LITTLEHAMPTON’S beach had all the vibrancy of Rio’s as hundreds of children flocked to the town to join the annual sandcastle competition on Monday afternoon (August 4).
And although the football World Cup is now over that did not stop ingenious youngsters from creating a sandy homage to the beautiful game.
Some 280 children of all ages joined this year’s brilliant beach bash, which was once again staged by the Littlehampton Town Council.
But it was not just sport that was taking centre stage in this year’s competition, with some youngster’s using Monday’s event as a chance to mark the official centenary since the start of the First World War.
Sofia Chittenden, events a publicity manager with the town council, admitted although numbers were not necessarily that different to previous competitions, this week’s showing was the most difficult one to judge yet.
She said: “The sun was shining for us. It was just perfect. It wasn’t too cold or too hot – it was just right. People were really getting stuck in and enjoying themselves.
“This year was the hardest one yet to judge because we had so many really good entries.”
The competition, which was in its seventh year, was split into three age categories, the under-fives, under-11s and the 11 and over group.
The under-11s’ category proved to be the most fiercely contested with scores of children vying for the top spot.
There were plenty of designs that could have been worthy of victory from a buried dragon bursting through the sand to an impressive mermaid.
However, the winner was the youngster who sculptured a football and trainer made entirely from sand.
The over-11s was just as tricky to decide upon. However, the top spot was taken by the young craftsman behind the design based on the Littlehampton Carnival mascot, Hampton the Hedgehog.
The under-five category saw many entries opting for the more traditional sandy battlements of a castle.
Sofia added that the atmosphere was ‘great’ during the day and said that the event attracted visitors from far and wide.
“Some people came specifically from Portsmouth to join us, while others from Ferring, East Preston, Worthing and Rustington took part too,” she said.
The event’s judges included Hampton the Hedgehog, Sandy the Castle, Littlehampton major Jill Long and councillor Malcolm Belchamber.
All the winners were presented with prizes from Harbour Park as well as vouchers for the Harvester pub, in Littlehampton.