Nazere, Portugal (4E Sports) – Carlos Burle of Brazil is now waiting with bated breath as experts determine the exact height of what many expect to be a new world record wave in surfing history.
The current record stands at 78 feet set by Garrett McNamara on November 1, 2011. McNamara was on-site working water safety when Burle caught his wave.
Burle achieved his record surf after he rescued friend Maya Gabeira, who nearly drowned trying to catch a wave at Praia do Norte, Nazare.
“After rescuing Maya and getting her off to the hospital I went back out,” said Burle. “The wind had come up and it was getting pretty bumpy and ugly, but I knew there would be a window. All I wanted was one wave, for some reason I felt like I had earned it.”
“It was luck,” the 45-year-old Burle added. “We never know when we will be catching the wave. I still hadn’t surfed any wave and everyone had already had their rides. For me, it was a big adrenaline moment.”
Burle traveled from Pernambuco in Brazil to Portugal with an aim to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed by riding the Big Monday swell at Praia do Norte, Nazare.
“We have not received a claim from Carlos Burle for this record but we would welcome an application from him if he believes he has broken this specific record,” Guinness World Records said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Burle towed Gabeira into a wave that ended up taking her down and almost costing her life.
According to Burle, Gabeira regained consciousness relatively quickly. She was then rushed to the hospital where she was treated for near-drowning symptoms and a broken foot. She was released the following morning.
“Gabeira is superhuman,” said McNamara. “I spoke with her this morning and if she hadn’t hurt her foot she would be out there. She’s recovering very well. All of her training and preparation really saved her life.”
Burle then went back out into the lineup and shortly thereafter was towed into what’s hands-down the biggest wave of the winter surf season.
“I was just thinking of her the whole time,” said Burle. “Things could have been a lot different, but when I knew she was going to be okay I felt like it was important to go back out and try to catch at least one wave.”