Aumen Doram’s underwater creation—a jack-o-lantern covered in stiches and a bow—romped off with this year’s top prize in the Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest that was held last Oct. 30 at Lau Lau Bay.
There was also a Best in Costume contest, which Ron Snyder handily won after participating in the contest dressed as Elsa in Walt Disney’s Frozen.
With 16 entries in all that made sure to impress the judges, the Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest’s second place title went to Karie Comstock, who turned in a giant squid gourd eating a submarine, while third place went to Jessica Williams with her scary, heavily toothed, jack-o-lantern.
In the Best in Costume feature, second place was a tie between JD Herndon and Emilie Kohler who went as a pair of octopuses.
Two-time judge Yogi Singh said that every year comes with a lot of surprises. “It’s a fun competition and people get to hang out with friends and make new ones. …The precision of the carving this year was pretty awesome. Some were too close to call that scoring became a bit difficult,” he said.
“There were also some cool costumes and this year was far more creative with people even coming up with a COVID-19 theme. Without a doubt, the underwater pumpkin carving contest will be a blast,” he added. Singh was joined on the judges’ panel by Eric O’Malley and Albert Flores.
Now on its third year, the contest is the brainchild of local dive shop Green Flash Dive Inc. Participants are expected to carve their pumpkins underwater and the event is always looked forward to by the scuba diving community.
According to GFD owner Rhea McDoulett, there were originally 21 entries. “The last-minute community spread cut our entries to 16, which is still one more than last year. The level of interest grows each year and all of those who participate are very enthusiastic about the event,” she said. “The third year was still fun despite the last-minute withdrawals. The competitors are so creative and focused in their creations. Plus, everybody loves to have a good time and see what other people are up to underwater. It never gets old.”
McDoulett said the awarding was held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Garapan and that they are always happy to see annual competitors. “Karie Comstock has won a prize in every competition so far. They are always excited and filled with new ideas. The old-timers also like to see new competitors who bring a different style and an element of the unknown to the competition,” she said. “We are always considering adjustments to the rules or themes for the next carve. The formula is pretty good so far. We don’t want depart too much from the central idea to enjoy each other’s company. There has been talk of adding a championship belt to the mix, which would be passed from champion to champion year to year.”