December 13, 2021

New date, format for surf race

The 2022 Jim Wall Iron event will move forward to January 2, with a new elimination format promising to deliver an exciting show for locals and tourists this summer.

Torquay SLSC competition director Peter Quinlan said the new date aimed to maximise numbers of both spectators and competitors for the 61st edition of the gruelling event.

“We’ve brought the event earlier this year to find space in the national lifesaving competition calendar, making it easier for both local and interstate competitors to be involved,” he said.

Next year’s Jim Wall Iron will also have a redesigned course to make viewing easier for fans.

“The new format will create closer finishes and a thrill for spectators. The discipline of the four surf events – board, ski, swim, run – is still in place, but the main race will be fast and exciting,” Mr Quinlan said.

The event began as the Jim Wall Surfathon in 1962 in honour of the early club president, as a test of all-round surf and water ability that tested competitors’ swimming, paddling and beach running.

Wall’s son Terry won the second iteration of the race, and the family remains involved in the event by presenting winners’ trophies.

The Torquay event is believed to be the oldest continuous race of its type in the world, which precedes the Ironman concept that has since become globally popular.

This summer’s event begins at 9am on January 2, starting with under-13 Nippers events leading up to the open-aged male and female Jim Wall Iron races.

Surf Coast Times story here.

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