MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The man who currently holds the world's record for the tallest sand castle is pouring cold sea water on an attempt in the U.S. state of South Carolina to dethrone him.
Ed Jarrett, from Casco, Maine, said the 43-foot castle built in June in Myrtle Beach failed to follow Guinness World Records guidelines that ban using machinery and require the structure to be taller than it is wide.
"Myrtle Beach doesn't meet the criteria," Jarrett said. "You can't just pile up a bunch of sand, build a small castle on top of that pile, and call it a record."
He said his nearly 32-foot tall castle, completed last weekend in Maine, should be the new record holder.
Myrtle Beach officials had permission from Guinness to stray from the guidelines, said Holly McMillan, a spokeswoman for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
"It's unsafe to have a structure that tall without a base to support it, and Guinness recognized that," McMillan said. "We also told Guinness that the city would not allow us to hand deliver the sand, and they said it would be OK to use machinery to bring the sand castle in."
The Guinness organization has not yet decided whether the Myrtle Beach castle should be considered an official record.
For Jarrett, the world record is a personal crusade. His 29-foot castle is the current record holder and he spent about two months building the latest castle with the help of 1,500 volunteers to raise money for a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses.
"I spent four years engineering this castle, and these volunteers worked their butts off to get the record," Jarrett said. "We've really put our heart and soul into this thing."