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..."
Still can’t quite believe this happened…. I stayed calm and focused throughout & took risks on the buoys (which paid off.)— Verity Thomas ???????? (@VezzaThomas) November 19, 2023
I actually don’t know what else to say…… I just frickin’ got a BRONZE medal ???? at the Worlds Championships ???? https://t.co/2GhOzlNkEP
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)
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