2011 Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals News & Opinion

2011 Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals


Irwin Tools, a manufacturer of a wide line of professional hand tools and power tool accessories, will host the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals on Sunday, March 20, 2011. Six competitors from around the world will use their trade skills to perform a series of precise tasks. These include gripping, sawing, marking, clamping and drilling, all in a race against the clock. The tradesman with the top time will be crowned the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Champion and will have a chance to win up to… wait for it… one million (meeeeellion) dollars.

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Over 250 Competitions in 9 Countries

Irwin Tools hosted over 250 competitions in nine countries to identify the top six competitors who can Grip It, Rip It, and Drive It faster than any other tradesman. On Sunday, March 20, 2011, one will be crowned the Irwin Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Champion.

“Irwin Tools is excited to host these talented competitors at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals. At Irwin, we are dedicated to meeting the needs of professional tradesmen. These trade professionals make a real difference in their communities each and every day because of the work they do. Our competition is a celebration of their contributions and talent.” – Curt Rahilly, VP of Marketing for Irwin Tools

Irwin’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a global competition where skilled tradesmen perform a series of precise tasks in a race against the clock. Contestants first use Irwin VISE-GRIP GrooveLock pliers to remove two (2) pipe fittings from a qualifying channel (Grip It). They then use an Irwin square and pencil to mark three (3) lines on a standard 2″ x 4″ x 24″ board, at pre-marked positions.

Contestants then slide the board into a cutting position and securely clamps it to the work surface with an Irwin QUICK-GRIP XP600 one-handed bar clamp. The contestant then uses an Irwin Universal Handsaw to cut the board on the line previously marked (Rip It). And finally, using an Irwin Speedbor Max Speed drill bit, contestant drills two (2) holes in the board at the intersecting lines (Drive It), unclamps the board, places the clamp on the competition cart, and puts the board in the qualifying channel. If the board fits accurately, the clock automatically stops.

Speed; ability to remove pipe fittings; accurate marking; ability to clamp work securely; fast, straight cuts; and the ability to accurately drill holes are crucial to winning the challenge. The Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a true test of on-the-job skills.

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The Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors

Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors 1

Representing North America from Brandon, Mississippi is Delwyn Thornton. Thornton has been the owner of Soles and Heels Shoe Repair for 27 years and says his favorite Irwin tool is QUICK-GRIP clamps. When he isn’t working on shoes, Thornton likes to get out and ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors 1

South America’s hopes lie in the hands of Brazilian Champion Helmut Radke Neto. Helmut, from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil is the owner of an ice cream machine parts manufacturer. He enjoys playing paintball and says that his favorite Irwin tool is VICE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers.

Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors 3

Bjørn Ravn Kühlmeier is the 2010 Scandinavian Champion. From, Erritsø, Fredericia, Denmark, Bjørn is a self-employed carpenter or “selvstændig tømrer.” Kühlmeier enjoys relaxing with family and friends in his free time.

Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors 4

Representing the UK/Ireland is Daniel Shepherd. Shepherd is from Halifax, England, and is a carpenter/joiner. Shepherd’s hobbies include building custom cars and driving the Aston Martin that he won in the UK/Ireland Ultimate Tradesman Challenge championship. As a carpenter, the Irwin Tools Universal Handsaw is Shepherd’s tool of choice.

Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors 5

Matthew “Matt” Francis will be representing Australia/New Zealand in the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals. Francis is from Townsville, Queensland, Australia where he works as a secondary school industrial arts teacher and is the head of the Industrial Technology & Design Department. Francis’ favorite Irwin tool is QUICK-GRIP clamps.

Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors 6

Rounding out the competition is Eastern European Champion Krystof Doroziński. Doroziński is from Stawka Wielka, Poland, where he is a carpenter. When Doroziński isn’t practicing his trade, he likes to spend time outdoors hunting and fishing.

“The Ultimate Tradesman Challenge embodies Irwin’s passion for the professional tradesman,” adds Rahilly. “Irwin is serious about celebrating tradesmen who always reach for greatness in all that they do. Irwin Tools looks forward to continuing the celebration of the professional tradesman on National Tradesmen Day, planned for Friday, September 16, 2011.” For more information about the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals and National Tradesmen Day, visit www.irwin.com.

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