Jenna Ward won the Under 23 women’s title at the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Tahiti, rounding off an excellent showing by the Team South Africa surfski women, filling three positions in the top twelve overall, and two of the top four Under 23s.
Ward (Jeep Team) was a factor in the overall women’s race throughout, raced in excellent downwind conditions, and eventually won by New Zealander Teneale Hatton, with Ward narrowly missing a senior medal and the third place on the podium to another Kiwi Rachel Clarke.
An elated Ward, who is a double bronze medallist at the world marathon champions, said that her Under 23 race had been secondary to her overall challenge.
“I wanted ton race the senior girls from the start,” she said. “That is what kept me going, and to get the Under 23 title is just an added bonus.”
Fellow Durban MacSquad training partner Hayley Arthur was seventh overall and the fifth senior women, with Daynie Loots also racing into the seniors top ten.
Durban schoolgirl Purchase’s fourth in the Under 23 race, who also placed her as the first junior, is even more remarkable, as she is recovering from an emergency appendectomy after bursting an appendix at the world marathon championships in Hungary two weeks ago.
The senior and Under 23 men race on Saturday.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
OCEAN RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, TAHITI
1 Teneale Hatton NZL 2:15:58.68
2 Michele Eray USA 02:16:29.64
3 Rachel Clarke NZL 2:22:18.86
4 Margaret Hogan USA 2:25:54.54
5 Hayley Arthur RSA 2:26:11.17
6 Wendy Reyntjes AUS 2:26:24.40
7 Emma Levemyr SWE 2:28:59.72
8 Sara Ratael POR 2:29:46.75
9 Kylie Broad AUS 2:32:14.95
10 Daynie Loots RSA 2:35:21.16
UNDER 23 WOMEN
1 Jenna Ward RSA 2:22:26.62
2 Georgia Laird AUS 2:25:33.66
3 Jamie Brinkworth AUS 2:29:17.32
4 Kyeta Purchase 2:30:00.