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No race too long for SA's female riders

2014-05-16 13:30


SA’S FIERCE FEMALE RIDERS: Chardri Monk claimed her first victory in the Ladies Quad Class in the 2014 season. Image: ELZA THIART-BOTES

Not even a six-day, 1500km ‘Rally Raid’ through the Knersvlakte in the Western Cape nor a tough and dusty National off-road championship event at Kimberley or Vryheid can stop female competitors on their off-road motorcycles and quads.

The quad riders were Liezel Barnard on her 1 000cc-powered 4x4 Can-Am Renegade and Chardri Monk, racing her 700cc Yamaha Raptor. The two motorcycle competitors were KTM's Toni Jardine and Taye Perry.


These women have been in the saddle for more than 2000km participating in two rounds of the SA National Off-road Championship as well as the Namaqua African Rally in the Vredendal area at the Cape West Coast.

Barnard, who led the Ladies Quad Class, after winning at the Windsorton 400 in the Northern Cape (April 12), suffered a broken drive-shaft.

Fortunately it was fixed and after the Can-Am received a proper service, it was ready to tackle the Bell 400 (May 10), the third round of the championship at Vryheid.

The 34-year-old mother of three and business woman from Carletonville on the West Rand completed a safe race in dusty conditions to claim her second runner-up result so far this season and keep her lead in both the Ladies Quad Class as well as in the Combined Ladies Class Championship.


After finishing as the runner-up in the Ladies Quad Class at the Windsorton 400 north of Kimberley, Monk (22), was excited to compete in her first ‘Rally Raid’ event.

The ‘Rally Raid’ was the first of its kind in SA.

Monk completed each day of the rally (five days of racing) despite experiencing a few small mechanical issues to come out tops of the lady quad riders – she finished 33rd overall between all the motorcycle and quad competitors – and was third in the Ladies Class.

Monk tackled the Bell 400 and claimed her first victory in the Ladies Quad Class in the 2014 season. The result moved her up to fourth in the Combined Ladies Championship with three rounds still remaining.


On two wheels the ferocious battle that started in 2013 between Jardine and Perry, continued with Jardine claiming victories after both rounds of the championship (the Windsorton 400 and Bell 400).

She leads the Ladies Motorcycle Class and moved to second place behind Barnard in the Combined Ladies Championship.

After participating in the Namaqua African Rally as part of Team Barnard Vervoer, Jardine (21), a professional motorcycle competitor and rider trainer (with her mom Mandi as her support crew) – won the Ladies Class by beating Perry by just less than 1min30sec after fierce battle.

Jardine finished the race in 18th place overall. She also won the M1.1 Lites Class for competitors with motorcycles with engine sizes up to 250cc. She now fills the third place between the female motorcycle and quad competitors.

Jardine eventually finished 19th overall in the Rally Raid – she won the M1.2 Lites Class for competitors with motorcycles up to 450c.

A total of 660k (three events) and three rounds still await these ladies who all have their eye on the first ever Combined Ladies Championship title.

The next event, the Vryburg Stella 400 Bush2Bush Challenge (the fourth round of the National series) takes place on June 14 in the North-West Province and anything can still happen as only a handful of points are now separating the ladies in the classes and the Combined Ladies Championship.


The riders also hope that motorcycle competitors Nanda Swiegers (Yamaha), who won the Ladies Class at the season opener, but could not compete in the Bell 400 and the Pretoria scholar, Anais Steenkamp (Kawasaki) who crashed at the same event when she was injured, will be back in the saddle for the second half of the season.

Barnard and Monk are also looking forward on having the first winner of the 2014 Ladies Quad Class, Maryna Venter (Honda) back in action while there is a chance that well-known lady quad competitor, Adi du Plessis, might return to competitive racing before the end of the season.

More ladies are invited to join in the fun of off-road racing!

The Combined Ladies Class Championship is being supported by MSA’s Women in Motorsport (WIM).
Read more on:    yamaha  |  ktm  |  motorsport  |  off-road  |  rally

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