Scott Tuttle) will all be back to defend especially one providing an opportunity to win need to see it, which is exactly why we created
their titles in 2018 against a record 26 other
teams! This is just a glimpse of the excitement cash and prizes, on top of earning the respect the event,” said Brian Carney, VP of SPEC
and level of skill that will be on display in the
Las Vegas Convention Center Bronze Lot! of your industry peers. Masonry instructors MIX. And from then on the competition

January 24th, 2018 marks the 16th annual and technical colleges have leveraged the event evolved into an event that compares with the
SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 held at the
2018 World of Concrete in Las Vegas. The as a recruiting tool to fill their classrooms… pageantry, drama, and hoopla of the NFL’s Su-
event is renowned as the entertainment
vehicle for the show’s 70,000 plus attendees. and it’s paying off. After each World Champi- per Bowl, which attracts the best masons from
When SPEC MIX® launched the competition
in 2003, the event started out as a straight onship competition SPEC MIX mails over 450 the US, Canada, Great Britain and Australia
forward bricklaying competition to limelight
the speed and accuracy of masons. Today, DVDs of the event to a list of masonry instruc- to gain eligibility and compete. Those who
however, it is a phenomenon that has taken
the industry by storm in more ways than one. tors in the US and Canada. Whether the video don’t have the opportunity to compete, join
For masonry and its supporters, the program
has exploded into a full-blown marketing is used at career day exhibitions
campaign focused on fueling the fiery pride
in the trade. Perhaps it’s the flaming trowel in or in-class training lessons, the “I CAN’T WAIT TO COMPETE AT THIS LEVEL. I’M
SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 JUST STARTING MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER BUT
is a legitimate tool for increas-
ing the pool of quality masons. THE PRIDE I HAVE IN THE SKILL OF MASONRY
In 2012, at the age of 18, Vince GIVES YOU TREMENDOUS CONFIDENCE IN WHAT
Wright, a two-time SkillsUSA
Masonry Champion, stood in YOU CAN CREATE WITH YOUR HANDS.”

- VINCE WRIGHT (2012)

the Las Vegas competition arena

and said, “I can’t wait to compete at this level. the thousands cheering in the MASONRY

I’m just starting my professional career, but the MADNESS™ Arena or tune in online to watch

pride I have in the skill of masonry gives me the event, broadcasted live on www.smbl500.

tremendous confidence in what I can create com.

with my hands.” Now, six years later, Vince is Like all credible competitions, the SPEC
returning to the Championship stage for the MIX BRICKLAYER 500 is governed by a set
second time. of well-defined rules covering nine different

In 2010 industry leaders involved in educat- quality standards. Over time, the competi-

ing, promoting and employing the trade’s tion’s rules and judging criteria have been

labor force united to fight one of greatest chal- modified, or tightened, to better highlight the

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