Jodie’s racing in the mud

Jodie Chapman at the Queensland Enduro Subcommittee JEDS and WEDS event hosted by Toowoomba Motorcycle Club at Murphys Creek. Picture: TROY PEARS

Esk hard enduro motorcyclist Jodie Chapman is on the frontline of women’s development in the sport, building her own confidence to race amongst the best in the Australian Hard Enduro Championships (AHEC).

Chapman travelled to Murphys Creek on the weekend of 4-5 June for the Queensland Enduro Subcommittee’s Junior and Women’s Enduro Development Series event (JEDS and WEDS), hosted by the Toowoomba Motorcycle Club (TMCC).

Previously she raced in Round 1 of AHEC at Mt Kosciusko and at Manar Park in Boondooma for JEDS and WEDS.

Chapman said she gave both events a good shot and enjoyed herself, considering it was her first time competing.

“I just want to be a number out there and help the development side of it go, because women haven’t podiumed in the top three positions in competitions in the last couple of years,” she said.

“So it’s about getting them out there and encouraging them to not be intimidated.”

Saturday at Murphys Creek was a sprint format race, which unfortunately rained out.

“By the third sprint the track became almost impassable with the amount of rain,” Chapman said.

“A heap of competitors, a lot of females particularly, were stuck out on the track not able to get up certain areas.

“We got together with a group of sweeps and worked as a team to make sure everyone completed the race, which was awesome.”

Chapman’s partner James Wager is the president of the TMCC and assisted with the sweeps on Saturday, ensuring all riders returned safely.

Sunday was a time card format and despite an early crash Chapman managed to bring home 2nd place, impressing herself.

“I shocked myself because I was almost going to be a DNF on the first round because I crashed my bike and broke all my front plastics,” she said.

“I can’t ride without them, your bike obviously has to be safe.”

In a time card format, racers are given an exact start time and must complete two test races and a trail ride within the allocated ninety minutes.

“I raced into the pit, stole plastics off of James’ bike and put them on mine, and then managed to get myself down to the starting line exactly on my allocated minute to start,” Chapman said.

“I was just waiting at the end of the day at presentations with everyone else and cheering along, next thing you know my name was called and I was like ‘what, really?’”

Chapman said the Manar Park and Murphys Creek events helped build her confidence and speed.

“Speed has always been something I’ve struggled with, I’m not a super fast rider, so doing these events is building my speed because there are a lot more sprints involved,” she said.

“There are some amazing, fast women coming up in the sport which is really good.”

She plans to attend Round 3 of AHEC at Tenterfield on 29-30 June for the Dog and Bone Extreme, alongside Wager and Fordsdale rider Brian White.