Fish Hoek paddler wins gold in El Salvador

Tyra Buncombe crossed the finish line first to take the 2019 ISA Womans World Long Distance Prone Longboard championship in El Salvador last week.

Tyra Buncombe became the 2019 ISA Woman’s World Long Distance Prone Paddleboard Champion, after winning the 18km race in brutally hot conditions in Playa El Tunco, El Salvador last week.

In a day of high drama where confusion reigned on the race course, numerous competitors in both the Woman’s Stand Up Paddleboard, as well as the Woman’s Prone Paddleboard Races, completed the three lap course incorrectly and were disqualified.

Buncombe, 20, from Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club, who is competing as a member of the South African Stand Up Paddleboard team, correctly navigated the course amidst the confusion and was awarded the gold medal as the first racer to do so.

Buncombe was paddling an unfamiliar paddleboard borrowed from the English team due to logistical problems in getting her board to El Salvador.

The championships concluded on Monday December 2 and included various stand up paddle and prone paddleboard race disciplines as well as stand up paddle surfing.

The six-member South African team are competing against 150 athletes from 27 countries in the eighth edition of the annual event.

In 2018 Capetonian Tarryn King became the first South African gold medallist at the event when she won the Woman’s Stand Up Paddleboard 200m Sprint Race.