What an outstanding year for WA Women in Motorcycling
December 23, 2016

As the year is drawing to a close and riders are packing up their gear for a well earnt break, it’s timely to reflect on the achievements of our women competitors for the 2016 year. Western Australia currently has 5 Womens/Girls Australian Motorcycling Championship Titles in the disciplines of Supermotard – Jessica Boujos, Quads – Jemma Merrylees, Senior Women’s Motorcross – Jess Moore and 2 titles in Junior Girls Motocross – Tahlia O’Hare, what an outstanding achievement.

n order to be the best in the country, our women have had to overcome the difficulties associated with travel for competition and gaining exposure to the competition in the Eastern States.

In order to be able to compete in the Supermotard Australian Championships, Jess Boujos from Herne Hill WA, travelled to far north Queensland on her own, without her number one supporter and pit crew, husband Tim, rode a borrowed bike of a higher capacity than she has ridden in the discipline before and also had to overcome the weather changes leaving WA in the middle of winter to far north Qld with 32 degrees!

Jess reflected on the racing and the intensity of the competition stating that she qualified for poll position by just .02 of a second from second and .03 of a second from third. Jess was able to hold on to win every round for a perfect score for the weekend. It is also worth noting that during the year, Jess also competed in the Road Racing production class and managed to secure 3rd place in the Australian Championship in the women’s class, what a year Jess.

Jemma Merrylees, from Kalgoorlie WA, travelled to Wonthaggi in Victoria to defend her national title at the Australian ATV MX National championships in October. Qualifying as the fastest women, Jemma certainly proved she was there to retain her Australian Championship title and continued on her way focusing on the business at hand. Worries about the weather and track conditions disappeared and the weekend continued on with Jemma claiming victory and another Australian title under her belt. Jemma also competes against her mother in the championships, Gina came in at 5th place and also competes in the Veterans class, well done Gina.

One of the most exciting wins for the year would have to be the Australian Women’s Motocross Championship title to Jess Moore, who is from Kalgoorlie and resides and studies in Joondalup WA. Coolum Qld saw the MX Nationals host the MX Women’s championships with a massive 29 riders competing and it all came down to the final race of the weekend. After several races filled with action packed racing and controversy with a protest and hearing which could have impacted on the placings heading into the last day, all was set to come down to the final race of the weekend in Coolum Qld. 

Jess battled hard all race with her fierce rivals Meg Rutledge and Maddy Brown, changing positions several times during the race. Maintaining her focus for the whole race, coming into the very last corner of the race, Jess gave her KTM a final push for the last straight and managed to cross the line ahead of Maddy Brown by just inches to take the points lead overall to claim the championship!! Amazing effort from Jess and just goes to prove, never give up until you are across that finish line.

Our up and coming junior Tahlia (TJ) O’Hare, from Parkerville WA,  has certainly been working hard to achieve her goals of claiming a national title since competing in the Bunbury Australian Junior Motocross Titles in 2015. TJ and her family crossed the Nullarbor and travelled to Renmark in South Australia for the 2016 Australian Junior MX Nationals. Competing in both of the Junior Girls classes, TJ’s training and focus saw her take out several heat wins in both the 85cc class and the Lites class. TJ recalled all was going well until the change in the weather bought about some big challenges and riders machines were tested. The extreme weather conditions saw the racing postponed for a day, the storms took out power to the whole state and made for some quick thinking and problem solving for the officials of the event to be able to continue.

TJ recalled the track conditions changed for the worse with some sharp edges coming into play putting line selection and the forefront of her thinking. TJ was able to get some great starts on the final day, but said that she had put a lot of pressure on herself to take out the Lites title which resulted in her dropping the bike three times in the final race. Luckily for TJ, she had done enough in the earlier finals to be able to have enough points to take out the win in both classes. Congratulations to TJ, Australian Junior Girl 85cc and 125/250 champion. We are set to see some amazing things for TJ into the future, she is all set to defend her title in her last year of Junior’s in 2017.

The Women of WA are truly champions in every aspect of the word and many of them also give back to the sport they love so much by mentoring and coaching other women and girls in the sport. Although WA faces some geographical challenges for our women to compete, the support, camaraderie and sense of unity has created a great breeding ground for our competitors. With the growth of women’s sport across the nation, it’s timely to note that WA Women competing in motorcycle sports are the best in the country and need to be recognised and supported. We look forward to 2017 and more exciting action in Women’s Motorcycle Racing.

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