They might look sweet enough, but friends Sam and Renae are hoping that looks can be deceiving.
“We kind of want to play the dumb blonde thing up a bit so people don’t get threatened,” says Renae, 23. “We’re probably going to be the last people they worry about.”
“People will look at us and go, ‘They’re these blonde models and they don’t know anything,’ but they don’t know our background, how intelligent we are and our levels of fitness as well,” says 22-year-old Sam.
Sam and Renae both model part-time, while Sam’s also a VIP host at Perth’s Burswood Casino. Renae works in hospitality and does maintenance work for a ute hire company and is capable of fixing a truck – hardly typical of someone who was runner-up in Miss Universe Australia 2010.
“I’m definitely the tomboy in this partnership,” admits Renae. They’ve been best friends since they met in a bar four years ago, and like to train and hang out at the beach together.
“Sam is more serious and I’m very laid back. But we complement each other,” says Renae.
While Renae only rates her knowledge of geography a one out of 10, she is quick to point out she knows “everywhere in Australia though, just nowhere outside of Australia”.
Sam brings her own unique experiences to the race as a former flight attendant, so she’s more than prepared for the long flights ahead.
But these determined young women know they need to have a serious game plan if they’re in with a chance to win the race. Sam says they’ve already decided that Renae will be responsible for driving, navigating and strength challenges, while Sam is the team leader and best with challenges involving eating or heights.
The girls have also discussed how they’ll handle the stress the race could place on their friendship.
“We’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re not going to fight,” says Renae. “Everyone cracks under pressure but they don’t always mean what they say.”