A sandier World Cup in Atlantic City

Sand sculpting solo division championships
Over 500 tons of sand will be transformed into works of art during the Do AC Sand Sculpting World Cup. (Photo by Peter Tobia/Atlantic City Alliance courtesy of Cashman and Associates)

As a kid, there were few things greater than the pride you felt when looking at your own completed sandcastle. The hours of labor put into making the moat just right, building a protective wall and constructing the most symmetrical of towers made the sunburn your childlike skin endured worthwhile—at least until the pain of the burn set in.

Some of those kids (20 to be exact) grew up and turned recreational castle-making into an art form and now they’re competing in the Do AC Sand Sculpting World Cup on the Pennsylvania Avenue Beach in Atlantic City, NJ.

On Thursday, June 19, these world-class sculptors hit the sand at noon to begin creating their work, which will be on display until Sunday, July 6 and available for beach-goers to see from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day of the competition.

Contestants in two categories of the contest—singles and doubles—will craft 500 tons of the sand (no additives, no advantages) into potentially award-winning masterpieces. Singles will be building on the beach through Sunday, June 22 and teams will take their turn on Tuesday, June 24 until Friday, June 27 when an awards ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Besides a cash prize, this year winners will be vying for a new award, The McCord Cup, which is named after master sand sculptor Philip McCord who carved his work on the Atlantic City beach in the 1890s.

The public is also invited for some competition. Italian beach game Cheekoting, where players have to flick plastic marbles along a one-foot wide maze-like course made of sand, replete with hills, valleys and tunnels, will be set up throughout the course of the World Cup for spectators to enjoy.