Paihia sandcastle competition

Thirty teams of sand-sculptors of all ages braved fierce winds on Paihia Beach to take part in the annual sandcastle competition on Sunday. Entries ranged from traditional castles to giant jandals, pyramids, sharks, an octopus, the whale-rider Paikea, a crocodile and even a toilet. It was won by Paihia sisters Ruby and Riley McMurtry and Lily and Teah Hagen for a magic fairy based on a sketch by Lily, with brothers Cedric and Roland Vallet from Paris the runners-up for their sand spiral. The contest launched Paihia's eight-day Summer Festival featuring free daily activities for families. Tuesday's [January 7] events are traditional games on the Village Green from 10am and pavement drawing in the post office mall from 12.30pm; Wednesday features wearable arts at Paihia School's marae from 10am and an ''amazing race'' from 4pm at Horotutu Park. Photos by Peter de Graaf.

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