Halfway between Iceland and Norway sits the group of islands called the Faroe Islands. It is from here that our next Strongman comes – Regin Vagadal.
He burst onto the scene in 1994, and whilst only competing for 8 years, he achieved alot.
Now retired from Strongman, he captains a Norwegian Rescue Ship, making the move from lifting heavy things to steering them.
Phil Burgess: Regin you are from the Faroe Islands where you are 7 times Faroe Island’s Strongest Man. How did you get into Strongman competitions, what made you start competing, and what did you love the most about competing?
Then I asked Magnus ver Magnusson what to do to enter the world class level . He told me to get in contact with Dr Douglas Edmunds (WSM referee).
I contacted him which led me to competing in a competition in Scotland where they would like to see me.
I won the first day, and got second the next day – and after that I was invited to the World Strongest Man.
I loved the friendship between all the competitors and the fact that after and before every competition they gave each other advice. There was no-one that was biting each other’s ear off.
Phil Burgess: Regin are you still competing in Strongman competitions or have you retired?
Regin Vagadal: I retired in 2002, and have not been involved in any strong man since.
Phil Burgess: You have been to the finals of Worlds Strongest Man 5 times, which time(s) was the most memorable and why?
Regin Vagadal: The first one in Mauritius – I was totally unknown and I won my qualifying group which everyone was totally surprised about, because there were strongman such as Heinz Ollesch, Berend Veneberg and Magnus Samuelsson.
And the worst one was in 2001 – I was at the top of my career and I also had won “The Atlantic Giant” a few months before. I really thought that it was my best chance to win The World’s Strongest Man.
One week before the WSM, I got sick (Flu) and I did compete with a fever and came last in my qualifying group . After that, I lost my momentum and didn’t have it in me any longer – and that’s the one reason that I retired in 2002.
Phil Burgess: You are from the Faroe Islands, how would you describe them to someone who has never visited?
Regin Vagadal: It’s almost impossible to describe – there are so many beautiful things to see, that have to see it yourself. But give me a call and I would be happy to guide you.
Phil Burgess: What are your best competition results and lifts?
Regin Vagadal: Puha, let me see. I have two boxes full with trophies and I did many competition each year, so …but if I google myself then it says:
- 7 times Faroe Islands Strongest Man (1994–2000)
- 8th place World’s Strongest Man (1996)
- 3rd place in “World Muscle Power Champs 1997”
- 1st place in “Iceland Strongest man 1998”
- 8th place World’s Strongest Man (2000)
- 2nd place in “THE ATLANTIC GIANT 1999”
- 1st place in “THE ATLANTIC GIANT 2000”
- 1st place in “THE ATLANTIC GIANT 2001”
- BenchPress 235 kg
- Squat 340 kg
- Deadlift 350 kg
Of course, there were lots of other competitions, but that list gives you an idea.
Phil Burgess: What is your occupation now? I believe you were studying to be a ships captain?
Regin Vagadal: Yes, that’s right, and now my profession is Captain on “Esvagt Stavanger” which operates in the Oil Industry in Norway.
Phil Burgess: How many days a week did you train in a gym and how often did you practice competition events?
Regin Vagadal: Normally it was 4 times in the gym and once a week practicing competition events.
Regin Vagadal: Be patient and make sure you have warm muscles and don’t let anybody provoke you.
In Strongman it is sometimes better to use your brain rather than your muscle.
Phil Burgess: Finally, which competitor was your favourite one to compete against and why?
Regin Vagadal: I had a great time when me and Magnus ver Magnusson were competing, and we always had a lot of fun after.
At that time, he was the man to beat, that’s why it was always exciting to see if you could beat him……….