Belfast Telegraph

Tiffany sets her sights on sailing away with the Miss NI crown

By Victoria O'Hara

An award-winning sailor is now modelling her sights on scooping the Miss Northern Ireland crown.

Tiffany Brien from Holywood, Co Down, is swapping her boat for the catwalk after winning a place in the final of the beauty contest.

The 20-year-old, a Sports Science student at the University of Ulster, was training to compete in the Laser Radial Class in next year's Olympic Games in London, representing Ireland.

But the model has put her Olympic dream on hold until 2016 to try "something completely different".

"I started sailing when I was seven but have been sailing for Ireland since I was 14," she said.

"I really enjoyed it and dedicated so much of my time to it. But I just wanted a break, it was wearing me down and it was time to do something completely different."

She entered the heat in east Belfast and became Miss Horatio Todd's. "I was so chuffed to win," she said. "It was very nerve-wracking but I'm finding it a lot more comfortable now. It is really good fun and so different to the sailing."

Tiffany is now counting the days until she is a finalist in the Appletiser Miss NI competition at the Europa Hotel on June 13.

Despite putting her place on the Olympic team on hold she remains "extremely competitive".

"I still haven't given sailing up," she said. "I've just taken a break from the Olympic events."

Tiffany also used her competitive drive to help raise £18,000 to buy a paralympic sailing boat for local disabled charity Sailability.

She now plans to sail the Irish sea with blind adventurer Mark Pollock. He completed an expedition to the South Pole, but was seriously injured when he fell from a bedroom window last year.

"I hope to do that in September and raise around £30,000," Tiffany said. "It should be another great experience, just like being in the final of Miss NI."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph