The following day I headed down to Imperial Beach for the 28th US Open Sand Castle competition. Imperial Beach is located 4 miles north of the Mexican border, which is interesting in its own right. However, it is a whole lot more interesting when you are headed that far in a convertible. 😉
For years, I have read about the competition and for years I’ve missed seeing it by one day. THIS time, thanks to a Christmas gift Calendar, I knew exactly when the competition was and planned accordingly.
The drive down was great. I guess one of the upsides to a gas crunch is fewer people on the roads. 2 hours after leaving my house, I arrived at Imperial Beach. I parked, applied a little sunscreen to my nose, and shoulders, grabbed my camera and headed off to the beach.
The competition was for $21,000 and started at 8:30 am. The judging was supposed to occur at 1 pm, with the tide erasing all sculptures by 4 pm. I got there around 10:30. I figured that would be a good time—not at the digging / piling up stages, more at the beginning of a masterpiece stage. There had to be close to 50 entrants set up on both sides of the pier. Some groups were more talented than others were. Some groups were just out to have a good time.
The more talented groups had a variety of tools, graphed out drawings almost architectural in nature, nailed wood forms similar to those used to pour concrete, and a team of people all with assigned jobs. The more fun groups had lots of enthusiasm.
I was amazed by the detail that was added to the sculptures. It’s hard enough for me to “see” a form inside a lump of sand, let alone the detail required to make it almost life like.
I decided that a sand castle competition was probably the best place to test out the black and white feature I discovered that my camera has. It is amazing what you can learn when you read the manual. What I did not plan on was being able to get up close to the works of art. I grabbed my zoom lens, but should have used my regular lens. I did get some up close detail!
Look at the top of the “bag” of money. It’s almost as if you can un-tie the rope and stick your hand in for the cash!
Below, an artist is using a STRAW to clean out the excess sand from the details she cut into the castle.
While walking the beach, I saw an odd configuration of metal pipes, supposedly some kind of art. I couldn’t figure out what they were supposed to represent. As I walked around the artwork, I saw a few pigeons perch on it. Kind of an exotic bird perch, but hey, it is California. As I left the beach and walked towards my car, I noticed an emblem embedded in the sidewalk that said “Stand here”. When I stood there and looked back at the pipes, it all became clear!
I guess “art” in all how you look at it. You can see more of my pictures of the sand sculptures at http://flickr.com/photos/vitasenzalimiti/sets/72157606207184570/ . If you’d like to see sand sculpture pictures by someone who brought the right lens, http://photos.signonsandiego.com/gallery1.5/2008sandcastle . If you like to know more about “Art”, then hit this link.
The end of July I’ll be heading to my first ever Garlic Festival! I can’t wait!