Portugal is hosting some scary big waves this week. After performing CPR on surfing champion Maya Gabeira, who lost consciousness during a wipe-out, big-wave surfer and fellow Brazilian Carlos Burle went on to catch what might be the highest wave ever ridden.
Burle’s achievement is estimated to have reached beyond 100 feet. But the surfing community may have awhile to wait for official height measurements to return from the Guinness World Records. The organization still has not confirmed if Garrett McNamara in January this year broke his own 78-foot record wave, set in 2011, surfing what many reported was a 100-foot wave in the same location off the coast of Nazaré.
As Burle told Surfer Today, echoing what McNamara said of his earlier achievements, catching the big one has a lot to do with luck — even at the now famous Praia del Norte beach where an underwater canyon helps to force storm waves into vertigo-inducing heights. This week the pounding is coming from Britain’s St Jude’s storm — which left 660,000 homes in the United Kingdom and 65,000 homes in Northern France without power on Monday, and is now traveling across northern Europe.
Reported Burle: “It was luck. We never know when we will be catching the wave. I still hadn’t surfed any wave and everyone had already had their rides. Maya almost died. For me, it was a big adrenaline moment to get back there after what happened.”
Gabeira posted to Facebook that she too expects to return and face the challenges of surfing the world’s largest waves. “Thank you for your love and care. Nothing more than a broken ankle. I am recovering well. Keep supporting. I will be back shortly. Love you all.”
Image: Video screen capture from the above Youtube video of Carlos Burle catching what might be the highest wave ever ridden. Other amazing images from the day on Buzzfeed.