TWO friends are taking part in two international snow sculpturing competitions in the New Year.

Martin Sharp, a fitness coach and business consultant from York, and his friend Justin Scott, a tree surgeon, gardener, and trained sculptor from Driffield, will be creating a snow boat called ‘Unsinkable 2’, designed by Justin.

They will be creating the design at the 29th international snow sculpture competition, Shapes in White, in Silvretta Arena, Ischgl, Austria, from January 8 to 14, which sees sculptors from all over the world turning piles of snow into masterpieces.

York Press: Martin and Justin with their Eddie the Eagle sculpture in AustriaMartin and Justin with their Eddie the Eagle sculpture in Austria (Image: Martin Sharp)

Then, Justin and Martin will compete in the Kiruna International Snow Sculpture Competition, in the Swedish Lapland, 140km north of the Arctic Circle, and recreate Justin's abstract bronze sculpture of the human form, from January 25 to 29.

Martin, who owns the fitness and lifestyle coaching business, Sharp Fit For Life, said: "I’m really looking forward to the challenge – it’s a great way to start a new year.

"I started competing with Justin back in 2016 when his original team mate had to pull out at the last minute.

“We are really excited to be competing in Sweden for the first time. It is a major competition and the snow there is excellent quality so it should be a great experience.

"I’m not particularly artistic so, at first, I was really just there to shovel snow. Over the years, Justin has taught me a lot about snow sculpture and I’m looking forward to helping make his latest design a reality."

As previously reported in The Press, the pair, who first met at Leeds Canoe Club in 2002, came fourth in the Ischgl competition this January.

They had created a snow sculpture of Eddie the Eagle, which was the size as a double decker bus.

The Unsinkable 2, designed by Jusin who has been snow sculpting since 2000, will be a sailing boat gliding through snow in the mountains to fit in with the competition theme of future mobility and climate.

The competition in Sweden is part of the Kiruna Snow Festival, and includes other winter activities such as dog sledding, figure skating, and the snow blower world championship.