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Stampede for sparkler

GEORGE GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2014
Burning Boat
DIAMOND HYSTERIA: The ladies flock around Brent Farquhar and his one carat win. Included is girlfriend Rachel Skudder, pictured just behind Brent.

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He could have been Waiheke's most eligible catch.

But he's not on the market.

That didn't stop women fawning over Brent Farquhar after he won a $13,500 diamond.

The Onetangi resident couldn't believe it when he was announced as the winner of the one carat sparkler donated by Walker & Hall at the Westpac Summer Brunch.

The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust fundraiser at Man O' War Vineyard saw 350 ticketholders enjoying fine wine, courtesy of the hosts, and top food from several of Auckland's best chefs.

Guests were also offered the opportunity to buy one of 200 glasses of champagne on offer for $100 each, with the chance of winning the diamond.

Only one of the glasses contained the genuine gem, while the other 199 contained a replica cubic zirconium.

Guests bought 170 of the glasses and MC John Hawkesby bundled the final 30 to auction off.

"There was a lovely guy who paid a few grand for the lot," Mr Hawkesby says.

"He shouted out that the first 30 ladies to grab one of the glasses of champagne could have it on him.

"Women were flinging off their high heels and running for their lives to grab a free glass of champagne and the chance to win a diamond.

"They were astonishingly feral for such a select bunch."

Brent Farquhar bought two glasses - one for himself and the other for his girlfriend of two years, Rachel Skudder.

"It was quite a special day as we'd flown in on the seaplane from Oneroa Beach with our friends Karen and Mike," Brent says.

"But I forgot about the cubic zirconia - one in my top pocket and one in my back pocket.

"I was walking around with them for ages before I got them checked."

Brent won't say what his plans are for the diamond.

"I've put it into safekeeping for now."

John Hawkesby says Brent is the island's chick magnet.

But Rachel is not fazed by the clamour of women over her boyfriend.

"I'm happy to beat them off with a stick when there are boys and diamonds to be had."

The event raised more than $195,000 for the trust.

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