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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Surf's up... and then some: Breathtaking moment thrill-seeker catches 100ft wave dubbed 'world's biggest' off coast of Portugal

Surfing legend Garrett McNamara rode the enormous wall of water to shore as bystanders looked on in amazement in Nazare, Portugal
He is believed to have beaten his own record for the biggest wave ever surfed by catching the 100ft break

By KERRY MCDERMOTT

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.

Monster wave: Garrett McNamara is said to have broken his own world record for the largest wave ever surfed when he rode this 100ft crest in Nazare, Portugal

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.

Crashing surf: The thrill-seeking surfer is thought to have set a new world record for the highest wave ever surfed

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.

Return of the Mac: Garrett, known as GMAC on the surfing circuit has been surfing since the age of 11 when his family moved to from Massachusetts to Hawaii

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.

Brave: Barely visible on the wave, Garrett McNamara begins to make his way down the record-breaking water wall

'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.

Behind you: GMAC has not only broken the record of largest wave surfed twice, he is also the first person to surf a tidal wave caused by a calving glacier

Surfing legend: Garrett McNamara of Haleiwa, Hawaii, is seen with the surfboard he used to set his existing record in Portugal in 2011



source: dailymail



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