Algarve’s bodyboard world champion Joana Schenker honoured

Sagres-based bodyboarder Joana Schenker, who last year claimed her first world title, was honoured last Saturday (April 14) during a debate about the Western Algarve economy at Portimão’s municipal museum.

The event was organised by regional association Algfuturo and attended by its president José Vitorino (also a former secretary of state, MP and Faro Mayor), Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes and Algarve tourism boss Desidério Silva.

Algfuturo described Schenker as a “symbol of excellence and the values linked to the sea and environment which promote and establish the Algarve”.

“It is fair that the Algarve pay this tribute to her,” it added.

It’s a fitting acknowledgement for an athlete who made history last year.

After being crowned national and European bodyboarding champion, Schenker claimed her first world title in Nazaré in October, becoming the first Portuguese to do so.

But the road to glory was not without drama, as Schenker was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Nazaré Pro, the seventh and penultimate lap of the international APB Tour.

She had to wait and see if her closest rivals Ayaka Suzuki and Sari Ohhara would make it past the semi-finals. But they didn’t, and Schenker was able to celebrate her first world title with one more lap still to go.