A SURFER may have set the world record for the largest wave ever surfed after riding an estimated 100ft wave off the coast of Portugal
Brazilian Carlos Burle took on the monster wave - created by the St Jude storm - at Praia do Norte, near the fishing village of Nazare. Estimated at nearly 100ft, it is believed to be the biggest wave ever ridden.
The surf was generated by the same storm that battered Europe and the UK overnight, killing 11 and causing extensive damage.
The beach is well-known in surfing circles as a mecca for large waves because it picks up the full brunt of the violent Atlantic storm swells.
Mr Burle was with fellow surfer Maya Gabeira, also from Brazil, who was knocked unconscious by the stong waves and nearly drowned.
She was dragged onto shore and given medical attention on the beach before being taken to hospital. She is reportedly doing well and only sustained a broken ankle.
Mr Burle said: "At one stage there was a bit of shouting and screaming. Everyone was so excited you know, and I was just shouting back at them, telling them that it’s just another big day, that everyone had to stay focused."
"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," he told Surfer Today. "For me, it was a big adrenaline moment to get back there after what happened."
English surfer Andrew Cotton rides a big wave at the Praia do Norte (AP)
According to Guinness World Records, Garret McNamara from Hawaii holds the record with a 78ft wave surfed at the very same spot in Nazare in Nov. 1 2011.
Briton Andrew Cotton, 34, of North Devon - who is a part-time professional surfer and lifeguard - took on some of the smaller waves yesterday.
Mr Cotton and his team-mate McNamara were in the water before light at 6am, along with scores of other surfers all trying to ride the biggest wave.