Surfer breaks own record on ‘biggest wave’

World-famous surfer Garrett McNamara believes he has broken his own world record for the largest wave ever surfed when he caught this 30m monster on Monday off the coast of Nazaré in Portugal.

If the claims are verified, it will mean that McNamara, who was born in Massachusetts but whose family moved to Hawaii’s North Shore when he was aged 11, has beaten his previous record, which was also set at Nazaré.

The image captured by Tó Mané, one of the top surf photographers in Europe, was jaw-dropping in its scale.

The conditions in Nazaré were “perfect” for surfing, he said.

Light southern winds and strong swell coming from north-west and hitting the local canyon as it should.

Speaking after his record-setting 27.5m ride in 2011, McNamara explained: “We’d been invited by the government of Portugal to Nazaré to investigate it for a big wave competition. There is an underwater canyon 1,000ft deep that runs from the ocean right up to the cliffs. It’s like a funnel. At its ocean end, it’s three miles wide but narrows as it gets closer to the shore and when there is a big swell it acts like an amplifier.

“The harbour where the jetskis are kept is about five minutes’ ride away. I can see it from my hotel window. You go out and it can be almost flat as you leave and ride along the coast. You start seeing the waves after about half a mile when you pass some rocks and turn a point.

“Then you are in the break. It’s unique. The waves break into cliffs 300ft in height. You can’t contemplate coming off because it would kill you.”

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