SPARTA, NJ (CBSNewYork) – For generations, artisans have claimed to be the best of the best. But did you know that there is now a Masonry Super Bowl to prove it?
It’s called the Bricklaying Championships, and a top contender is from New Jersey. He’s the focus of this week’s Snapshot NY with CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
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“Every day, at the end of the day, I look at what I have done and take a picture of it because I have accomplished something. Every day I create something. I create something with my hands, ”said Johnny Langeraap.
For some guys, masonry is in their blood. Langeraap started laying bricks at the age of 13. Now he is fighting to become the best in the world.
“It’s good to be able to reach that level of Vegas, but I need to earn a few hundred more bricks to play with these big dogs,” Langeraap said with a laugh.
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The best masons from around the world converge on Las Vegas for the Bricklayer 500 World Championship. They have an hour to build the tallest wall. The winner receives $ 125,000 and a brand new truck.
“You can see that there are five planks of mud mortar and five piles of bricks,” Langeraap said.
On Thursday, he held his last workout at the Sparta Block in central New Jersey.
Most masons put mortar all over the wall before laying the brick. Langeraap does it one at a time. It’s more exhausting, but it’s faster.
“A hollow of mud. One brick at a time, ”he said.
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Langeraap spends most of his time on the extremities, or leads. They must be perfect or the judges will deduct points.
“Check this level. Check the bubble, ”he said, demonstrating. “He almost hits the line, but it’s far from it. “
After the weights, it’s a race to finish the wall on time.
Masons helped build America. In fact, the tallest brick building in the world is in New York City. The Chrysler Building is made of brick and steel.
During the regional competition, Langeraap and Luke Wikander, his tenderer or assistant, built a wall of 543 bricks in an hour. The national leader is 700 bricks away.
“If we go up seven at the top, then you can put two more. That would put you at 720, ”Wikander said.
“So, do you think you have a performance of 700 bricks?” Overmyer asked.
“I hope. I believe it,” Langeraap said.
“I’ll bet on it,” Wikander added.
Make bets on laying bricks.
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The Bricklaying Championships take place next Wednesday in Las Vegas, where Langeraap invites 23 of his friends and family to cheer him on. You will be able to to watch the live stream here.