All aboard as Miss Northern Ireland contest is launched
A bevy of Miss Northern Ireland beauties have gathered aboard the Nomadic Belfast to officially launch this year's competition.
Event organiser, Alison Clarke – a former Miss Northern Ireland herself and wife of Open golf champion Darren Clarke – said the competition is about finding talented young women who won't be judged solely on their appearance, but also on their presence and intelligence.
Heats for the contest, now in its 28th year, will take place in venues across Northern Ireland, starting on February 27 at 21, Social in Belfast and finishing on April 27 at Betty Blacks, Bangor. The grand finale will take place on May 12 at the Europa Hotel in Belfast city centre.
It will be hosted by another former Miss Northern Ireland, television presenter Zoe Salmon, and UTV's Marc Mallett.
Alison said: "It was wonderful to launch the contest alongside our headline sponsor, Open + Direct, on board the beautiful SS Nomadic. Over the years the Miss Northern Ireland contest has grown in stature, so we wanted this year's launch to be somewhere meaningful that represented the best of Northern Ireland.
"The winner will become an ambassador for Northern Ireland at events far and wide during 2014, so it's vital they have a great personality too."
Current title holder Meagan Green said: "I've had the best year of my life representing Northern Ireland."
Colin McEvoy, head of Open + Direct, added: "No doubt, this year's contest will be as fun and glamorous as ever and we'd like to wish all the girls taking part the best of luck."