Hampton Beach Arti-sands Amaze Beach-goers

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By John Hirtle, Beach News Staff Writer

Beach News, Thursday, June 29, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News/Beach News]

Karen Fralich, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
"Wild Wheels" -- First Place Winner

HAMPTON BEACH -- Once again, visitors to Hampton Beach were amazed and delighted at the sights offered by the sixth annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition.

It was not without its downfalls. On Tuesday morning, the massive centerpiece of the "demo" sculpture area, which featured the "Old Woman who lived in a Shoe," had partially collapsed, perhaps because of some fallen arches. Fortunately, the sand sculptors knew just what to do. They tore down the massive shoe and rebuilt it in a much more petite size. Despite the collapse, most of the participating sand sculptors do agree that the silt sand provided at Hampton Beach is the best they have gotten to work with at any competition in the world.

As the timed twenty-three hour competition began on Thursday, June 22, the skies were slowly clouding in. While this is makes for a poor day at the beach, it is perfect weather for sand sculpting since water helps keep the silt sand together. Through the downpour on Friday and drizzle on Saturday, the sand sculptors kept on carving, and the crowds of curious spectators kept on watching. Aside from numerous small pock-marks left by the heaviest periods of the rain, the sand sculptures remained unharmed.

Saturday afternoon’s thick fog caused the cancellation of the sky diving event, but things cleared off enough to permit the special fireworks display after the awards ceremony at the Sea Shell Stage.

Around two thousand people went down onto the sands to view the sculptures and cast their vote for the People’s Choice award between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday. In a close vote, Carl Jara of Cleveland Ohio won the People’s Choice award and the $500 prize with his sculpture "Regret." He also won the Sculptor’s Choice prize.

Fifth Place and $1,000 went to Dan Doubleday of Treasure Island, Florida for his sculpture "Confluence."

Fourth Place and $1,500 went to Fred Mallet of South Padre Island for his sculpture "Proud Parent Pixie Style."

Third Place and $2,000 went to Justin Gordon of Groveland Massachusetts for his sculpture "Achieving Great Feets."

Second Place and $2,500 went to Carl Jara of Cleveland Ohio.

First place and $3,000 went to Karen Fralich of Burlington, Ontario Canada for her sculpture "Wild Wheels." Karen won the 2005 competition at Hampton Beach as well, and is a former World Champion sand sculptor. After a return home, she plans to take part in the sand sculpting contest, which will be held later this summer in Revere, Massachusetts.

The sand sculptures are slated to remain standing at Hampton Beach on the north side of the Sea Shell Stage complex until June 29. Then on Friday morning, heavy machinery will be put to work tearing the sandy masterpieces down due to safety concerns. The special silt-sand, which was trucked in from Hudson NH before the competition, will be taken to the Hampton Public Works, where it will be put to use in a variety of town projects.

If you missed the sand sculptures, be sure to visit www.BeachNewsNH.com to view our on-line gallery of sculptures from this year’s event, as well competitions from the previous five years.

Carl D. Jara, Cleveland, Ohio.
"Regret", Winner, People's Choice;
Sculptor's Choice, Second Place Winner.
Justin Gordon, Groveland, Massachusetts.
"Achieving Great Feets", Third Place Winner.
Fred Mallett, South Padre Island, Texas.
"Proud Parent Pixie Style", Fourth Place Winner.
Dan Doubleday, Treasure Island, Florida.
"Confluence", Fifth Place Winner.
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