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Three days of perfect swell hit Praia do Norte. Ocean explorer, Garrett McNamara and Floridian, CJ Macias were in the right spot to take full advantage of what Nazaré had to offer. This was the first session with large waves to start this year’s ZON North Canyon Show 2011 exploration.


The swell started to arrive Sunday afternoon, but the peak was reached Monday, October 17th. McNamara and Macias rode waves of 15 meters, with Garrett riding one around 20 meters. GMAC, as he is also known, decided to traditional paddle with his Waimae gun, successfully catching and riding the largest wave paddled into this year and the largest ever paddled into in Portugal, 15 meters.

There was so much wind and so much water moving that we had to choose the perfect place to paddle”, said GMAC, continuing: “The waves were perfect for the first swell of this year’s exploration. It was a good warm up for the waves to come.

Garrett riding a wave around 20 meters high

The swell diminished on Tuesday, but still Garrett and CJ, accompanied by Andrew Cotton – the English surfer that also participated in last year’s exploration, returned to Nazaré to surf the waves of Praia do Norte that reached 5 meters.

Garrett and CJ, accompanied by Andrew Cotton from Devon

McNamara is back to embark on another mission exploring the waves of Nazaré, in the ZON North Canyon Show 2011. This is the second mission of a three years project, initiated last year. This is a Nazaré City Hall and ZON project to internationally promote the region as a destination for surfing, show casing the unique aspects of the “Nazaré Canyon”.

Garrett paddling into a Nazare set

The “Nazaré Canyon” is a rare geographical phenomenon, the biggest in Europe and one of the largest in the world, which can be explained as a gap on the continental plate with 170 kilometers of length and 5 kilometers of depth. The “Nazaré Canyon”, that is located right in front of Praia do Norte, receives the swells from the Atlantic Ocean and creates waves with abnormal size, compared to the rest of the Portuguese coast.

The canyon from the shoreline

Signing and double cinema session on October 21
Last year’s mission resulted in a 52 minute documentary – “The North Canyon Show by Garrett McNamara” –, sponsored by ZON, that portrays not only the incredible waves but also the scientific side of the “Nazaré Canyon”, lifestyle, the culture and traditions.

Along with the “The Glacier Project” documentary, that was a result of GMAC’s adventure in Alaska, the “The North Canyon Show by Garrett McNamara” will have a single exhibition the 21st of October, at 9:30 PM, in the Cascaisshopping, Norteshopping, Foz Plaza, Almada Fórum, Colombo and Torres Vedras ZON Lusomundo cinemas. Both documentaries will be later available on the ZON Videoclube.

At Colombo there will be an autograph session with Garrett McNamara at 9:00 PM. This is a unique opportunity to personally meet the extreme waterman staying at Praia do Norte until the end of November.

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