By COLE AVERY
South Padre Parade
In the contest, three women are selected, one from each region of the world. If she wins, Harwell will be the only representative from the Americas and join the winners of the Europe and Asia contests.
The winners are chosen in large part based on the online voting contest. Hundreds of contestants submitted videos during the first round of the contest, and Hartwell got the most votes. She and 24 other finalists are now competing for a chance to go before the Roxy judges for final selection.
Winners receive $5,000 and trips to Biarritz, France and another undisclosed surfing locations to work alongside Roxy officials and professional surfers as the “face and voice” of their brand. But more important to Hartwell is the opportunity to get a big jump in her career.
Hartwell, a communications major at the University of Texas at Brownsville, said the contest was “right up her alley” because she ultimately wants to be a surfing promoter. Winning the contest would allow her to gain experience and contacts necessary to realizing that dream.
Hartwell said not only would a win help advance her own goals, it’d bring a lot of attention to South Padre Island, her native beach.
“I’d be stoked for South Padre if I could represent the island and give it that kind of publicity,” Hartwell said.
In the video that people vote on, Hartwell is doing activities around the Island such as surfing, piloting a boat in the bay, feeding a sea turtle and building a sandcastle.
Different people from around the Island donated their time and resources to helping Aarin film the video.
“I don’t feel like I’m in this contest alone,” said Hartwell. “It’s really nice to have support from the community. That is how the Island can be when helping one of its own.”
To vote for Hartwell, click here, or find the link on Hartwell’s Facebook page.