Irish surfer Al Mennie has described what it was like to be present when Irish American Garrett McNamara from Hawaii took on the largest wave in surf history.
The record-breaking surfer from Pororush was part of a three-man team that surfed for three hours off the headland of Praia do Norte as part of a study with the Portuguese Hydrographic Institute, reports the Irish Examiner.
Mennie, who has previously surfed giant waves off the coast of Ireland, was joined by Garrett McNamara, from Hawaii, and Andrew Cotton, from Devon. The men surfed 60-90ft Atlantic swells at Nazare off the coast of Portugal last Tuesday. McNamara broke the world record with a 90-ft wave surf.
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"It's a bit like rowing in that Steve Redgrave can't win the race without the other three guys to row the boat with him, we work as a very tightly knit team to ensure safety while we attempt to ride the biggest waves the ocean can throw at us," said Mennie.
"We rotated a three-man system using two jet skis for safety cover. Each of us surfed and then switched roles to driver and safety cover."
Surfer McNamara rode the biggest wave, which was about 90 ft.
"We use high-powered jet skis to hurl each other into these giant waves as they approach shore and then watch each other's backs while we ride the mountain of water," Mennie said.
"The bond and camaraderie between us is like nothing else. We are literally trusting each other with our lives, our lives are in each other's hands."