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Exceptional racer in the making

  Professional enduro racer, Yana De Jesus, has her sights on this year’s enduro champion title.

Professional enduro racer, Yana De Jesus, has her sights on this year’s enduro champion title.

After joining the National Enduro Race series only four years ago, Windhoek born Yana De Jesus, a self-taught racer and the second prize winner in last year’s National Enduro Series, has elevated her sport to a new level during the first races of this season.
Over the years, De Jesus has grown into a competitive female racer. “I first started professional racing four years ago and it took me two years to master the bike and all the little tricks. I didn’t know how to race properly and it took me a while but after countless amounts of failing and trying, I became a competitive rider,” said De Jesus.
When she first started off in the Enduro series, she was in the ladies team but as the female class fell away, she joined the boys team.
De Jesus said although the boys team has more competitive riders than that of the females, she is finding the experience exciting.
Currently in the Masters Quads of the National Enduro series, she said racing is tough as well as a costly business.
“One has to be well prepared physically, and because it is quad biking, it is generally heavier to handle as one has more equipment to handle than with a normal two-wheel bike. I also do the mechanic work on the quad by myself as it is quite expensive.”
De Jesus said she enjoys the physical challenge that comes with the sport and the competition from the boys.
“It is not only just about winning but finishing the race as every Enduro series is a challenge of its own.
“At present, there are eighty riders in total and classes differ according to level of racing expertise, the better one races, the higher the standard.”
De Jesus added that Namibia has got exceptional riders, although not commonly heard of, they are representing the country both continentaly, as well as at international levels.
Her break-through came when she competed in a Soc-Race that took place in South Africa a couple of years ago where she was the only Namibian female that took part in the race series and made it to the finishing line, after riding for 400 km.
The National Enduro race series, which consists of eight different races around the country, is an annual event in which racers get points from and get to compete for the Championships. Although she does not want to go onto the next level with racing, De Jesus plans to train kids and be more involved in race coaching.

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