At the 27th annual American Sand Sculpting Championships, Hancock was one of 16 professional sculptors to complete three days of crafting sand art and the last man standing when he was judged to be the best in the solo division with his sculpture called “Bringing Home for the Holidays.” Last year, at this event, he was giving demonstrations on stage.
“I teach sand castle lessons every day of the year, and I’ve entered only four sand sculpting contests in 10 years.” he said. “I never get to make the sand sculpture I want to make. This is the sand sculpture I wanted to make.”
The fun-loving and spirited Melbourne, Australia native carved a sea turtle with a sand castle on its back. His inspiration came from a cover of a book he saw some 25 years ago. That Terry Pratchett fantasy novel featured a sea turtle holding up four elephants that, in turn, were holding up the universe. Hancock asked himself ‘why not a sand castle.’
“Sea turtles make the castles that you see on the beach first thing in the morning,” he said. “They wait 100 years, then they bring you a sand castle. I like the idea of tiny, tiny sea turtles going to the bottom of the ocean then returning to make that art.”