New competition for Miss NI
It's been a year of photo shoots and fashion shows but current Miss Northern Ireland, Tiffany Brien is preparing to hand in her crown and return to her first love, sailing.
Thursday, 24 January 2013
The Co Down woman is a keen competitor in the male-dominated sport, and although she took a break to fulfil her pageant duties, Tiffany hopes to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. But for now she's enjoying the last few months of her title.
"It's scary that it's coming to an end so quickly but this is not the end," she said. "I've got lots more to pull out of the bag and I really want to accomplish actually getting to the Olympics."
The 22-year-old won the title last year and then travelled to China alongside Miss Ireland - Belfast woman Rebecca Maguire - where she came down to the final 30 in the Miss World competition.
"This year has been incredible, it really has been a whirlwind. I can't put into words how it has changed me. I've got a different outlook on life, and moving forward I've got a lot more determination and I think I'm a lot more mature," said Tiffany.
But all good things must come to an end, and on Thursday the search began to find someone to follow in her footsteps and become the new Miss Northern Ireland.
"It's going to be my first taster of it all coming to an end and I think I will be very upset when it all does come to an end and I'm handing over my crown. But there's four months left and I'm going to milk it for all I can!" Tiffany laughed.
However, the world-class sailor said the glamorous life hasn't changed her priorities in life and she's got another big title in mind - Olympic medal holder.
"It's something I really want to do and I'm going to work hard for the next 3 ½ years to get there.
"Being Miss Northern Ireland I think it's very important through your year to stay true to yourself.
"I've continued to sail, I've continued to do events and I've continued to play my netball, it's very important to keep the work/life balance."
Now contestant organiser Alison Clarke is in her 27th year of looking for the new face of Northern Ireland and she's touring the region to find the jewels in NI's crown.
"As a champion in her sport beforehand, Tiffany really approached Miss Northern Ireland with gusto and made the title her own.
"It takes great stamina, commitment and confidence to carry off the title, and we are seeking a girl with that special X factor - something unique and different which sets our winner apart from all the rest, as it takes more than just good looks to win Miss Northern Ireland." said Alison.
This new Miss NI will win a host of prizes, including a year's contract with ACA models and the chance to compete in the Miss World final, which is held in Indonesia.