The breathtaking moment thrill-seeking surfer catches ‘world’s biggest wave’ off the coast of Portugal
This thrill-seeking surfer was but a speck on this enormous wall of water as he appeared to set a new world record for the biggest wave ever ridden.
Surfing legend Garrett McNamara caught the towering wave – believed to have measured around 100ft – off the coast of Nazare, in Portugal, yesterday.
If the claims are verified the U.S. born athlete will have successfully beaten his own record, which was also set at Nazare, when he successfully rode a 78ft high break at the end of 2011.
Mr McNamara, 45, was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, but his family moved to Hawaii’s North Shore when he was 11 where he followed in his older brother Liam’s footsteps and began to surf. He started competing professionally at the age of 17 and spent ten years on the circuit with his brother.
His previous record breaking ride in 2011, described as ‘inspiring’ by fellow pro-surfers, beat the previous record by one foot.
The surfer’s latest breathtaking feat came yesterday, as huge waves crashed off the coast of Nazare throughout the day.
The exposed beach break in the north of the country attracts surfers all year round.
McNamara risked being forced dozens of feet beneath the water, or slamming into a reef or the ocean floor, if he had wiped out on the massive wave.
PREVIOUS RECORD RIDERS
1. Garrett McNamara, 78 ft wave Nazaré, Portugal in November 2011
2. Mark Parsons, 77ft wave Cortes Bank, California in January 2008
3. Pete Cabrinha, 70ft wave Jaws Beach, Maui in January 2004
4. Brag Gerlach, 68 ft wave Todos Santos, Mexico in December 2005
His 2011 record was confirmed by a panel of experts at the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.
He had skillfully rode a 78ft wave – beating the record held by Mike Parson since 2008.
The surfer said at the time that hearing his name announced at the awards ceremony gave him ‘a bigger rush’ than actually riding the wave.
‘It’s amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful,’ he said at the ceremony in California.
‘I didn’t want to get caught up in it all, but I have to tell you the truth, when they announced my name I got a bigger rush than probably on all the waves I rode this year.’
Mr McNamara’s record-breaking began as early as 2007, when he became the first man to ride a glacier wave on a surf board.
Teamed up with a colleague on a jetski, he spent three weeks camped out by the 400ft Child’s Glacier in Alaska waiting for the perfect wave.
The couple were filmed riding the giant grey wave caused the glacier calving, which is when a mountain-sized block of ice breaks off the glacier.
Attribution: Kerry Mcdermott, Daily Mail