It’s a long way from the beach.
With hoods up on rain jackets and under a heavy mist, a crew of two men began work early Thursday morning on what is one of the biggest attractions at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament at Pyne Road Park: the sandcastle.
This year’s sandcastle will incorporate logos from West Georgia Technical College, the fishing tournament’s premiere sponsor.
“This sand looks like it has a little bit of that Georgia clay in it, so it should hold together really well,” said Patrick Harsch. Harsch was at the Bassmaster tournament two years ago and worked on the sandcastle featuring that year’s sponsor, LaGrange College.
He’s been building sandcastles at various events around the country for 17 years. His partner this weekend, Steve Schomaker, has been doing the same for eight years.
They just returned from a sandcastle in Jamaica last week.
“It’s the same,” Harsch said, of the two vastly different locales of LaGrange and Jamaica. “The people are the same.”
This year’s sandcastle likely will be longer and wider than the LaGrange College version and include WGTC logos and bass fishing scenes.
“They give us icons and things to work with,” Harsch said. “We do most of the design work on the fly.”
The rain was not expected to slow progress.
“It just gets old,” working in the rain, Schomaker said.
If the rain gets heavy, they might cover parts of it with plastic as it is completed.
Eventually, they will put a small barrier around the castle to keep people from running up into it. Although it’s scheduled to be completed by the end of the day Friday, Harsch said he likely will keep working.
“I’ll add things up until Sunday afternoon,” he said.