Wednesday 21 February 2024
Select a region

From weight-loss hobby to world champion

From weight-loss hobby to world champion

Tuesday 21 November 2023

From weight-loss hobby to world champion

Tuesday 21 November 2023

A police detective whose post-baby hobby led her to become the Channel Islands’ top female paddleboarder has been awarded a bronze medal at the World Championships.

Jersey's Verity Thomas came third in the masters 40+ technical final on the last day of the 2023 ICF SUP World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.

Celebrating her success on social media, Thomas posted: "Still can’t quite believe this happened… I stayed calm and focused throughout and took risks on the buoys (which paid off).

"I actually don’t know what else to say..."

When Thomas first started stand-up paddleboarding (known as SUP) in 2012, the initial goal was to lose weight after the birth of her son.

But it quickly became more than a hobby – with the local Public Protection Unit detective ranked as the number one female SUP racer in the Channel Islands. 

“In 2015, I was introduced to SUP racing and immediately fell in love with it – I've been competing ever since," she told Express last year.

“I took part in National, European and international events between 2016 and 2019, making the podium on a few occasions.”


Pictured: Verity has only been SUP racing since 2015. (Catherine Hargreaves)

Locally, Thomas was the first female to circumnavigate Jersey on a paddleboard as part of the Jersey Round Island Challenge and has also won the El Tico Heritage Race a number of times.

“With the pandemic affecting the sport I took on a challenge to paddle to the Ecréhous, which I completed in May 2021, and I’m currently the only person to have done this," she explained.

After a return to racing in September 2021, she came 4th overall in the British 200m Sprints – the only competitor to make the final on an inflatable board.

To help her continue progressing, Thomas applied for the 16th annual Jersey Clipper Bursary and was awarded £1,000 last year to help her compete on the world stage.

Pictured top: Jersey-born and educated Verity Thomas, who became a Police Constable in 2008 and is a detective in the Public Protection Unit and one of the Channel Islands' top paddleboarders. (Darren Wheeler)

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?