Hawaiian surfer Garett McNamara may have surfed one of the biggest waves ever off the coast of central Portugal last October.
The wave, believed to have a height of around 30m, was surfed during the ZON North Canyon Show 2011, a three-year research project organised by Nazaré’s municipal council to assess the conditions of the giant waves that break off its coast every autumn and winter, with the view of investing in big wave surfing.
The coast off Nazaré is home to a special geomorphological feature known as the “Nazaré Canyon“. This rare formation is a gap in the continental plate some 170km in length and 5km deep, located off Praia do Norte, which when receives large swells creates abnormally-sized waves. The wave has potential to attract big wave surfers from all over the world.
McNamara’s record breaking ride has already been admitted into the Billabong XXL Global Big Waves Award 2012, a competition that promotes a series of awards to acknowledge some of the biggest waves surfed throughout each year. This is the first time a wave surfed in Portugal has entered the event, yet it may not be the last.
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More information on the Nazaré Canyon project at: http://praiadonorte.com.pt