Leeds snow sculptors create Eddie the Eagle on Austrian mountain for international competition
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Leeds Born Justin Scott, 50, and Martin Sharp, 45, travelled to compete in Ischgl’s international snow sculpture competition against some of the top figurative sculptors in the world last week.
Justin has competed in the competition since 2001 after he stepped in as a chance replacement when a Canadian sculptor was injured - despite being on his own holiday.
Since then, Justin - who was joined by friend Martin around seven years ago - has created a huge array of works on different themes, with highlights including a large Papa Smurf and two versions of Elton John.
The pair spent five days and more than 40 total hours creating their latest effort - placing fourth in the contest behind a German, Italian and South Tirolean team.
The winning German team created Speed the bob sledge, while other competitors created ice skates the size of a person and an inverted snowboard.
Speaking to the YEP, Martin said the pair had overcome many hurdles to reach the competition.
He said their effort was the size of a double decker bus and was the largest they had ever created.
"The organisers gave us two large snow piles roughly 7m diameter and 7m high, which meant we had the equivalent of two sculptures to create", he explained.
"It wasn’t all plain sailing though."
Martin said the fluctuations in weather affected their design.
He continued: "While the weather was great for skiing it had big fluctuations going from -14 to 0 meaning we had to really plan out each day as the snow on the sunnyside would be unworkable after lunch as it would be too soft.
"Due to the size of the piece we had to rely on the snow cats and piste bashers to remove more of the snow than normal, which lead to a few accidents where they took out part of the ski jump that needed repairing and removed the stairs at the rear.
"Another driver ran over one of our spades, which is the primary tool we have due to size and weight restrictions taking luggage on to the plane.
"Then on the Thursday I snapped the same spade.
"Things were not looking good on Thursday lunchtime, so we regrouped and set off again, using every minute available to complete the sculpture."
The pair finally finished their design on Friday morning after more than 40 hours work.
"Both Justin and I are really pleased to be able to compete at such levels, especially coming from a country that isn’t renowned for its snow quality", Martin added.
"We love to create sculptures that are interactive allowing people to be part of it.
"When finished, we loved to see kids climbing the stairs and pretending to be “Eddie the Eagle” at the top of the ski jump and mums and dads taking photos with great big grins on their faces.
"Couples enjoyed going through the arch and so many people just enjoyed the sculpture and took pictures."
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