Mermaids, Sharks, Crabs & More Take Over Sandcastle Contest

 Mermaids, Sharks, Crabs & More  Take Over Sandcastle Contest

By Katie McFadden

The 7th Annual Rockaway Times Sandcastle Contest was a sandy success! With more than 30 entries this year, the competition was fierce in all age categories, making it even harder for judges to pick this year’s winners, but mermaids, beach games and sharks dominated the competition.

On Sunday, August 6, The Rockaway Times once again hosted this fun summer tradition with the help of the NYC Parks Department and Councilwoman Joann Ariola. There were 32 entries in the contest, split into three age categories: 9 and under, 10 to 18 and 19 and over. With buckets, shovels and even tools in hand, these competitors were ready to hit the sand and get to work. Each participant had two hours to make whatever they wanted, making for a wide variety of unique entries from castles to sea life to human faces.

The abundance of talent made it difficult for the judges, Kaitlin Gibbons, Eric Peterson, Bobby Mulholland, and Joann Ariola, to come up with their top picks, but only a select few could go home with the coveted sandcastle trophies and prizes generously donated by local businesses, including The Wharf, Callie’s, Harbor Light, Meat Up Grill, Pico, Bungalow Bar, Coastal Market and Carvel. The Rockaway Times continues to serve as the main sponsor of the contest, with Jeanne Ferriola and the McVeigh family putting it together and sponsoring the trophies, some prizes and other giveaways during the contest. This year, all participants received Rockaway Times sunglasses and coozies.

This year’s winners were as follows. In the 9 and Under category, a sand shark called Chomps was the champ, earning a team of Clyde and Maud Donnelly-Maxey and Elizabeth Romano first place. In second was a sand cat, Pickle and the yarn, made by Arturo Jones. In third was MC Esher made by Astrid, John, Lauren, Felix and Francis Webster. An honorable mention went to Dominika and Demian Berkalo for their sea turtles.

In the 10 to 18 category, first place went to Lauren, Owen and Taylor Hayden and Presley, Harley and Deklan Eidens for their “Under 11 Over 30” interactive beach game. In second place was Grace Leary and Jane Bender for their massive Charlie the Crab. In third was Dylan Mulvanerty, and Tyler and Cameron Leahong’s “Great Devourer.” An honorable mention went to the Sea King Kingdom made by John Maura Leila and Arthur Hugh Leila.

There was a sea of professional-looking entries in the 19 and Over adult category this year. So much so, that our judges had to pick their top five to give the best of the best some recognition for their hard work. In first place was Tony Cusicanqui for his mermaid hugging a moon, a piece called, “Luna in Love.” In second place was Aline Decat’s Medusa. In third was Jayden and Billy McClernon’s shark attack. In fourth, an honorable mention went to Azear, Avery, Christine, Harmony, Saige and Clover McFarlane for their seal splash. And in fifth with an honorable mention was Sergio Batanero’s whale out of water.

Congratulations to all of our participants, winners and partners on another great contest!

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