The largest sandcastle contest in northern California returned to Ocean Beach on Saturday, as the 40th annual Leap Sandcastle Classic brought out fourth- and fifth-graders who went against the grain to build sand sculptures that were far more than just castles.

It may be news to you that northern California’s largest sandcastle contest takes place right here in San Francisco. Though naturally, it takes place right at the far western edge of the city, at Ocean Beach. And it took place Saturday, as the 40th Annual Leap Sandcastle Classic returned to Ocean Beach this past Saturday.

But the contestants were not professional or trained sandcastle builders, and they built plenty more than castles. The contestants were 20 teams of fourth- and fifth-graders form Bay Area schools, though each team had a little help from local architecture, engineering and construction firms.

“It’s very competitive,” Jill Dineen, executive director of the San Francisco nonprofit Leap, which hosts the competition, told the Chronicle. “These teams come to play.”

And the competition is a fundraiser for children’s arts programs. Per the SF Standard, “The Sandcastle Classic directs approximately 40% of the funds raised to Leap, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality arts education for Bay Area students.”

While teams of kids came from all over the Bay Area to compete in th contest, it was a neighborhood hometown team that took top honors. According to the Chronicle, “the first-place prize went to San Francisco’s own St. Gabriel Elementary, a Catholic school in the Outer Sunset.”

Related: Hundreds And Hundreds Of Corgis To Take Over Ocean Beach Saturday [SFist]

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