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It’s heating up

20 May 2005
For immediate release

It’s heating up

Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year® finalists will have a chance to show their creative sides during some of the competition challenges.

Many of the competition heats remain the same as 2004, but there some fresh challenges afoot. Quite literally in the case of a challenge set by Skellerup, where the finalists will be asked to build a pair of iconic Kiwi Redband gumboots.

“The substance has yet to be confirmed,” Fieldays Rural Bachelor coordinator Elysia Shirtliff says, “but the bachelors are sure to find it challenging and it will be an entertaining heat.”

Favourite heats from 2004 will be back for 2005 and include Stihl Chainsaw Champs, Fastest Fencer, Pedigree Get in Behind, Drive a Digger, BBQ Factory King and the Moanui Pamper Session.

All heats will include permanent judges as well as a ‘guest judge’ that is related specifically to the theme of that heat.

2004 title winner Justin Nelson will be back on board, but this time to sit on the other side of the judging panel. Justin will hand over the prestigious ‘Golden Gumboot’ trophy to the winner on the final day.

Tradition has it that the Fieldays chairman’s wife is part of the judging panel and Olwyn Downing has risen to the challenge. Olwyn is wife of newly appointed chairman Lloyd Downing of Morrinsville.

Joining Olwyn and Justin on the panel is The National Bank representative and Te Kuiti branch manager Kath Guerin (24), who has agreed to pick the men from the boys. She will judge alongside Telecom sponsorship manager Donna Williams.

“Competition heats are designed to test the finalists’ rural skills and bachelor eligibility while providing an entertaining element for the visiting public at Fieldays,” Miss Shirtliff said.

And because Ag Art Wear has always pleased the crowds at Fieldays, it was the inspiration for the new Farm Fashion heat. “Annah S” clothing designer Annah Stretton will bring her industry expertise to judge garments the bachelors will create from raw farming materials.

“Fashionistas” of the city kind will also be getting involved with Fieldays, when a “bus load” of Auckland women will cross the Bombay Hills – for a taste of real rural blokes in Wednesday’s ‘Meet the Bachelors’.

On Thursday, the bachelors will have a chance to show off their physical strength in the good sport ‘Tug-a-Ford’ heat.

Telecom is pushing the technology boundaries with a new heat in which the finalists will create a short movie.

“The bachelors will have time over the first two days of Fieldays to create a movie on their Telecom Video Messaging phones,” Miss Shirtliff said.

“The movies will be shown at Friday’s ‘Meet the Bachelors’ heat when TVNZ’s Country Calendar presenter Jerome Cvitanovich will judge the bachelors as they present themselves in the Telecom ‘Talk it up’ heat.”

Entries for Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year close 27 May 2005. Forms are available online, by phoning 07 843 4499 or email

Fieldays welcomes new supporting sponsors Skellerup and Ford on board for round three of the Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year competition. They join existing major sponsor ZM and supporting sponsors Waikato Draught, BBQ Factory, Stihl, Moanui Laboratories, Telecom, Freedom Air, Accom Gold Coast and Swanndri.


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