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Bricklayer David Chavez (left) and his mason tender, Miguel Contreras (right), celebrate winning the 2018 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship.
Bricklayer David Chavez (left) and his mason tender, Miguel Contreras (right), celebrate winning the 2018 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship.
February 13, 2018 8:00 AM CST

David Chavez wins the 2018 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship

Texas mason claimed the crown “World’s Best Bricklayer”

By

In front of the largest crowd in the 16-year history of the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship (See HIGHLIGHT VIDEO in ENGLISH or ESPAÑOL), David Chavez of Ranch Masonry in Houston, TX claimed the crown “World’s Best Bricklayer.” After 60-minutes of laying bricks against 27 other world-class masons, 34-year old Chavez put up a wall with 698 perfectly-placed brick (zero deductions) that earned him a 2018 Ford F-250 XLT 4x4 truck, an Essick EM120 HYD mortar mixer on top of $10,000 in cash and prizes. It was his third time qualifying for the championship event in Las Vegas (Chavez won second place in 2017). With the help of his mason tender, Miguel Contreras, Chavez delivered his best performance in an arena packed with thousands of spectators.

When asked about winning the event, Chavez said, “It has been a dream come true because the first time I saw the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 back in 2013 it seemed like an amazing event that I would like to participate in and win one day. I finally got my opportunity in 2015 but fell short, then again in 2017 I got so close when I placed second, and now finally my dream has come true.”

Of the 28 bricklayers and mason tender teams that competed for the event’s $125,000 purse, bricklayer Leif Reints of Wyandotte, OK claimed the next highest ranking title, SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN®. Reints claimed a 2018 John Deere Gator™ XUV 835 and another $10,000 in cash and prizes for his efforts. Reints (37) laid 625 brick without any craftsmanship deductions in which a 30 judge panel agreed was the “most sellable” wall. No stranger to the event, it was Reints’ sixth World Championship appearance. Reints previously claimed the World Champion title in 2012.

Standing beside Chavez and Reints in the winners’ circle, Second Place honors went to Brian Tuttle of Quik Trowell Masonry in Clearfield, UT. A mason for 23 years, Brian laid 689 brick to win $4,000 and over $1,500 in sponsor prizes. His mason tender was his brother; best friend and business partner Scott Tuttle, who as a bricklayer was the 2016 Champion and 2012 TOP CRAFTSMAN winner. Considered a veteran of the competition, over the past 16 years Brian competed 15 times; 9 times as a bricklayer and 6 times as a mason tender, an attendance record that has never been challenged.

Rounding out the pool of winners was the 2017 defending champion Matt Cash of Huntley Brothers Company in Mint Hill, NC. With a large crew of family and friends rooting him on, Cash (35) laid 658 brick to claim Third Place and a check for $3,000 plus $1,500 in prizes.

Kicking off the bricklaying action was the SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® competition. Twenty-eight mason tenders raced to stage all the materials used during the bricklaying event. Nick Miller with Brock Construction in Ft. Atkinson, WI was named TOUGHEST TENDER, and collected a check for $2,500 and $1,500 in prizes. Miller recorded the second-best-ever time of 15 minutes flat (WR – 11 minutes 7 second, set in 2005). Established to show the value a mason tender brings to a mason, it’s a crowd favorite that tests the speed, endurance and accuracy of a skilled laborer.

Commonly referred to as the “Super Bowl of Masonry,” the bricklaying battle took place on Wednesday, January 24th in the heart of the Masonry Madness® Day arena at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas. Before a bricklayer is eligible to compete in the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship, each competitor must qualify by winning their Regional Series competition. This earns them a shot at taking down the returning Champion or SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN® title holders. This year’s event showcased the skills of its first female contestant, Sheree Canham, an accomplished mason who made the journey with her family from New Berimma, NSW Australia. The second international competitor who crossed the pond was Luke Lovegrove of Long Sutton, Lincolnshire England. Both stated they hope to return to make a run at the title.

The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® initiative was created in 2003 to promote masonry construction while accentuating the craftsmanship, pride and passion that masons dedicate to their work. It’s also a means for SPEC MIX®, its sponsors and supporters, to give back to the masonry trade and strengthen its future. Over the years the event has evolved into an industry movement that is used as a tool for recruiting skilled labor and workforce development programs. The fierce competition, quality of craftsmanship, and the growing annual crowds, is evidence that the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® is uniting the industry and infusing energy into a craft that commands respect and admiration.

Cory Belonzi (right) with Ford Commercial Vehicles hands over the keys to a 2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty Truck to World Champion David Chavez (middle) as he holds up the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship ceremonial trophy.
Cory Belonzi (right) with Ford Commercial Vehicles hands over the keys to a 2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty Truck to World Champion David Chavez (middle) as he holds up the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship ceremonial trophy.

First Place Cash & Prizes

  • 2018 Ford F-250 4x4 XLT Super Duty Truck
  • $5,000 check from SPEC MIX®
  • Essick EM120YD Mortar Mixer
  • STIHL TSA 230 battery-powered cut-off machine, 9” wheel, AR 900 battery, AL 500 high-speed charger
  • iQ POWER TOOLS 360 Table Saw Set, Rolling Table, Smart Cart and a 14” Silent Blade
  • BLAKLADER $1000 gift certificate
  • STABILA Custom Trophy 24” level and plaque
  • MARSHALLTOWN Ceremonial Trophy Trowel & loaded SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® tool bag
  • GATORBACK Mortarboards - 10 pack
  • SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Champion Jacket & 1st Place Trophy from SPEC MIX

Nicholas Miller won the SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® award a time of 15:00:44. Nicholas was the mason tender for bricklayer Jake Brock.
Nicholas Miller won the SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® award a time of 15:00:44. Nicholas was the mason tender for bricklayer Jake Brock.

SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER

  • $2,500 check & SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® Trophy from SPEC MIX
  • STIHL $700 Product Certificate
  • iQ POWER TOOLS $200 iQ gift pack, jacket, and 3 saw blades
  • BLAKLADER $500 Gift Certificate
  • MARSHALLTOWN loaded SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® tool bag.

SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN® winner Leif Reints (middle) and his mason tender Michael Weisinger (left) pose with emcee Jim O’Connor of the Greater Chicago Mason Contractor Association.
SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN® winner Leif Reints (middle) and his mason tender Michael Weisinger (left) pose with emcee Jim O’Connor of the Greater Chicago Mason Contractor Association.

SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN Cash & Prizes

  • $5,000 Check and SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN® Trophy from SPEC MIX
  • John Deere Gator™ XUV835 Crossover Utility Vehicle
  • STIHL TSA 230 battery-powered cut-off machine, 9” abrasive wheel, AP 300 battery, AL 500 high-speed charger
  • iQ POWER TOOLS iQPC912 and 3 saw blades
  • BLAKLADER $1000 gift certificate
  • STABILA Custom Trophy 24” level and plaque
  • MARSHALLTOWN Ceremonial trophy trowel & loaded SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® tool bag
  • GATORBACK Mortarboards - 10 pack

Brian Tuttle (middle) won second place with 689 brick laid. David’s mason tender and brother, Scott Tuttle (left) a former Spec Mix Bricklayer 500® World Champion.
Brian Tuttle (middle) won second place with 689 brick laid. David’s mason tender and brother, Scott Tuttle (left) a former Spec Mix Bricklayer 500® World Champion.

Second Place Cash & Prizes

  • $4,000 Check & 2nd Place trophy from SPEC MIX®
  • STIHL TSA 230 battery-powered cut-off machine, 9” wheel, AP 300 battery, AL 500 high-speed charger
  • iQ POWER TOOLS $200 iQ gift pack and jacket
  • BLAKLADER $500 gift certificate
  • STABILA Custom Trophy 24” level and plaque
  • MARSHALLTOWN loaded SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® tool bag
  • GATORBACK Mortarboards - 10 pack

2017 World Champion, Matt Cash (middle), took third place with 658 brick laid. His mason tender Chet Huntley (left) was also returning to defend his Toughest Tender® title from 2017.
2017 World Champion, Matt Cash (middle), took third place with 658 brick laid. His mason tender Chet Huntley (left) was also returning to defend his Toughest Tender® title from 2017.

Third Place Cash & Prizes

  • $3,000 Check & 3rd Place trophy from SPEC MIX
  • STIHL $700 product certificate
  • iQ POWER TOOLS $200 iQ gift pack, jacket, and 3 saw blades
  • BLAKLADER $250 gift certificate
  • STABILA Custom Trophy 24” level and plaque
  • MARSHALLTOWN loaded SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® tool bag
  • GATORBACK Mortarboards - 10 pack
The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 initiative was created to give back to the masonry trade and has expanded in many positive aspects. Regardless of its growth the event remains laser-focused on achieving its original goals of uniting the masonry industry and putting the craft’s artisans on the world’s stage. It’s also taken on the role as the masonry industry’s top marketing campaign, frequently leveraged by industry professionals to infuse a strong sense of pride within its craftsmen, as well as masonry instructors using it as a tool to recruit young adults and individuals looking to start a new career.

For more information on this event, visit www.specmixbricklayer500.com or go to The 2018 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship Digital Magazine that will give you a history and background of the Regional and World Championship competition program.


About the Author

Jeff Farmakes is the Marketing Communications Manager for SPEC MIX®, Inc.

 

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