Is 'this' the 100 foot wave?


GARRETT MCNAMARA: 100FT NAZARÉ
Thursday, 31 January 2013

It is believed Garrett McNamara has improved the Guinness World Record for the biggest wave ever surfed. Authorities in Portugal have asked for an impartial analysis.

Nazaré Qualifica, the public company sponsoring the North Canyon big wave surfing project has asked experts to confirm the size of the 28th January ride by Garrett McNamara.

"The Garrett McNamara team believes that the wave surfed Monday is higher than the one of 2011, but to avoid any controversy we asked two surfers who certify the Billabong XXL to confirm the size of the wave, before we talk about a new record", said Miguel Sousinha, president of Nazaré Qualifica.

Garrett raced from Hawaii as a massive north-west swell hit the reef at Praia do Norte in perfect south-east wind conditions, and hit the water with Kealii Mamala, and Kamaki Worthington and Hugo Vau, as their support team on the jet ski.

Kealii Mamala and Garrett McNamara previously adventure surfed waves generated by falling glacier blocks in Alaska in a spectacular trip some time back.

Press outlets are calling the wave at around 100ft. If the claims are verified it will mean that McNamara has beaten his previous record, which was also set at Nazaré.

Garrett McNamara said after the session:

"I feel very blessed and I feel that we've achieved everything we wanted to do with Portugal and Nazaré, especially. We've been planning this for a while and it feels really amazing to share with everybody".

"Personally, it was very challenging. You just have to stay in the moment, stay focused on what you're doing. We're really comfortable here, but some of those waves... We were surfing in zones we haven't surfed, so it was a little overwhelming. If we didn't have Kealii and Kamaki, we could easily ended up on the rocks. In one wave, I almost got sucked over".

"If I got sucked over to the rocks... It's preparation and safety. Without it, we could have ended up on the rocks and, if that happened, I wouldn't say we made it home".

"I think I only surfed two or three waves on the 28th. I got bucked off a huge one, there was just so much chop, huge moguls"

The XXL Awards judging panel verifyijng wave size comprises experienced big-wave legends, leading surf forecasters, and experienced photographers, all of whom examine all the evidence that exists for each ride to pinpoint a measurement.

"The hard part isn't locating the top of the wave," says Bill Sharp, director of the XXL Awards. "It's finding the bottom of it, because that's the point where you start measuring from. The challenge is photos and video can both be deceiving depending on the angle of the shot, the size of the lens used, and even stuff like mist and water color."

The latest example is McNamara's wave from Monday, it looks incredibly massive, bigger than his 2011 ride. But will it hold up under scrutiny? "It's hard to say," says Sharp. "We should be seeing video of it in the next day or so, and that will be a lot more revealing because it allows us to see where and when the surfer reaches the bottom."



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