Pocket-sized Sara is the new Miss Wales

 

Miss Wales 2011 Top Three

Pocket-sized Sara Manchipp from Baglan has been crowned Miss Wales 2011 and will now go on to represent Wales at Miss World later this year.

5'3" Sara was chosen by a panel of 11 judges including four former Miss Wales winners (Claire Evans who was Miss Wales 2005, Sarah Fleming who won in 2006; Miss Wales 2008 Chloe-Beth Morgan and Lucy Whitehouse from 2009). X-Factor's Rhydian Roberts and Welsh soprano Rebecca Evans also joined the panel.

The event was sponsored by Wales leading supplier of evening wear and promwear Dress-Stop.com in Cardiff, Vision Hair Design in Neath and Su-Do Professional Tanning.

Sara, who was born two months premature and who weighed 2lb 11 oz at birth, beat 54 young women who took to the stage in front of a sell out crowd at Cardiff's St David's Hall.

21-year-old Welsh-speaker Sara studied at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, and has a conditional offer to study Psychology and Counselling at Swansea Metropolitan University.

Sara will now compete at in the 60th Miss World pageant in London in October and November.

She said: "It was lovely surprise to win Miss Wales. The feeling is incomprehensible. I am most looking forward to meeting the Miss World contestants in London and doing work for good causes."

Paula Abbandonato, from events company Vibe is the organiser of Miss Wales. She said: "Sara is pocket- sized and full of charm. She is a wonderful young woman who we are thrilled to see represent Wales. With the Miss World finals in the UK for the first time in years, the British contestants are going to receive a lot of interest. I am sure Sara will rise to the occasion and have the time of her life."

Second in the competition was 19-year-old promotional model Sophie Hall from Abercarn, and third was 20-year-old student Alice Watkins from Cardiff.

Other winners were:

  • Public Vote Winner - Rhiannon Shopland, Aberdare
  • Miss Charity - Jenny Dobson, from Neath, who raised over £9,000 for The Joshua Foundation
  • Spirit of Miss Wales - Stephanie Lubbock, from Porthcawl, who used her position as Miss Bridgend to raise awareness of a charity called New Pathways, which gave her support following a sexual attack
  • Best Dressed (sponsored by Dress-Stop.com) - Bianca Cridland, Swansea
  • Best Hair (sponsored by Vision Hair Design, Neath) - Laura Curtis, Cwmbran
  • Miss Ceredigion 2011 - Chemise Isaac, New Quay
  • Miss Powys 2011 - Laura Dwyer, Llangynidr

As part of the Miss World ethos of Beauty with A Purpose, the Miss and Mister Wales contestants raised almost £90,000 for the competition's chosen charity, The Joshua Foundation, which provides life experiences for children with cancer and their families.

The Miss and Mister Wales final this weekend was the biggest in history with more contestants taking part than ever before. The three-day event also involved a charity ball and an empowerment day, which saw all the contestants walk barefoot over burning hot coals.

Applications are now open for next year's competitions »

Here are the highlights in pictures…

 

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