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An Irish-American cheated death when he surfed what has been described as the largest wave in the world.
Garrett McNamara, originally from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, caught the huge 30-foot wave earlier this month off the coast of Portugal.
“As I rode this wave, it seemed pretty massive, but I couldn’t tell quite how big it was,” McNamara told Surfline. “When I got to the bottom and turned and got around the wave and went to kick out, it landed on me and it felt like a ton of bricks. Probably one of the most powerful waves ever to land on me at the shoulder. It was pretty amazing.”
He was towing with Irish man Al Mennie and Andrew Cottonat from the UK at Praia do Norte off the coast of Nazaré when he caught the gigantic wave.
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"Everything was perfect, the weather, the waves. Cotty and I surfed two big waves of about 60 feet and then, when Garrett was ready, came a canyon wave of over 90 feet,” Mennie told Drift.
“The jet ski was the best place to see him riding the biggest wave I've ever seen. It was amazing. Most people would be scared, but Garrett was controlling everything in the critical part of the wave. It was an inspiring ride by an inspiring surfer.”
Praia do Norte’s deep waters are widely known for creating some of the largest swells from the Atlantic Ocean.
McNamara is working with the Portuguese Hydrographic Institute as part of the ZON North Canyon Project to try and understand how the waves reach such record-breaking heights.
The champion surfer’s family hail from Irish roots, as he told Juice Magazine, with some French and German too. Having been born in Massachussetts his family moved to California when he was one-and-a-half-years-old.
Watch McNamara catch the wave below:
Here's some footage of MacNamara glacier surfing in Alaska: