At the sight of a 30-metre wave rushing towards shore, many people would be forgiven for wanting to swim very quickly the other way. Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara is certainly not one of them. The 45-year-old sees not danger, but instead a great window of opportunity and a chance to cement his position in the Guinness Book of Records.
His latest achievement was to tame a wave off the coast of Nazare, Portugal that is thought to have been as high as 100 feet (30.5 metres). The exact size of the wave will be confirmed once a video of McNamara’s performance has been thoroughly examined.
“Today was an awesome day and so much fun to be out there,” he tweeted just after his reached shore.
Whatever the verdict of the video judges, McNamara already holds the record for the biggest wave ever conquered by a surfer: in 2011, again off the coast of Nazare, he successfully took on a wave measured at 78 feet (23.7 metres).
In 2007, he famously took his board to Alaska to surf over waves generated by massive ice blocks that had broken away from glaciers.
McNamara was born in the very-much-inland Pittsfield, Massachusetts but his family moved to Hawaii’s North Shore when he was eleven years old. He now lives in Oahu, a town that has produced many of America’s best surfers as well as wave-loving folk-rock singer Jack Johnson.