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Irish-American Surfer Gets Guinness World Record for World's Biggest Wave

12th May 2012
Irish-American Surfer Gets Guinness World Record for World's Biggest Wave

#SURFING - It's official - an Irish-American surf pro did indeed ride the world's biggest wave, and will have his name in the Guinness Book of Records to prove it.

Record-keepers have confirmed that a 78-foot monster wave caught by Garrett McNamara off Portugal last November is the biggest ever surfed, according to BBC News.

As previously reported on, the offshore area at Praia do Norte, off Nazaré, is noted for its deepwater canyon that channels massive swells from the Atlantic.

The tow-in surf also earned McNamara the Biggest Wave title at the 2012 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards, the winners of which were announced this week.

Devon surfer Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton earned half a share of McNamara's $15,000 prize money as the one who towed him by personal watercraft into the massive swell.

"I feel so stoked for him, it was an amazing achievement," said Cotty, a fellow nominee for the Biggest Wave award - along with Ireland's Ollie O'Flaherty - for his efforts off Mullaghmore Head in March this year.

"Everything was perfect, the weather, the waves," said Northern Irish surfer Al Mennie, who was tow-in surfing with McNamara and Cotty when the giant swell arose at Praia do Norte.

“As I rode this wave, it seemed pretty massive, but I couldn’t tell quite how big it was,” McNamara told surf forecast site Surfline at the time. 

“When I got to the bottom and turned and got around the wave and went to kick out, it landed on me and it felt like a ton of bricks. 

"Probably one of the most powerful waves ever to land on me at the shoulder," he added. "It was pretty amazing.”

Published in Surfing
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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