Hunk clash goes trans-Tasman

TIM CRONSHAW
Last updated 14:28 17/05/2013
Rural bachelor comp
Fairfax NZ

HUNK HUNT: This year's rural bachelor competition at Fieldays will include Australian entrants.

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A trans-Tasman hunk clash has been confirmed for the rural bachelor competition at this year's National Agricultural Fieldays.

Australian bachelors have risen to the challenge after a weak initial effort, forcing organisers to extend the deadline until late today for late entries.

A round of publicity about their bashful approach in Australian rural publications appears to have brought them out of the woodwork and an undisclosed number of entries have been received. The finalists will be named next week with two positions reserved for Australians in the eight-man field for next month's event at Mystery Creek.

The Aussies will be flown to Mystery Creek at no expense to themselves and be treated like princes for nearly a week of contested events.

At stake is a prize pool worth about $23,000 and organisers have arranged for a quad bike to be transported to Australia should the top rural bachelor be an Australian.

Fieldays communications executive Vicki Annison said she had yet to see the quality of the Australian entries, but organisers hoped they were of sufficient standard to stand up to "our Kiwi boys".

"We did extend the deadline through to today on the back of extra publicity to name and shame them a little bit. We did get some further Australian entries in the week and the entries will close off today."

Annison said there was more than Australian pride at stake with an impressive prize pool up for grabs and arrangements made to send the quad bike to Australia should they win.

"They will get an all expenses paid trip here for almost a week and we will get them to the mystery destination. They will have to complete tasks at Fieldays but they will be well looked after and they will be part of the entertainment as well."

She said the rural bachelor event had been a popular fieldays event with the public and had a strong female following.

The finalists will return home with sponsored clothing and gifts including a yet-to-be-released cellphone suited to handle the knocks in the backblocks.

After arriving at a mystery location on June 10 for an Amazing Race-type event they will work in teams of two to complete tasks within 36 hours en-route to Bachelor Base Camp for the main competition round at Fieldays from June 12.

Each morning the chaperoned bachelors will compete in a series of agricultural-based challenges.

The finalists, aged 18 years or older, will be expected to be part of the cat walk routine at the Ag Art Wear fashion competition in Hamilton.

An extra bonus of being a finalist is three of the event's nine winners have found their future partners during previous competitions.

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