Wizolympics 2016: Sand Fortification Qualifier

The sun is high and the water warm, the perfect day to head to the beach and build some sandcastles. For many wizards, sandcastle building is just another fun part of summer, but for others, it’s a war they’ve been training to win. Teams across the globe competed in today’s qualifier for the Sand Fortification competition in the Wizolympics.

Today the countries competed to see who had the best and most detailed designs. When shaping their sand, the teams were allowed to magic their sand with sticking charms to make it hold together more firmly. However, Transfiguring their sand is strictly forbidden. Some of the teams used molds to help shape their sand. France has in the past been known for their exceptionally elaborate molds. Others, however,  hand carved everything. The five countries that make it into the final will then be seeing which of those beautiful creations can hold up in combat. Today is all about the aesthetics, though.

The competition has been fierce this year, with the teams creating all sorts of elegant and detailed designs. The current favorite is the Egyptian team, who are quite well known for their sand-sculpting ability. They will be looking to gain back their title, after losing to Australia the last time the event was held. Australia has been carefully watched this year, and while some have reverently declared their belief that Australia will take the Galleon again, others have expressed concerns that Australia’s design, while beautiful, will be unable to hold up in battle.

 

Australia

Australia

 

Another design that has attracted quite a bit of attention is the UK’s. The team chose to create a scale model of Hogwarts, a decision that wouldn’t seem unusual, except for the fact that the castle has been mounted on an enormous sand-carving of Harry Potter’s head. The team claims that the bust will give them good luck when they go into battle. While Harry Potter himself was reluctant to comment, he eventually admitted that while he thought the rendition of Hogwarts was rather well done, he found the carving of his head to be a little over the top, especially combined with the large banner featuring his name on it.

 

U.K.

UK

 

With all the spectacular designs this year, the judges sure had a hard time deciding. However, two of the teams did make it a little easier for them. Both Russia and the United States were disqualified after getting into a fight. The fight started after an US team member, Thomas Bradforth, dumped sand on a member of the Russian team, Sasha Mikhailov. Bradforth claimed the event was an accident, but regardless of his original intentions, the incident resulted in the two teams flinging sand at each other, which was broken up after curses started flying.

Aside from that, the event went peacefully, but that peace won’t last forever. The five finalists are Australia, Egypt, Germany, South Africa, and the UK. Tomorrow we’ll see what tricks these teams are hiding up their sleeves as they wage siege warfare and see which castles will crumble and which will be the last structure standing.