Rains supreme ... Nic in ChinaHARRY PAGE
MISS Scotland Nicola Mimnagh is battling for the Miss World title - and her beauty queen pal Katharine Brown is hoping to make it a double.Lashing rain in China yesterday couldn't dampen Nic's hopes as she competes in the glitzy contest.
And Kat, who handed her Miss Scotland crown to Nicola, is all set to jet out for the Miss International finals in China at the same time.
Nicola, 24, from Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire - who met reigning Miss World Kaiane Aldorino this weekend - said: "China is a fantastic country. "I am loving every minute even though we've been rained in all weekend.
"One minute, I was happily frying under the sun and the next, umbrellas at the ready.
"Some of the girls have never seen so much rain, but that's one thing about being Scottish - I'm used to it.
"The Chinese people are very kind and welcoming.
"We're being treated like princesses, and nothing is too much trouble.
"This really is the experience of a lifetime and I know how lucky I am to be here under these circumstances, where only the best will do.
"I've made lots of friends with the other girls and we're all enjoying every second of our trip."
Meanwhile, stunning Miss UK Katharine Brown, 23, said although she's flying the flag for Britain at the Miss International finale, she'll always be a Miss Scotland at heart. Kat, from Dunblane, Perthshire, said: "It'll be a UK flag this time instead of the Saltire but I'm first and foremost a Scottish girl who's proud to represent the UK."
Kat, now an international model and pro tennis coach, intends to chill out on this year's trip, and is taking only the bare essentials - which includes 15 cocktail dresses.
She said: "I'm a jeans and sweatshirt type of girl even though I'll be taking the most amazing gowns with me.
"Style-wise, I'm pushing the boat out. When I'm all dressed up I'll sparkle and I'll be giving this contest my very best shot. But when I'm not on duty, I won't won't be dolled up to the nines."
Kat - who has returned to her blonde roots after dyeing her hair a chestnut brown - has continued her role as a sports ambassador for Scotland since relinquishing the Miss Scotland crown.
She said: "Sport plays a big part in my life and I particularly want teenage girls to become involved in a favourite sport, because it really can change your life.
"You look better physically and you feel better mentally."
Mum Marlyn, 60, will be in the audience at the big night in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
Water babe ... Nic in a sexy bikini shoot
Kat said: "Mum is coming with my aunt and uncle. I know it will be nerve-racking but I'll be keeping my butterflies to myself. "I'd love to come home with the Miss International crown. That would be out of this world."
Katharine will be up against 80 beauty queens from across the globe. She said: "I'm looking forward to making new friends. China is such a powerful nation and I'm intrigued by her history.
"I am so lucky to be having such wonderful experiences."
"Winning Miss Scotland led to me winning Miss UK. Now I'm battling for the Miss International crown so look out China, here I come."