Sandcastle of epic proportions

Local sculptors John McKinnon and Denis Kleine haul their skills to Germany to take part in record breaking sandcastle that winds down Baltic Sea beach for 27.5 kilometres

Denis Kleine (left) and John McKinnon’s work is well known in the Nelson area — McKinnon for his iconic sandstone sculptures in locations like Lakeside and Gyro parks and Kleine for his osprey sculpture in the bay between the mall and the playing fields. Last month the pair put their skills to the test helping build the world’s longest sandcastle.

A couple of local sculptors put their skills to work recently to break a 20-year-old record for the world’s longest sandcastle.

John McKinnon and Denis Kleine, along with 22 other sculptors from around the world, traveled in June to the German island of Rugen on the Baltic Sea.

“There were people from Russia, Holland, Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary,” said McKinnon.

The final measurement for the sandcastle was 27.5 km.

McKinnon said as he looked down the nine kilometre long beach he could see sandcastles disappearing into the distance.

“We built 22 sandcastles and each was about 500 metres apart,” he said.

“We joined the sandcastles together with walls. A machine came in and built some trenches and on the last day about 10,000 volunteers showed up and decorated and cleaned the walls up.”

Kleine and McKinnon built two castles. One was a more traditional castle, which included a dragon. The second was made up of cubes; McKinnon called it a “picastle.”

A rain storm hit the beach during the competition and McKinnon said some sculptors ran into problems, but even though their traditional castle was slightly damaged, it held up to the rain.

To build the castles the sand was packed into forms.

“The forms were laid out and the sand was brought in and packed into the forms. They were about 10 feet high,” said McKinnon. “And then we stripped the forms off and carved the castles.”

McKinnon and Kleine used a variety of trowels and shovels to carve the castles.

He said sand had to be brought in because beach sand typically doesn’t lend itself to building tall sand sculptures.

“The beach sand is quite round and it doesn’t pack very well,” he said. “They brought in sand that would pack a little better with a little bit of clay in it.”

A German TV station, Cabel eins, sponsored the project and created a two-hour program about it.

The previous Guinness World Record for the longest sandcastle was built in California. It measured 26.5 km.

McKinnon became involved with sand sculpture several years ago, and will be going to Parksville on Vancouver Island for their annual sandcastle festival on July 16.





Just Posted

Nelson Reflections win at synchro provincials

Nelson’s synchronized swimming team triumphed at the Jean Peters Provincial Championship

Here we go again: Mamma Mia! set to open at the Capitol Theatre

The ABBA-inspired musical runs Thursday to Sunday

LETTERS: The other side of the Women’s Centre story

From readers Vita Luthmers and Hannah Hadikin

Nelson holds the line on property taxes

No increase this year thanks to deal with RDCK on park funding

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7 million to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, B.C. lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most Read