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WILD AT HEART

Surfer rides highest wave ever caught

Undersea canyon funnels monster surf on Portugal shore

(New Scientist) That’s one big splash. Daredevil Garret McNamara of Hawaii claims to have ridden the highest wave ever caught by a surfer, a 30-metre monster off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal. His record is still to be confirmed, but if it’s verified, McNamara will have smashed the previous record of 24 metres, which he set in the same spot in November 2011.

Nazaré is a prized surfing spot thanks to a 210-kilometre-long undersea canyon that reaches depths of up to 5 km. Narrowing as it approaches land, the canyon funnels the power of the Atlantic Ocean towards the coast, creating the massive waves that surfers crave.

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