Posted on: August 26, 2011

Winners Announced in Pacific Whale Foundation’s Wild Dolphin Sand Sculpture Contest

 More than 25 sand sculptures of wild dolphins and other marine life graced South Maui’s Keawakapu Beach on Saturday, August 13, during Pacific Whale Foundation’s Wild Dolphin Sand Sculpture Contest. The content was held as part of a weekend-long event known as Wild Dolphin Days.

The sand sculptures were created by visiting and local families and groups. The competition was free and open to all, and was extremely spirited, with more than 100 people digging and piling sand along the water’s edge, in the hopes of winning prizes donated by Pacific Whale Foundation and supporting sponsor Maui Ocean Center. The competitors used shovels, buckets and spray bottles donated by Home Depot to craft their sculptures.

The entries were judged by a panel of volunteer judges, including Maui County Council Member Don Couch, KAOI radio personality Cindy Paulos and artist Guy Junker, whose work has appeared in No Ka Oi Magazine and Maui Time.

The prize for the “Most Realistic Entry” went to the Brower family of Kihei, who participated in the contest last year. The family, including Beverly Brower, Raine Pushckor, Tony Pushckor and Sky Pushckor, created a carefully detailed sculpture of a single dolphin.

Jim Merdan and Bev Vancil, also of Kihei, took the prize for “Most Creative Entry” with their fanciful depiction of a “Dolphin School” showing a dolphin “professor,” a cat and numerous dolphin students.

Brain Gabrielson, Shannon Wayne, John Hagan and April Hagan took the prize for “Funniest Entry” for their sculpture titled “Party Animal” which featured a dolphin with an aloha shirt, sunglasses, cell phone and beverage.

The “Best Overall Individual Entry” was awarded for a sculpture titled “Octopus” which was created by New York City residents Sally Ross, John Duff, Jack Duff and Angus Duff, who were visiting local Wailea resident Nancy Duff.

The “Best Overall Ohana Entry” went to Kihei Charter School students
Erica Holland, Hannah Macholet, Pulama Kaufman and Brianna Zurio, who created a sculpture of Maui, including pebbles showing areas where dolphins were recently sighted. The structure depicted the windmills along the Pali and where sugar cane is grown.

That evening, Pacific Whale Foundation Chief Scientist Daniela Maldini presented a free lecture on wild dolphins at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Discovery Center in Ma’alaea.

“We had an amazing turnout for Wild Dolphin Days,“ commented Toula
Vivilakis, Event Coordinator at Pacific Whale Foundation. “The
participants and the volunteers were fantastic and it was wonderful to
see such positive, creative energy.”

All photos by Glenn Fuentes, courtesy of Pacific Whale Foundation.

Beverly Brower consults a photo from Pacific Whale Foundation’s guide
to wild dolphins as Sky Pushckor puts the finishing touches on a
lifelike dolphin sculpture. Her family won the prize for “Most
Realistic Dolphin.”


Beverly Brower of Kihei adds a detail to the sand dolphin that she
constructed with her family.  The dolphin won the prize for “Most
Realistic Dolphin.”

Jim Merdan and Bev Vancil of Kihei pose with their sculpture titled “Dolphin School” which took honors for “Most Creative Entry.

Team members Brian Gabrielson, Shannon Wayne. John and April Hagan were the winners in the category of “Funniest Entry” with their
sculpture titled “Party Animal.”

Sally Ross and John Duff of
New York, New York picked
up the prize for “Best
Overall Individual Entry”
with their “Octopus” entry.