The Annual Sand Sculpture Contest at Drakes Beach in Point Reyes is Sunday, August 27 from 9am–3:30pm. I'm not a master sculptor but I have entered an number of contests and have some tips and tricks to share that could help you get placed in the top rankings.
1. Think of an idea that is current, unique from all others on the beach, and that the judges might not have seen before. Check the Internet for inspiration. Print it out and refer to it while you are creating your masterpiece. Make sure to think of a clever title too - that helps a lot.
2. Once you have your idea, than gather the tools you need in advance. Some recommendations include buckets, shovels, rakes, forks, trowel, sculpting tools, squirt bottle, if you have. Try a melon baller or what ever you think will help you achieve your vision.
3. When you register, the solo adult category tends to have less people signed up. Less competitors increases your chance to win. I chose the recycle category last year and won! I made a tide pool with starfish and muscles surrounded by trash with a smoking seagull (see above) and called it "California Costal Clean Up". Other categories include: Children (14 and under), Families, Adult Individuals, and Adult Groups. Three prizes will be awarded in each of those categories, along with prizes for the sculpture with the most recycled plastic included.
4. Scout out the best location. You will find the real serious carvers near the shallow pool of water on the right. The sand is very sticky and clay-like. I like being closer to the cliff face because the sand is firmer. Once, I parked myself close to the ocean edge thinking I will not have to schlep pails down to the water but I was in the way of foot traffic. Kids and adults ran through my work and I had to rebuild it a few times. Irregardless, my sunbathers (below) won 2nd place and I had a blast!
5. Cleaning up around the area can make your piece look finished. Use cool final touches such as rocks, grind stones to a powder for different colors, seaweed, shells, and recycled plastic are all fair game.
6. Arrive early and be sure to allow enough time to finish.
7. Don't forget food, water, lotion, hats, towels, and be prepared for weather of any kind. Dress in layers and keep hydrated.
8. And finally, have a fantastic time. This is a fun project to plan out and do with friends and family members of all ages.
Even if you do not plan to enter, spectators can feast their eyes on some truly amazing sand sculptures. Year after year, it never disappoints. Hope to see you there.