The 13th annual Graders Competition for the Eastern White Pine lumber industry was held Saturday, June 25, hosted by Hancock Lumber’s Casco, Maine mill. A total of 48 graders representing 10 NELMA mills from throughout New England participated in this year’s competition. The fast-paced tournament-style format was once again used for the individual grader competition, which allows each grader to compete in a minimum of two rounds during the day.
In the individual finals, Ralph Bean of Robbins Lumber and Dylan Blackman of the home-team, Hancock Lumber Casco Mill tied at 6 to 6, leaving it to the tiebreaker of total time it took to grade the final 10 boards as the winner. By a margin of 31 seconds faster, Ralph Bean claimed the 2016 individual Eastern White Pine grader championship! Rounding out the Top 8 for 2016:
• 3rd Place, John Daggett also of Hancock’s Casco, Maine mill,
• 4th Place, Gene Black of Limington Lumber, East Baldwin, Maine,
• 5th Place, Ian Murdock of Limington Lumber, East Baldwin, Maine
• 6th Place, Val Hannon of Robbins Lumber, Searsmont, Maine,
• 7th Place, Lonnie Kollander of Limington Lumber, East Baldwin, Maine, and
• 8th Place, Matt Gordon of DiPrizio Pine Sales, Middleton, New Hampshire
In the Consolation Round, Rick Johnston of Pleasant River Lumber’s Hancock, Maine mill took the championship with a narrow 7-6 margin over Paul Heath of Hancock Lumber’s Casco mill.
Click here to see the full Tournament Bracket Results for 2016.
A total of $1,350 in prize money was distributed to this year’s winners. Since the competition began in 2004, more than $18,000 has been awarded to individual Top 8 graders!
In the Team competition for the Bronze Hammer Trophy, Mill River Lumber of North Clarendon, Vermont turned in a perfect score to win their first-ever title. Rounding out the Top 5 were (2) Robbins Lumber, (3) Hancock Lumber – Casco, (4) Pleasant River – Hancock, and (5) DiPrizio Lumber.
NELMA would like to extend its appreciation and gratitude to the employees of Hancock Lumber’s Casco mill for hosting this year’s very successful event that included lunch catered by Famous Dave’s BBQ for the group. The bar has been set pretty high for subsequent hosts!
For more photos from the Competition, click here!