January 14, 2023

Vernon and Cook reign supreme

One of Torquay’s own will etch his name on the coveted Jim Wall Iron trophy, while a Warrnambool athlete edged out the field in a dramatic finish in the open women’s category.

Surfers Paradise SLSC athlete and former Torquay Nipper Archie Vernon and Warrnambool SLSC’s Mia Cook were crowned Jim Wall Iron winners on Sunday as Torquay Surf Beach was packed from end to end for the 62nd running of the Jim Wall Iron, reminiscent of turnouts in years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vernon added to his summer of dominance following wins at the Rip View Swim Classic and the Danger 1000 in the preceding days, and enjoyed the final moments of his dominant Jim Wall Iron run.

Last year’s runner-up to Matt Gilling, Vernon said winning the Jim Wall was a lifelong goal of his.

“It’s pretty weird actually, I remember the first time I watched the Jim Wall when I was eight or nine fanboying Ali Day, who I now train with, and after I got his goggles, I was frothing, so to win one myself is pretty surreal."

“It means a lot, really, it’s the one event I really wanted to win. It’s a sick event.”

Cook beat out Newport Beach’s Piper Harrison in a dash on the sand, creating for a thrilling finish in the open female Iron final.

Portsea SLSC’s Sophie Jacka and Lorne’s Will Newton secured the Under 15 Iron races, while Anglesea SLSC’s Summer Morgan and Williamstown S&LC’s Noah Chappell were crowned champions of the Under 13 division.

Next up for Vernon is today’s (Saturday, January 14) Pier to Pub at Lorne where he hopes to claim a fourth event win of the summer.

Read Surf Coast Times story here.


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