U.S surfer sets world record by barrelling down 78 ft tall wall of water
London, May 11 (ANI): Thrill-seeker Garrett McNamara has set the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed by riding a 78-foot tall break off the coast of Portugal in November.
Confirmed by a panel of experts at the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, the 44-year-old beat the previous mark held since 2008 by surfing legend Mike Parson by just one foot.
Barrelling down the enormous wave at Nazare, McNamara risked being drowned or crushed by the enormous wall of water he was riding to take the coveted crown.
"It's amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful. The world record doesn't mean as much to me, this is for the town of Nazare and Portugal and for all my family and friends there," the Daily Mail quoted McNamara as saying at the Billabong awards ceremony in Anaheim, California.
"To be able to give them something to be proud of and inspire them... 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," he said.
Taking to the sea on the morning of November the 1st, 2011, McNamara had been invited to Nazare by the Government of Portugal to investigate the area for a big wave competition.
The Pittsfield, Massachusetts born surfer also used a specially weighted surf board that provides extra momentum on release from the jet-ski.
Stunned by his own achievement in surfing the wave, McNamara had to navigate not only the 78-foot tall wall of water, but also the lip of the wave as it came to halt as it approached the shore.
Weighing tons, the cresting lip could have knocked him off the board and into a spin cycle under the water that would have either drowned him or broken bones with the force of the water.
However, McNamara skilfully and successfully navigated the wave to set the record.
"It's only when I got in that I saw the footage," he told the Guardian.
"I was in awe. I mean I felt it was a decent size.
"But you can see it then pops up 10, 20, 30 feet higher. It just supersizes," he said.
The legendary surfer was proud to beat the previous record holder by a single foot to take the Guinness crown
When asked how he found the courage to surf waves so large McNamara had a clear answer.
"I went to Alaska a while back and surfed the waves generated from a glacier calving and ever since then, I've never been afraid in the ocean. I feel very comfortable in the ocean.
"This wave, if you fell, I don't think I would've come home.
"It's so dangerous, so much water moving in two different directions and it's all rocks. All the water is moving straight into the rocks," McNamara added. (ANI)
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