Chardri Monk (24), a graphic designer from East London who currently works in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, has travelled thousands of kilometres and has completed hundreds of tough off-road racing kilometres on her quad to finally clinch the 2014 FIM Africa Southern Off-road Championship (SORC).
The 2014 Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) Africa Southern Off-road Championship (SORC) was held over five rounds and Monk, who also competes in the first ever Combined Ladies Class Championship of the South African National Off-road Motorcycle and Quad Championship this year, had to stand her (wo)man against off-road quad competitors from all ages at these events in Zambia, Namibia and Botswana where she competed in the B3 (Quads Overall) and B9 (Quads Ladies) classes.
(She did not participate in the events at the Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe as it was not quad-friendly races.) After winning both classes in Zambia and Botswana (she finished third in B9 in Namibia and was fifth in B3), she has accumulated enough points to ensured both the Overall and Ladies Class titles. It was not always smooth running though… After two flights and a four hour drive to Siavonga in Zambia, she and her crew found out that there was absolutely no way of getting her own quad (a Yamaha Raptor 700) to the race venue and she was ‘forced’ to make use of an offer to borrow a standard Honda 300 to tackle the tough event.
She then got this borrowed quad stuck on top of a mountain ‘in the middle of Zambia’ and had to walk five kilometres back to the pits! Racing in Africa is not for ‘sissies’ and at the Namibia held outside Windhoek, Monk had to face her fear of descending really steep mountains – and she did it! That is how the petite young quad rider claimed her victories on her mission to become the ‘African Champion’. Monk, who has been racing quads for about five years now, had to fit her participation in the FIM Africa SORC series in between competing in the seven rounds of the SA national off-road championship as well as work (she received her degree at the end of last year and is finding her feet in the real business world) while she has also participated in the six-day Namaqua African Rally in April where she won the Ladies Quad Class.
In the month of April alone, she spent more time and racing kilometres on the saddle of her Raptor 700 quad than she would in her car as she clocked more than 2 500 racing kilometres! Monk is currently second in the National Ladies Off-road Quad Class while she is third in the Combined Ladies Class Championship (SA National Off-road Quad Championship) for female motorcycle and quad competitors.