A spray tan sees Miss Whangamata sorted
A Hamilton high schoolgirl has been crowned Miss Whangamata at the annual beach babe competition.
In front of hundreds of spectators, Hillcrest High School pupil Hannah Moulden, 17, exuded confidence in her red and stripe-patterned swimsuit, golden platform shoes and brown chest-length hair.
As the reigning Miss Teen New Zealand and Miss Teen Hamilton 2012, her performance was well rehearsed.
However, after being presented with the Miss Whangamata 2013 sash, she was quick to play the accolade down.
"I was coming over for New Year's and I just thought it would be something fun to do and I had all my friends behind me so I thought - why not?"
She said she competed in Miss Pauanui last year but her pale skin let her down amongst a stage full of bronzed beach bods.
"I was white, so this year I got a spray tan, got it sussed. It worked out well," she said.
The scene was a far cry from the jeering, sexed-up mania of beachfront bikini competitions depicted in American comedy films.
It was a completely civil affair in Whangamata. The crowd of men, women and children of all ages were mostly seated and clapped politely, occasionally shouting the word "go" followed by a competitor's name.
The divisions included midgets (4-6 years), nippers (7-10), junior (11-13), Miss Teen and Miss Whangamata.
Miss Teen Whangamata winner Jazmin Tohaia, of Whangamata, said entering bikini competitions is "like my hobby". The 16-year-old has competed in Miss Pauanui and is the current Miss Waihi Beach.
"It's really cool. It's really exciting," she said.
"I've lived here all my life so there were a lot of people cheering me on, which was awesome." She said she would like to be a model "because that's what I like doing".