Biggest wave surfed: has Hugo Vau set a new world record in Portugal?

Surfer Sebastian Steudtner drops in on a large wave at Nazare, Portugal.
Surfer Sebastian Steudtner drops in on a large wave at Nazare, Portugal. Copyright REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
Copyright REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
By Chris Harris
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Portugal’s Hugo Vau has surfed one of the biggest waves ever seen at Nazare, it's been claimed, but is it enough to beat the world record?


Hugo Vau could have smashed a world record amid claims he surfed one of the biggest waves ever seen at Nazare, Portugal.

The wave — nicknamed ‘Big Mama’ — was reported to be up to 35-metres-high, which, if confirmed, would beat current Guinness Book of Records holder Garrett McNamara, who tackled a 23-metre one at Praia do Norte in 2011.

"Today I probably saw the biggest wave surfed in Nazare by Hugo Vau," said teammate Jorge Leal who captured a video of what he claimed was Vau surfing the record-breaking wave on Wednesday (January 17).

It is difficult to pick Vau out in Leal’s footage, which has been validated by the World Surfing League and could now be passed onto the Guinness Book of Records.

The giant waves off the beaches of Nazare have helped the resort become one of the region’s tourist attractions.

Extreme weather conditions — including high winds — have seen top surfers spend the last week at Nazare in the hope of catching a big wave.

Frenchman Benjamin Sanchis broke McNamara's record by surfing a 33-metre wave, also in Nazare, although his milestone was never recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

Footage of Hugo Vau 'surfing one of the biggest-ever waves at Nazare'

If anyone has photos or extra footage of this bomb, give us a shout! ? I am so grateful to my brother @alex_botelho for the whip into the biggest wave of my life. Thanks Jesus @polvo32 for the call you magic animal! Thanks to @marcelolunaoficial for the backup safety and @life_health_vitality_coaching for all the mental and physical prep, that made all the difference! @andrew_cotty @mcnamara_s @jamie_mitcho @kealiihawaii this one had a bit of all of you filthy animals!!! Now we got one more in The family @alex_botelho ????????????Special thanks to my family @joaomoraisvau and to the fanciest gipsy ever @jo__castro for all the inspiration motivation and love: This one goes for you!!! Thanks to my sponsors for making the dream come true and to @municipiodanazare . #mb #mbambassador #mbfamily @patagonia @patagoniaeurope @prioenergy @visitazores @futuresfins @webstersurfboards @ #Repost @polvo32 with @get_repost ・・・ PROUD OF YOU VAU!!! Today i saw probably the biggest wave surfed at nazaré by @hugovau on the biggest swell ever! @hugovau team up with @alex_botelho and @marcelolunaoficial ... hard conditions but perseverance from this amazing Portuguese team was speechless! We stay, we seat, and big mama came! Jesus call and Alex with an amazing drive put Hugo on the bomb!!! I’m felling so proud of @hugo and @alex_botelho as a team!...

A post shared by Hugo Vau (@hugovau) on

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