Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Real natural glow for Mount sun-soaker

With gold shorts and a glowing tan, Rotorua's Colin Francis is hard to miss on Mount Maunganui Main Beach.

The retired teacher, who lives in Rotorua, can be found sunning himself on the beach from dawn until dusk most days during summer.

He has been making the trip to Mount Maunganui every sunny summer day for about 15 years.

"I sometimes go up the Mount. Other than that I just sunbathe. I go for the odd swim," he said.

When we found him he was enjoying the rays on one of Tauranga's hottest days on record.

"I actually wasn't going to come to the beach today but I saw the weather on the news and thought, 'That's me back to the beach'."

At first glance you might think Mr Francis was blessed with naturally dark skin but he assured this reporter he was naturally fair.

Unlike most beachgoers, Mr Francis said he was not worried about feeling the harsh effects of the sun and used minimal sunblock.

The secret to his heavy tan was time and a combination of dark tanning oil and SPF2 bronzer, he said.

"I'm out in the sun from 6.30 in the morning until 6.30 at night and I never get in the shade and I never get burnt," he said.

"I have to be out for about eight hours just to maintain my tan let alone get darker."

The Rotorua resident went to school in Tauranga and still remembers the magic of the beach.

"I've loved Tauranga ever since," he said.

"I'm not a freshwater man. I love the sea."

Mr Francis begins his commute to the beach in November and can be found soaking up the sun almost every fine day right through into March.

He is well known by locals and gets his share of comments from other beachgoers.

"People recognise me I think because of my little gold shorts and my reasonably tanned body."

He also gets his share of unwanted remarks but prefers just to ignore them.

Mr Francis said he was not a fan of the trend for knee-length shorts for swimming in.

"To me that's ridiculous. If you're going to sun yourself what's the point in being covered up."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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