When Garrett McNamara caught a 23.7m wave off Portugal in 2011, it was greeted as a great moment in surfing history and set a Guinness World Record. Many thought that was the end of the story.
However, McNamara, now 45, returned to the Atlantic coast off Nazare on Tuesday and caught a monster wave that may well have beaten his previous feat, with some estimates putting it at more than 30.4m.
A spectacular photograph shows the Hawaiian surfer plunging down the vertical wall of water toward the town, leaving a white wake trailing behind him. The town’s surfing company, Nazare Qualifica, said it was trying to find out exactly how massive the wave had been.
“Authorities from the company have asked two experts from the US to certify the size of the wave,” the Lusa news agency reported.
Miguel Sousinha, head of Nazare Qualifica, said: “McNamara’s people think that the wave he surfed today is even bigger than that of 2011.”
He said the experts usually worked with the Billabong XXL surfing contest organizers.
“Nazare was hit today by a massive nord-west [sic] swell with a breeze of south-east wind!. Perfect conditions! McNamara was charging!” Billabong XXL wrote on its Facebook page on Tuesday:
The surfer tweeted on Tuesday: “Thank you for all your support. It means the world to me. Today was an awesome day and so fun.”
McNamara warned at the end of last year that he was in the perfect mood — which he calls “present moment awareness” — for creating new records.
“Garrett attributes present moment awareness to riding his world record wave last year,” his blog said. “When you are in this moment you can tap into all the energy around you and use it to create your destiny. You have no control over what has already happened and really no control over what’s going to happen.”