SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Siesta Key Crystal Classic wrapped up Monday on the county’s most popular beach. Organizers and artists in the sand sculpting competition were faced with a number of challenges this year.

“Our challenge this year obviously was Hurricane Nicole,” said organizer Eileen Parkinson. “We were forced to shut down our opening day on Friday, so four days became three days.”

The storm left standing water in the area where sculptors create their masterpieces.

“A lot of our artists had to start all over again in doing their sculptures because of the rain. Usually they would begin their work on Thursday after they finish the group sculpture, but of course they lost Thursday and they lost really a lot of Friday because of the storm. We had pools of water around the sculptures for quite a while,” said Parkinson.

In addition to the storm, the area is also facing impacts from red tide. However, the algal bloom didn’t seem to keep crowds away this weekend.

“Saturday you could feel it, everybody was coughing,” said one of the vendors.

Monday, however, respiratory irritation from red tide seemed minimal.

“That hasn’t been too bad. Occasionally, depending upon the wind shifting, it can get to you, but we have been very fortunate in this part of Siesta Beach,” said Parkinson.

Organizers say under “normal” circumstances, around 20,000 people attend the event each day. This year, they do not believe they reached those numbers, but given the challenges they have faced, they consider the event a success.

Proceeds go toward creating scholarships for future artists.