Deputy Commissioner Travis Logie had a busy day at the MEO Rip Curl Pro. With a World Title race and careers in the balance, he has the high-pressure job of making sure the competition runs when conditions are optimal and keeping everyone happy -- a task which is easier said than done.
Fortunately Travis has good intuition and a steely nerve, both being imperative when making the big calls on whether to send the surfers out or not. He ran the recent Billabong Pro Cascais without a single fumble, and has been doing the same at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal. He is not shy about sending the surfers home for the day, but he's also willing to get going at first light and run until dusk, into the early European evening.
Monday in Portugal was a perfect example. Conditions were unruly in the early morning hours, but clean enough to get the last three heats of Round Five on. Julian Wilson, Conner Coffin, Sebastian Zietz all earned victories in some fun little barrels before things started deteriorating, and with a crucial set of Quarterfinal matches on tap, Logie didn't hesitate to put the event on hold.
Like his fellow commissioners Kieren Perrow and Jessi Miley-Dyer, Logie knows what it's like to be the guy in the competition jersey. He spent a decade competing on the Championship Tour, representing South Africa at the elite level from 2004-2014.
In 2015 Travis transitioned into his new role as Deputy Commissioner, in charge of the Qualifying Series (QS) and Junior Series. But when Head Commissioner Kieren Perrow gets busy working on plans for future events, Logie jumps back onto the Championship Tour to make sure things run smoothly.
With the wind swirling and waves pumping on Monday, he kept competitors on location for a few hours before sending them back out, hoping to make the most of Monday's powerful surf. It paid off. The Quarterfinals turned into a tube-riding bonanza. John John bagged a 9.30 to advance into the Semifinal. Jordy Smith's 10 helped him keep his own World Title hopes alive for another day.
But the real validation for Logie came from the guys who didn't win, as it's important that they feel they had a good shot. Despite losing in the Quarters, Julian Wilson gave Logie kudos. "We had the best conditions just then," Wilson said of his QF heat against John John Florence. "Travis did a great job."