Taking Home The Win – Logan Nicol Reflects On His Triumph At The Welsh Nationals
Looking back on such an amazing Welsh National Surfing Championship weekend I thought I would write a few words to give some insight on what it took to get the win and retain my national title!
Unfortunately, the surf on the week leading up to the Championship was really bad! This meant I didn't get much time to practice or warm up at the event site. The contest was held in Llantwit major which is such a particular and tricky wave, so it really helps to have surfed there a lot and know the break. Local knowledge plays a big role in surfing there. I had also just been made a brand-new board for the event by Fourth Surfboards and luckily, I did manage to squeeze a couple of surfs in before the weekend. My strength and conditioning coach Alan Bisseker, who is a performance coach with the Olympic GB cycling team, had me do loading and winding down my training so I would be fresh for the weekend.
On the morning of the first day, the waves were a nice 3ft light onshore, which were conditions I was pretty used too. With only three of us in the first heat, I was feeling confident. However, the waves went slow and towards the end of the heat I only really had one good scoring wave! Luckily, I managed to snag one at the end which felt like a good one at the time. As I walked to shore, I learned I had got 2nd place to progress through to the quarter finals...this lit a bit of a fire under me as my goal was to win every heat.
The quarter finals were held during some tricky conditions. Later in the day the swell had picked up and the wind was on it. These were probably the hardest waves of the whole event and I had one of my best friends, Callum Thomas, in my heat. I felt like I put a pretty good heat together… I managed to build on nearly every ride and despite falling on a few waves toward the end I made it through quite comfortably. It was in this heat where the local knowledge made a difference. A strong rip current had been running the whole day, so preparing and ensuring you didn't get caught out in your heat was important. I felt like I knew what waves to go on and where to sit, which led me through to the semi-finals
Sunday meant finals day and the sun was beaming. The conditions had become smaller, but the wind was a lot lighter, and it was looking like it would be a good day of waves. In the semi-final I had my best mate Patrick Langdon Dark along with Arran and Craig Bright, two top class local boys who had the most knowledge out of all the competitors about the set up at Llantwit. With considerably smaller conditions, wave selection came massively into play. Pat got a very quick start with some good rides, but I managed to get the best wave that came through in the heat which secured me the win and entry into the final…
It was quite a quick turnover from the semi-final to the grand finale. The tide turned and the waves got bigger, however the wind picked up and the rip current started to get strong, so it was going to be a tough heat. As soon as the buzzer sounded, I managed to get a larger set wave which gave me the confidence going into the rest of the heat. I continued to build as the heat went on and I'm not sure if it was luck or a bit of a local edge, but I was able to find some super fun waves in the final that went all the way into the beach. I saw the other boys getting some good ones, but as the wave is so long, I couldn't really see what they were doing on them, I had to just keep my head down and do my own surfing. I did see Eli, who is only 15, absolutely crack one in the final which did make me nervous. Coming in after it had ended, I was feeling good but unsure if I had done enough for the win, but my good friend Mike Collins came up to me and gave me a hug and congratulated me telling me I'd won. Best feeling ever!
After this win I'm really focusing on the upcoming WQS events, as well as looking forward to competing in the British Nationals later in the year, where the top three surfers from each nation come together to compete for a spot in the GB surf team for the ISA World Games held in California in September. I just want to say a massive thank you to my family and all my sponsors for their support! Without them this journey wouldn't be possible.
Read Logans - A Day in the Life of a Professional Surfer here