Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sandcastle Contest

Today Brooke and I competed in our first sandcastle contest, the annual Santa Barbara Sandcastle Festival. It was held on East Beach with 35 teams competing. I never actually saw a rulebook, and one may not even exist. But from what I've seen, the rules are fairly simple:
- A team shall consist of no more than 10 people
- A plot is approx. 15 x 15 ft.
- Construction time is limited to 3 hours (water gathering and cleaning of the plot is allowed prior to the start, misting is not allowed during the time between the end construction and when the judges arrive)
- Only the natural materials found on the beach is allowed to be in the plot at the time of judging

We attended the sandcastle building workshop last weekend. Here's our very humble practice sandcastle.....At 11am this morning, we started by raking away the large debris, leveling our plot, filling our buckets full of water, and sifting the sand. By sifting the sand , we get better structural integrity in our sandcastle. Plus , the collected debris (mostly crushed seashells) makes for good decoration.At noon, the official start of the construction period, we set up boards to support the base....By 2pm, we had most of the large elements complete. All we had left to do was carve the details and continually mist.....Team photo with the completed sandcastle.
As you can see, our theme was Mayan ruins, loosely basing our project off the ruins of Chichen Itza.....
Going into the competition, our only goal was to not embarrass ourselves. But in the end, we had taken second place in the "Sandcastle" category. The other categories were "Sculpture", "Sandcastle and Sculpture", and "People's Choice". I don't know what the categories really mean. I just know that the People's Choice award is considered the grand prize.Here's the People's Choice winner. It was clearly the best sandcastle/sculpture.....Go to our Picasa album, for a few more photos.

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