UnNews:Grandfather declares sandcastle-building contest a draw

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1 January 2011

Lee, aged 5, had to pull the big guns out in order to come out on top. He, along with Sharlene were horribly disappointed and reportedly "sulky" when they heard the result.

BONDI BEACH, Australia -- A gruelling head-to-head clash between two titans of the construction world, Sharlene, 8, and Lee, 5, came to a bitter and disappointing end this Sunday morning, when independant judge and maternal grandfather "Poppy" Jim Parker ruled the competition a dead heat.

With an entire packet of Smarties up for grabs, it was always going to be a dog-eat-dog event, with no quarter asked or given. "We agreed not to kick each other's castle down if someone needed to go to the toilet," said Lee. "Mine got stomped when I went for a wee, but Sharlene reckoned Bonnie the dog did it."

The contest was not without controversy. Sharlene believed herself a clear favourite early in the piece, opting for a traditional, bucket-built, walls-and-turrets approach, but struck trouble when she found dog poo had been placed in the southern corner of the structure.

"It was gross," she reported.

Later, Lee's use of outside materials to decorate his castle was declared "unfair".

"It should be all about the sand," said Sharlene. "You can't put a bunch of army men on top of a messy pile and expect to win. That's cheating!"

Although both contenders felt confident in their victory, their dreams of a decisive result were dashed when Parker declared he could not pick a winner. "They're both good kids," he said, refusing to be drawn on which he preferred despite cajoling from both sides.

There was widespread disappointment at the draw, which led to the discussion of a deciding vote being cast by Nanna, a rematch when they returned to the beach the following weekend, or perhaps even some kind of Smartie-sharing arrangement.

Attempts to sway Parker in a private meeting were met with failure. "I told him I didn't even care about the Smarties," said Lee. "I just wanted him to admit my castle was better than Sharlene's."

Sandcastle building experts say a resolution is not likely to come about until more relatives are called in to cast their crucial vote, although they are tipping Sharlene to take out the battle, citing her conventional, tried-and-true approach.


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This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.