Sunday, 04 December 2011 00:00
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 ridding. This is the first time that a wave from Portugal has been entered into the competition. On October 17th, 2011 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. He went from 2 foot Florida waves to 40 footers in Praia do Norte. The pictures from Portuguese photographer Wilson Ribeiro are already at the site of the event at http://www.billabongxxl.com/biggest_wave/index.html , 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.” The “Nazaré Canyon”, that creates the massive swells, is a rare geographical phenomenon. The canyon is the largest 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.