The joint organiser of the Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture Festival has been named runner-up in the European Championships of Sand Sculpting.
Sculptor Nicola Wood took the silver medal at the championships in Zandvoort, Holland, last week.
It was unclear whether Nicola would be able to take part after sculptures at the Weston festival were targeted by vandals last month. The culprits broke in after dark and worked their way around the exhibition, smashing and beheading sculptures as they went.
Sculptors flew in from the Netherlands and Israel to help repair the damage, enabling Nicola to fly to Holland for the Championships.
Although she was two days late, she managed to “catch up” with the other sculptors and created a masterpiece in record time.
She said: “I’m overwhelmed. I was concentrating so much on catching up that I never considered winning a prize. I am so happy, especially after the sad news at the exhibition back in Weston.”
Her sculpture depicted the story of Robin Hood stealing from the rich, which fitted with the competition’s theme of “Legends and Sagas from your home country”.
At the championships were participants from Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and Ukraine.
North Somerset Council said a special event would be held to welcome Nicola back to Weston in honour of her achievement in the competition.
The Weston festival is scheduled to close on September 9, but organisers hope to extend the exhibition until the end of September instead.