The television offer in terms of artistic competition is diversified. Singing competitions, making surreal cakes, creating drag queen costumes and now, sculpting sand castles. This is what CBC offers with Race Against The Tide, whose third season began on Sunday and in which five Quebecers participate.

“Go to the beach, enjoy and have fun in the sand!” “, Launches one of the competitors, Mike Beaupré, in an interview with La Presse.

Listening to Mr. Beaupré, sand sculpting sounds like a simple beach activity. However, this art requires a talent and an understanding of nature that go beyond mere leisure.

It’s on New River Beach, in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, that the best sand sculptors from around the world are invited to compete for the prize pool of $10,000, in addition to to be crowned Race Against The Tide champions.

The Bay of Fundy is also the place where the tides are the highest in the world.

“It’s a nice way to remember that everything is fleeting. It just reminds us that tomorrow, everything starts again, “said a participant, Marie-Line Gagné.

Mike Beaupré and his wife Rachelle discovered sand sculpture on a trip to the Magdalen Islands. “When we saw a sand castle competition, we said to ourselves: we are surely capable of doing that, too,” says the pyrographer and sculptor who lives in Saint-Hippolyte, in the Laurentians.

The 61 and 71 year old grandparents instantly fell in love with this art. “We have two sandboxes at home and we play in the sand, simple as that,” says Rachelle Beaupré in an amused tone.

The enthusiasm is the same for the duo of thirty-somethings formed by Marie-Line Gagné and her colleague Isabelle Gasse.

“The beauty of sculpting is that you can do it anywhere. You can have access to a beach anywhere in the world, all year round. Otherwise, in the winter, we carve ice, snow and wood, and in the summer, it’s sand,” continues the young woman who now lives in British Columbia.

Sculpting sand requires a technical execution that is very different from all other materials in that you have to defy gravity.

“We always try to climb a pyramid so that it follows gravity,” she adds. A bit like children who fill boilers and turn them upside down. Except that we start sculpting from the top and gradually unpack the bottom. »

The woman from Sainte-Sabine, in the Eastern Townships, emphasizes that each stage of the confection is crucial. “Once you get down there, you can’t touch up what you did up there. It is possible that once you get to undoing your second formwork, everything will collapse. This is the sand challenge. We sculpt something ephemeral, it can crumble and disappear at any time. »

Twelve two-person teams compete throughout the series. The 10 episodes of 30 minutes each air at 8:30 p.m. EST on CBC and online on CBC Gem.

Maestro Fresh Wes returns to the helm of the show accompanied by judges Karen Fralich and Rusty Croft, both renowned in the world of sand sculpture.

After each of the competitions, the sculptures of each team will be evaluated before the water rises. A duo will then be eliminated, until the final of the show.

A fourth season is already confirmed, and the broadcast is scheduled for 2024.