January 7, 2024

Proud winners

Harris claims maiden Jim Wall Classic, Vernon repeats.

Two of Torquay’s dominant surf athletes have claimed respective victories at today’s (Sunday, January 07) 2024 Jim Wall Classic.

Torquay Ironwoman and Alexandra Headland SLSC representative Grace Harris went one position better than her 2022 runner-up finish to claim her maiden Jim Wall event at Torquay Surf Life Saving Club.

Former Torquay junior and Surfers Paradise SLSC representative Archie Vernon notched up his second consecutive Jim Wall win in the men’s field.

Harris said the win takes a huge weight off her shoulders after coming so close to the top of the podium two years ago.

“It’s something I have wanted to achieve for a few years now and I hadn’t been able to do it, so it’s nice to finally be able to tick it off,” Harris said post-win.

Harris overcame defending Jim Wall champion and Warrnambool SLSC lifesaver Mia Cook, in addition to fellow Torquay competitor Jemma Holt to secure the trophy.

Vernon said he is extremely proud to add another Jim Wall win to his list of accolades.

“I’m super stoked,” Vernon said shortly after the race.

“I probably didn’t have the best preparation leading into it having had a bit of fun with my mates over the past two weeks, but it’s been really good to see everyone.

“It’s always a good time of the year, one I look forward to knowing I’m heading back home to my family and friends."

“I’d built some really good momentum leading into Christmas with training, so I knew as long as I was happy and in a really good mental space, I could dial it in and get the job done.”

Vernon navigated a high-quality field, overcoming Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park SLSC representatives Drew Green and Sean Rielly on the podium.

Green was in particularly good form after winning the Danger 1000 event yesterday afternoon.

Continue reading Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: Mentone SLSC’s Julian Lau (middle) paddles his way to a third-place finish in the Under 17 Male Iron.

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