I.B. Posse took first place in the Inaugural New Zealand Sandcastle Competition held Saturday in Christchurch. Their trophy came with a $2,500 cash prize.
The team also won the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach in 2010 and 2011 for sculptures saluting the troops and depicting the BP oil spill.
The sand sculpture that won the team top honors Saturday was a member of the All Blacks, New Zealand’s famed rugby team, coming out of an iPhone “to reflect an All Blacks mobile app,” I.B. Posse said on their Facebook page.
“It all came about because of Imperial Beach,” said Gail Sheriff with Pegasus Bay Charitable Trust, who organized the event. “It was the most amazing day and for the community, the best day they have had in a long long time.”
Organizers estimate that 20,000 people came to New Brighton Beach to watch a total of 18 teams compete Saturday, including Orange County-based Archisand, who won the People’s Choice award.
Both Southern California sand sculpting teams were invited to the inaugural in New Zealand last year, but it was canceled after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck near Christchurch. Instead of competing, Gonzales and his family made a baby kiwi sculpture in memorium to lives lost in the earthquake.