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Sand sculpting winners declared during ninth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic

International sand sculpting champions were declared today during the ninth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival, which is drawing thousands to Siesta Public Beach.

Awards were presented to winning teams of two and solo master sand sculptors.

The Crystal Classic drew eight teams and eight solo artists from nations around the world, including South Korea, Canada, Italy, the Czech Republic, Singapore, United Kingdom, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and U.S. states including California, Washington State, Florida, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, Illinois and Texas.

Team sculptors Melineige Beauregard, Canada, and Andrius Petkus, Lithuania, won first prize ($4,000) for “Alice Down the Time Hole.”

First place in the solo artist category was Maxim Gazendim, The Netherlands, for “Time Is What You Make of It,” $2000.

Other prizes and winners were:

Second place Artist Team ($3,000): “Labor of Love,” by Craig Mutch, Canada, and DaeYoung Ji, South Korea

Third place Artist Team ($2,000): “Let the Revolution Begin,” by Walter McDonald, U.S.A., & Abe Waterman, Canada

Sculptors’ choice Artist Team ($1,000): “Alice Down the Hole,” Melineige Beauregard and Andrius Petkus

Second place Solo Artist ($1,500): “Ode to SATAO,” by Rachel Clara Stubbs, United Kingdom

Third place Solo Artist ($1,000): “Out of My Mind,” by JOOHeng Tan, Singapore

Sculptors’ choice Solo Artist ($500): “Time is What You Make of It,” Maxim Gazendim

“With the addition of a solo artist competition, we increased the number of individual sand sculptures by 25% to a total of 16 individual sculptures. Following a difficult couple of months in the tourism industry, we were back to showcase Siesta Beach, the visual arts and our local businesses with one of the best sand sculpture festivals on the Gulf Coast,” says Event Chair, Maria Bankemper.

“We were happy to be presenting four additional competing sculptures this year as we went to eight solo artist competitors and eight artist doubles competitors.  We strive to make every year even better than the last. I’d like to thank all of our volunteers, sponsors, vendors and guests for helping us do just that, and for making this the most popular event on Siesta Key,” says Creator and Sand Coordinator, Brian Wigelsworth.