Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara looks at the ocean after taking part in a surf session at Praia do Norte in Nazare on January 29, 2013. McNamara arrived on January 28 at Praia do Norte, the 'north beach' in the village of Nazare, central Portugal, in an attempt to break his own record for the largest wave ever surfed in the world. On January 28, McNamara surfed a huge wave that could be higher than the one he surfed on November 1, 2011, a wave of 23.77 meters recognized by Guinness World Record
(USA Today by Michael Winter)--Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara may have eclipsed his own world record by riding a monster wave off Portugal estimated at 100 feet tall.
McNamara, 45, took the big ride Monday at Praia do Norte, in Nazaré, Portugal.
"Today was an awesome day and so fun to be out there," he tweeted.
"I feel very blessed, and I feel that we've achieved everything we wanted to do with Portugal and Nazaré, especially," he toldSurfer Today (not affiliated with USA TODAY). "We were surfing in zones we haven't surfed, so it was a little overwhelming. ... [W]e could easily ended up on the rocks. In one wave, I almost got sucked over."
A photo captures McNamara descending the face of the wave, plus there's video from a Portuguese news channel. Surfer Today has more photos of Monday's swell conditions, which it described as "heavenly perfect".
As Deadspin notes, McNamara's record-setting November 2011 ride, at the same beach, was initially estimated at 90 feet, but the Guinness folks verified it at just under 78 feet, measured from trough to crest.
"The Garrett McNamara team believes that the wave surfed Monday is higher than the one of 2011, but to avoid any controversy we asked two surfers who certify the Billabong XXL to confirm the size of the wave, before we talk about a new record," said Miguel Sousinha, president of Nazaré Qualifica, a company that promotes surfing in the Nazaré area.
McNamara was back on the water Tuesday.
The Pittsfield, Mass., native, who was 11 when his parents moved to Hawaii, lives on the North Shore of Oahu, home of the consistently best U.S. surfing.
In 2007, the daredevil rode waves in Alaska generated by giant ice blocks calved off glaciers.