June 13, 2024

Winters wins first in Ireland welding contest

This year, the College of Eastern Utah was represented by one of the top welders in the United States, Mason Winters, who returned from Ireland as its best welder. He beat Ireland’s best welder by three points to win their country’s welding competition.

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This year, the College of Eastern Utah was represented by one of the top welders in the United States, Mason Winters, who returned from Ireland as its best welder. He beat Ireland’s best welder by three points to win their country’s welding competition.
Winters started welding at Uinta High School in Vernal where he grew up. He began taking welding classes and decided that it was something that he enjoyed and knew he was good at. He started entering competitions and competed in state winning gold. Since then, he has won three state championships, one national championship, the U.S. Open Welding competition, and most recently the Irish competition. He needs to win one more competition to compete for the world championship in Canada.
Everyday, including weekends, Winters works anywhere between eight and 10 hours to improve his already outstanding workmanship. A large amount of time and money goes into supporting and supplying him, but because he excels more everyday, it is worth it.
At 22, Winters attended the National Skills Competition for 2009 in Ireland, which ran from March 31-April 3, and overwhelmed all who watched and examined his work. His skill and precision put him at the top of all his competitors and with an astounding lead, Winters won with an incredible 86 out of 100 points. His closest competitor scored 83 points.
The competition in Ireland truly tested Winters’ skills due to many factors. The 19-hour trip from Utah to Ireland was only the beginning. The first day, after meeting the instructors and other competitors, Winters and the others were up for more than 36 hours. Over the next three days, a 22-hour time period was allotted for the competition.
Another factor that tried but also proved Winters’ skills was the use of foreign equipment. Not only were the tools and machines different from any others that he had ever used or even heard of, but the materials were different as well. This was difficult, but Winters showed that he could handle a good challenge.
Besides Winters, one other U.S. contestant and four were from Ireland. In this competition, the competitors were tested on different techniques such as manual metal arc welding, metal arc gas shielded welding, flux-cored welding and so forth. All that was given to the competitors to guide them through the tests was a packet of papers showing a diagram of the project, the appropriate measurements and sizes, and the instructions and steps needed. Another one of the tests, probably the most significant, was the building of a pressure vessel. This was done using a combination of the previously tested techniques.
As the scoring was based on a total of 100, even just the slightest flaw or mistake could make or break any competitor. The grueling hours that were put into this competition paid off with Winters winning the competition.
This trip was funded by the American Welding Society, as well as other private donors. Mike Tryon, CEU welding instructor, says that much of the materials used are also bought because of the much appreciated contributions of other businesses and donors, which otherwise would make much of this impossible.
Tryon said Winters is by far the best student he has ever had. “He works hard, has natural talent and welds like a robot.” His next competition is in Kansas City, Kan., where he will compete in the Skills USA championship. If he wins, he will receive a $40,000 scholarship to continue his education. “Few people in the world can do the quality of welds Mason does. He is phenomenal in every weld.”
Winters is already known throughout the U.S. for his unmistakable talent and will soon be known throughout the world. At the rate and speed of Winters’ achievements, he could in reality already be working for a company. Instead he chooses to compete, excel and continue to learn as he attends Weber State, and as his desire to become a welding engineer unfolds.