A FORMER world champion sand sculptor will share his skills with locals on Blacksmiths Beach this Saturday morning.
It's no stretch to say veteran artist Dennis Massoud is king of the castle when it comes to sand-sculpting.
While most mums and dads might assemble a modest lump of sand for their kids during a visit to the beach, Massoud spends hours creating giant lifelike palaces, complete with turrets, windows, spires and drawbridges.
Dragons, dolphins, mermaids and monsters are among the other creations in his formidable artistic arsenal.
Massoud will share his skills this Saturday (January 18) as part of council's summer school holiday activities program.
The free event, now in its fifth year, will start with a half-hour skills workshop hosted by Massoud.
That will be followed by sand-sculpting competitions that he will judge in two categories: 'Family' and 'Open'.
Massoud said he discovered at a young age a "creative ability" to carve shapes into sand. That developed into a busking career, accepting money from passers-by as he moulded figures on the beach.
But after an offer of expenses-paid travel to a sand-sculpting contest in America, his career took off.
Within five years he took out the world championship in Denmark, and travelled across the globe to compete on the international circuit.
"It has been an incredible journey and I really love what I do," Massoud said.
"There are some techniques that have taken me years to develop, but it only takes 10 minutes to impart the information to workshop participants.
"During my workshops I give away most of my sand-sculpting secrets, which will definitely help lift your game next time you go to the beach to build a sandcastle.
"In a matter of minutes people can create structures in sand they once thought were impossible."
Council's community partnerships acting manager Stephen McAlister said the city was proud to host events that encouraged the community to get outdoors.
"It's always a fun day and it encourages people to get out and experience some of the beautiful and diverse natural environments we're so lucky to have on our doorstep," Mr McAlister said.
Saturday's event at Blacksmiths also includes a kite-flying demonstration by the Australian Kiteflyers Society from 10am to noon.
Registrations for the free sand-sculpting workshop and contest open at 8.30am in front of the surf club.
The workshop kicks off at 9am.
The sand sculpting contest will run from 9.30am to 11am.
Go to lakemac.com.au/activity-guide for more information.