Charlotte Spencer-Bower the ‘perfect woman’

Winner, Charlotte Spencer-Bower of Wānaka carefully running her egg and spoon up steps to a hot plate.

New Zealand’s Perfect Woman Competition returned to Luggate Hotel for its 17th year over Labour Weekend—sponsored by Stonewood Homes.

The annual fundraising event for CanLive Cancer Trust centers around a series of serendipitous challenges for its competitors. 

This year 28-year-old graphic design business founder Charlotte Spencer-Bower topped the podium, taking home the ‘perfect woman’ title, with Lucy Jaine in second and Carisbrook Bowler in third—all of Wānaka. 

“I lost my partner to aggressive brain tumours at the age of 25 and I am all for anything to raise money for cancer research or to those dealing with cancer,” said Spencer-Bower. “This was my first year taking part in the competition [...] I had heard about the Perfect Woman competition [...], but never considered entering it until about two weeks prior to the competition this year. My good friend, Kirstin, who is part of the organising gave me a bit of a nudge to get involved and with the help of her, my partner Reece, family and massive support crew, I managed to achieve the big win!”

Saturday’s challenges included a 30-second self-introduction, nail painting, a quiz, gumboot throwing, opening a big bottle of beer without an opener, hammering in a nail as fast as possible, and a blind tasting made up of three foods and beers to guess. 

Event committee member Kirstin Dana said, “The crowd loved some of the facial expressions on the contestants. One of the secret events was an egg and spoon race with the contestants then having to cook their eggs—if they still had theirs—and present it to be judged.”

“I was inspired to sign up because I thought ‘You know what, I could do a few of those events and I could potentially nail a couple of them’” said Spencer-Bower. “I have a few hours under the belt flying a helicopter and thought, if I could just get through to the top 10, I think I could have an advantage over some of the girls. Unfortunately due to the weather, the helicopter event was cancelled and I thought ‘I’m really going to have to pull rank on these other activities'.”

After the weather calmed, participants went back to Lyonfield to complete clay bird shooting, jet boat racing and car racing challenges. 

The final challenges took place back at Luggate Hotel, and included ‘cutting a man’s hair’, another secret event ‘putting together a kitset sawhorse’—that the competitors then had to auction off themselves—and ‘dressing to impress’.

Spencer-Bower commented, “I made an absolute mare out of my sawhorse with the electric drill being set in reverse when I picked it up and starting with the top of the wood up the wrong way, but despite having one of the worst ones, I did auction it off for the highest price, raising $200 for Canlive.”

“The weather conditions didn’t work in our favour and events were postponed due to extreme winds—to the fact us girls couldn’t even open the van door down at Lyonfield—but it was still so much fun.” concluded Spencer-Bower. “I had such a fun weekend and I couldn’t have done it without my partner Reece, family and friends who backed me for two long days!”

Dana said, “This event raised over $10,000 for CanLive Cancer Trust, and the Perfect Woman Competition committee are extremely grateful for the ongoing support and generosity of locals to keep this fun event happening.”

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