Women’s Australian Off Road Championship Jemma Wilson battled tough conditions enduro racing in Portugal and Finland.
Women’s Australian Off Road Championship Jemma Wilson battled tough conditions enduro racing in Portugal and Finland. Renee Pilcher

Challenges lead to glory for Wilson

AT 22-years-old Gympie's Jemma Wilson is not your typical university student.

She balances studying a law degree with the tough physical torture of endurance motorcycle racing.

And her hard work outdoors has paid off, with Wilson winning the 2011 Women's Australian Off Road Championship (AORC). The competition began in February and finished up last month.

Wilson said she could not imagine winning the series at the start of the year, when she was coming in second and third. She put her poor start down to changing bikes at the beginning of the season.

Wilson had to get used to her new Yamaha YZF 250 motocross model after performing with a WR model in previous competitions.

But after heading to Finland for the International Six Day Enduro competition with the Motorcycling Australia team she "found a heap of confidence and speed" and came back to win the championship.

"I won three out of the last four rounds," she said at home in North Deep Creek yesterday.

Wilson took first in rounds five and six and confidently went into the last two races.

She won round seven's sprint format by about 40 seconds and lost the race eight sprint by only nine seconds.

"The international competition was insanely hard," she said of competing in Finland. "You were on the bike for eight hours a day. It rained and was the craziest mud-fest ever. It was so hard, the hardest thing I had ever done. I thought the six-day in Portugal was tough, but this was insane."

That race was so hard, when Wilson came back to finish off the last four rounds of the AORC, it felt easy in comparison.

Growing up in Gympie, Wilson said a Sunday ride was the thing to do, and the reason she took up the sport. "One thing led to another, but I never expected to go overseas and ride for Australia."

Wilson is about to finish her law degree and has recently returned to Gympie after living in Brisbane and studying at QUT.

She was given a student guild scholarship under the elite athlete program.

"They've been so helpful; without them I wouldn't be able to do both."

Jemma's track record

  • Rounds nine and 10 of the AORC were cancelled due to heavy weather and poor track conditions.
  • She had a 12 point lead over Swedish rider Emeile Karlsson and was crowned the women's champion.
  • She thanked Yamaha, Fox and Rampant Clothing.
  • She won the AORC in 2009 but had a "bad year" last year, placing third overall.
  • Vote for Jemma Wilson to win her third Australian Dirt Bike Magazine Leaders Choice Award in a row.
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