Revival of JR Wright Handicap Surf Swim

With the new clubhouse now open Dwight Harrison and I have volunteered to run the JR Wright swim for this season.

As a reminder this Active members-only event started in the 1963-1964 season and was won that year by D. Wells.  The trophy was donated by club member John Wright the father of two excellent surf swimmers in Richard and Andrew who were both ranked in pool and surf at Victorian and National competition level.

Ian Campbell has provided the following information which was originally drafted by Vaughan Carlin in October 2001.

The proposal is for the following guidelines to be observed for the race:

  • J.R. Wright surf races will be held every Sunday and Public Holiday, except Christmas Day, at 11:00am during January, February and March.
  • Patrol Captains have the discretion of whether surf conditions are safe enough to hold the event.
  • Patrols Captains dictate the course of the race.
  • Competitors will be required to wear training vests and swimming caps
  • The race is to remain handicapped, with handicaps calculated on previous results for the current season only.
  • Members competing for Portsea SLSC at an official SLS Carnival will get 2 points towards the J.R. Wright automatically. However to win the cup a competitor must have participated in at least 3 swims at Portsea.
  • First time competitors will lead off first, before handicapped starters.
  • If the next J.R. Wright falls within 2 days of the previous race, and handicap’s have not been updated, the handicap’s used for the previous race will be used.
  • Patrol Captains have the discretion to disqualify competitors who deliberately disrupt the race.

 Points for positions are allocated as:

  • 1st – 5 points
  • 2nd – 4 points
  • 3rd – 3 points
  • 4th – 2 points
  • 5th – 1 point

The calculation of handicaps is outlined below.

First race to decide handicaps – Distance 200m

  • Handicap Level 1 – 2:20 – (average of 35sec per 50 metres)
  • Handicap Level 2 – 2:40 – (average of 40sec per 50 metres)
  • Handicap Level 3 – 3:00 – (average of 45sec per 50 metres)
  • Handicap Level 4 – 4:00 – (average of 1min per 50 metres)
Handicap Level

Race Distance

150 metres

Race Distance

200 metres

Race Distance

250 metres

Race Distance

300 metres

Race Distance

350 metres

Race Distance

400 metres

Race Distance

450 metres

1 1:15 1:40 2:05 2:30 2:55 3:20 3:45
2 1:00 1:20 1:40 2:00 2:20 2:40 3:00
3 0:45 1:00 1:15 1:30 1:45 2:00 2:15
4 Scratch Scratch Scratch Scratch Scratch Scratch Scratch

Averages will be accumulated and adjusted for each race. This system we hope will give a reasonable, although not perfect system, to have on hand handicaps for the distance they choose.


Julian Byrne