Nazaré makes surf history with the largest waves ever ridden in Portugal. Garrett McNamara’s wave has been entered into the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards 2012, considered the “Oscars” of big wave riding. This is the first time that a wave from Portugal has been entered into the competition.
On October 17th, Garrett was towing with CJ Macias, from Florida, on the first big swell of the project. The swell had been building since Sunday and peaked on Monday. McNamara towed into the biggest wave ridden this year, the biggest wave of the three day swell.
On this same day, the largest wave paddled into this year was caught as well. It was also the largest wave ever paddled into in Portugal. The two were towing when McNamara decided to paddle into a few with his trusted 11’1 Rusty Waimea Gun. “This beach is so challenging. You really need to make sure you are in the right spot. I did my best to position myself and then just went for it. I had no idea how big the wave was, I was just so excited to finally paddle into a wave at Praia do Norte. Can’t wait for the next swell so we can go for it again”, said Garrett.
CJ Macias caught the biggest waves of his life during this three day swell. It was the first big swell for Macias, going from 2 foot Florida to 40ft Praia do Norte. “It was by far the most power I have ever felt in the ocean and the fastest I have ever screamed down the face of the wave. It was a dream come true having Garrett whip me into the perfect spot on so many waves!” said CJ.
Garrett said “CJ was fading so deep, he was scaring me. On one I swear he could of stretched out his long arms and touched the rocks.”
The pictures from Portuguese photographer Wilson Ribeiro are already at the site of the event in , in the “Biggest Wave” category.
Miguel Sousinha, president of Nazaré Qualifica, said: “It’s an honor to be selected to this award. It’s the recognition of the uniqueness of Praia do Norte and it’s one more step in the way for the consolidation of the communication strategy of Praia do Norte as a destiny of excellence for sports waves.”
ZON North Canyon Show 2011
Garrett McNamara is back in Portugal 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”.
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.