Young and old join forces in sand modelling competition
WATER is either the sand model's biggest enemy or its biggest friend, says sandologist Steve Machel.
Mr Machel has become the resident expert for the Yamba Rotary Family Fun Day sand modelling competition and offers contestants hints and tips before the event.
Yesterday he had an attentive audience of 40 teams entered in the contest at Main Beach, Yamba.
"Get as much water into the sand as you can before you model it," Mr Machel said.
"That's the trick to getting it to stick together like concrete."
His other tips included using a butter knife and a brush to get the ultra-smooth finish to the models.
It paid off for yesterday's winners Sydney identical twins James and William Smith.
"William was asking him all sorts of question during the demonstration," said the twins' proud dad.
The boys take on a traditional Aussie icon, the ute, took the eye of the judges, led by Clarence Valley deputy Mayor Craig Howe.
The boys gave their model a nautical flair by filling the tray with seaweed and other flotsam from the beach.
"We were thinking doing something a bit seasidey," Mr Smith said, "But they said, no, we're building a ute."
Grafton youngster Neve Rhodes was judged the best junior modeller for her interpretation of Main Beach, which included a sinister shark swimming just outside the rock pool with the light house overlooking the scene.
Mr Machel said he was pleased to see the winning entries had taken his tips to heart.
"They're things I've learned from a lot of experience, so it's good to see people take them on and use them," he said.
Competition co-ordinator Kevin Hassey said this years event was by far the biggest in the four-year history of the fun day.
"It's run by Rotary, with sponsorship from the council and help from Yamba Nippers and the surf club," Mr Hassey said.
Rotary president Bill Venn said the fun day was one of the club's major fund raisers and continues to grow every year.
"This year we had 40 entries and if you say the average team is four, that's 160 people taking part," he said.
"This day is getting bigger and better every year."
He said the 2015-16 year has been a bumper one for the Rotary Club's fund raising efforts in Yamba.
"We've had the street markets, the sand castle modelling and the Grafton Cup calcutta," he said.
"They're our main ones."