On January 18, 2018, Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira towed into a 68-foot avalanche of a wave at the infamous, Nazaré, Portugal. Yesterday, at the ceremony celebrating the opening for the WSL’s Big-Wave Tour season, Gabeira was presented with a Guinness World Record for “Largest wave surfed (unlimited) – female” for her accomplishment.
Gabeira nearly lost her life at Nazaré during a horrendous wipe out in 2013 that snapped her tibia and left her close to drowning. The frightening event served as a catalyst for her accomplishment by motivating her to move to the location to recover and focus on conquering the wave.
“To set the world record has been a dream of mine for many years,” Gabeira said at the ceremony, “but of course, after the accident in Nazaré 2013, it felt like a very distant dream. It took a lot of work to have a season like last year, to be 100 percent again; and to complete it with a Guinness World Records title is quite special.”
According to Guinness, judges sorted through archives going back 20 years to substantiate Gabeira’s award.
Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa currently holds the Guinness World Record for “Largest wave surfed (unlimited)-male” for his 80-foot monster wave, also ridden at Nazaré, from November, 2017.
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