Tinkling the pearly shells
Visitors to Hokitika Beach can be forgiven for thinking they are on the set of The Piano movie.
Tine Meincke, of Hokitika, transformed beach debris into a grand piano to claim the top award yesterday at the annual Driftwood and Sand sculpture competition.
Her creation, Sea Flat Major Steinway, was the first she had entered in the popular event.
Meincke, 38, knew of The Piano film, in which the titular instrument is transfered from a ship to a New Zealand beach, but her design originated from a desire to build a flotsam and jetsam orchestra.
Efforts to fashion a guitar proved tricky, so she scaled back to a piano.
A last-minute stomach bug nearly forced her to abandon the project, but she returned to finish it off yesterday morning, making it all the more sweet to claim the grand prize of $500 and the competition's trophy.
The people's choice award went to Christchurch man Steve Trevella's Gone Fishing.
He and partner Wendy Burton's quirky joint entry, Nothing to Wear, won the award for the most humorous entry.