Whitby's top bachelor

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 15:22 25/02/2013
26-KPN-modelWEB
Andera O'Neil
MODEL MALE: Whitby-raised firefighter James Sharp’s buff body, adventurous hobbies and kitchen prowess earned him a spot in two calendars this year

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For a man whose face and impressive abs grace two calendars this year, James Sharp is surprisingly shy about having his photo taken.

The Whitby-raised firefighter, 28, is Mr August in the 2013 New Zealand Firefighters' Calendar and Mr April in the CLEO magazine calendar, which is also running a "Bachelor of the Year" competition between its calendar models.

But despite being camera-shy, Wellington-based Mr Sharp thrives on a challenge, so he entered himself in the running for the firefighters' calendar shoot. CLEO saw the resulting photo and asked him to be one of its most eligible bachelors.

''I sort of mulled over it and I thought, 'why not?','' Mr Sharp says. ''I guess I feel quite reserved about having my photo taken, it's not really me. But at the same time it's a challenge.''

The winner will win a slew of prizes and contracts, but Mr Sharp says other calendar boys are far ahead of him in the voting - contenders include Titanium boy-band member Jordi Webber.

Mr Sharp's grandmother is his biggest fan, and his supporters include his Tawa Central League football team-mates, although they tease him mercilessly, he says.

''My football team definitely don't let me forget it.''

Whoever CLEO readers choose, Mr Sharp is as eligible as they come - he is sporty and adventurous, counting among his hobbies skydiving, heli-skiing and diving. He just got accepted into the Fire Service's Urban Search and Rescue squad.

He is also a demon in the kitchen, regularly knocking up bread, pizza and baking from scratch and cooking for his colleagues at Hutt Valley fire station.

There's only one thing stopping Mr Sharp being Wellington's most eligible bachelor - his girlfriend, Gemma van Baal.

To vote for James, visit www.facebook.com/CLEOmagNZ.

Voting closes on February 28 and the winner will be announced on April 15.

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