Dazzling designs impress at Hunstanton sandcastle competition

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Dozens of competitiors pack the beach ANL-150408-183532001
Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Dozens of competitiors pack the beach ANL-150408-183532001
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Holiday-makers flocked to Old Hunstanton this afternoon for the annual sandcastle competition organised by the lifeboat station.

More than 90 competitors took up the challenge, although a simple sandcastle was the last thing many had in mind.

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Event organiser, Lois Carrick presents first prize in the over-12 section to Millie Maynard and Harry Foxall-Geiss ANL-150408-183632001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Event organiser, Lois Carrick presents first prize in the over-12 section to Millie Maynard and Harry Foxall-Geiss ANL-150408-183632001

Of course some made sandcastles but alongside them were the sculptured efforts that in past years have produced an octopus and a crocodile, boats and cars.

This year, the entries included a pyramid from Egypt and a unicorn, while several other participants, perhaps hoping to curry favour with the judges, designed RNLI-themed pieces of sand art.

The competition has been an annual event for more than 20 years and over time the interest has increased so much that it is likely the hundred figure will be topped next year.

Entry was £1 and there were prizes of RNLI vouchers for the first three in the two to seven, eight to 11 and 12 and over age groups, plus consolation prizes for every entrant.

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'The Rae family from Blackpool and York came together to Hunstanton on holiday and built themselves a sand castle ANL-150408-183612001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'The Rae family from Blackpool and York came together to Hunstanton on holiday and built themselves a sand castle ANL-150408-183612001

“But it’s not really a fund-raising activity,” explained event organiser, Lois Carrick.

“We do it to raise awareness of the important work of the RNLI.”

To that end crew manned the lifeboat station so that everyone involved in the competition had a chance to see up close the Inshore Atlantic 75 lifeboat, which has a top speed of over 30 knots, or nearly 40 miles per hour, and the rescue hovercraft which can work in shallow waters such as the marshy creeks of this part of the coast.

How important that work is was underlined by the fact that the Old Hunstanton lifeboat had launched no fewer than four times in the seven days prior to the competition with each launch costing the Institute an average of £2,500.

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'RNLI lifeguard fund-raisers found judging difficult. Emma Hooper (left) and Caroline Sanders ANL-150408-183622001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'RNLI lifeguard fund-raisers found judging difficult. Emma Hooper (left) and Caroline Sanders ANL-150408-183622001

As always the event drew local children but the majority were holiday-makers who has come from as far away as Essex, Northamptonshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire. It was also given an international flavour by the presence of two families from France.

Terry Morris, chairman of the Hunstanton and District Lifeboat Guild, kept everyone in order with his loud-hailer whilst the judges - Guild vice-chairman, Ed Gifford, and RNLI lifeguard fund-raisers, Caroline Sanders and Emma Hooper, scratched their heads as they wondered how to compare the merits, for example, of a moated castle against an Egyptian pyramid and Sphinx.

“The standard gets higher every year,” said the Guild’s Ed Gifford.

“I was surprised by the enthusiasm of the children and how competitive there were”.

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'The first ever unicorn spotted on Old Hunstanton beach ANL-150408-183602001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'The first ever unicorn spotted on Old Hunstanton beach ANL-150408-183602001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Future RNLI members putting to sea in a boat made of sand.    Toby Reid (left) and Zach Flint ANL-150408-183552001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Future RNLI members putting to sea in a boat made of sand. Toby Reid (left) and Zach Flint ANL-150408-183552001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Countless castles constructed by Aden Long and son Ben ANL-150408-183542001

Hunstanton Sandcastle Competition'Countless castles constructed by Aden Long and son Ben ANL-150408-183542001