Episode 6: Perfect Woman
On the next episode, screening March 28 at 7pm on TV
What does it take to be the perfect rural woman?
The ability to drive a jet boat, back a trailer, or gut and skin a possum? Or is it more important to be able to open a bottle of beer without an opener? Or sink every ball on a pool table in four minutes?
These and other more-or-less feminine abilities were all tested to the max at Wanaka's Perfect Woman contest last Labour Weekend - and the fun and games can be seen on this week's Country Calendar.
The crew followed three contestants through a weekend of frenetic activity which provided great entertainment for the thousands gathered at the Bullock Bar for the annual event.
Needless to say, it could only be a man who would think of such a contest in the first place.
When publican Stew Burt first ran the event in 2001, he thought it might be a local crowd-puller - but instead it attracted worldwide attention. The contest has grown every year since.
Burt shrugs off accusations of exploitation and says the contest is a celebration of women's abilities. Although he's still involved, the event's now mainly run by a team of women, he says.
Profits from the contest go to the Canlive Trust, a support group for cancer victims.
So what motivates the entrants? For a start, there's a prize list, including the option to accept a pallet of beer from the major sponsor.
But the contestants say their main motivation is the extraordinary bonding that happens within the entrants' ranks. There's no room for bitchiness - just a weekend of fun for all.
Other sites to view:
The Perfect Woman contest website.