Weather fails to hamper Big Dig crowd

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First place: Zoe Brinkworth from Tussock Creek puts the final touches on her family-made unicorn sand sculpture at the Curio Bay Big Dig. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

DESPITE the rain threatening a second cancellation, the annual Curio Bay Big Dig was held on the last Sunday of December when about 70 people braved the elements to dig in the sand for prizes.

The fundraiser, the biggest event of the year for the South Catlins Charitable Trust, usually attracted hundreds of people to the beach.

The event, originally set for the day before, was postponed a day because of the weather.

Trust chairman Paul Duffy said the turnout was, “as good as we could hope for with the weather”.

There were three entries in the sand-sculpting competition and the winning design was an equine of the magical kind the Brinkworths from Tussock Creek constructed a unicorn, which was accompanied by a foal version of the fantasy beast.

Zoe Brinkworth (7) was excited she could sit on her creation and was confident they would win.

The competition was judged before the main event; when people dug up about 180 cotton reels buried in the sand, each with a corresponding prize.

Trust member Christine Crosbie said prizes for the dig had been donated, with people coming from near and far to attend the event each year.

She said while many locals attended, there were also plenty of visitors, who were staying at the nearby campsite, who popped down to join in.

The trust was formed in 2002 to conserve and protect the area. It has worked on the reforestation of the Living Forest, development of walkways and restoration of the endangered yellow-eyed penguin (hoiho) habitat.

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