Laguna Niguel's Ray Karch Takes First Place at U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition

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John Gilhooley/OC Weekly
Mr. Sandman Ray Karch in 2006.
​Sandcastle master Ray Karch got down and dirty this past weekend, winning big at the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach. The 59-year-old Laguna Niguel resident and his three-man team, The Green Lantern Corps, took first place in the Masters B category with their epic sandcreation, "Planet OA," inspired by the Green Lantern film.  

"I'm the biggest Green Lantern fan of all time," says Karch, who we profiled back in 2006. "I was inspired. I had to do it. I knew that if I did Green Lantern, it'd win."   

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Courtesy of Ray Karch
"Planet OA," the winning creation.
​Karch, along with fellow builder Bill Pavlaka of San Diego and a third "shoveler," had five hours to complete the elaborate planet. The team earned $2,500 for winning. 
   
In 1999, Koch won the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition with his replica of Queen Amidala's Palace from Star Wars Episode I. He's also a magician at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. 

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