Surfer Garrett McNamara said to break own record by riding 100-foot wave

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Even ‘Big Wave Dave' was impressed.

David Eddy, a West Stockbridge resident known by his surfer nickname, has ridden swells topping 15 feet in Barbados, Hawaii, and all along the East Coast.

But when he heard the news that former Pittsfield resident Garrett McNamara reportedly surfed a 100-foot wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal, he was awed.

"Frankly, it takes a lot of [guts] to paddle into it," said Eddy, 63. "It's so far away from where I started. The perspective is mind-blowing. What these guys are doing is epic and cool and dangerous."

McNamara, 45, set the previous world record in 2011 by tackling a 77-foot wave off the same coast. If the measurements this time prove to be accurate, he'll have set a new high-water mark.

McNamara moved from Pittsfield to Hawaii with his family when he was 11 years old, according to The Guardian, a newspaper based in the United Kingdom.

"Thank you all for your support," McNamara tweeted Monday evening. "It means the world to me. Today was an awesome day and so fun to be out there."

Guinness World Record officials will attempt to verify the wave's height. McNamara's original record in 2011 was thought to be surfed upon a 90-foot wave, but was then confirmed to actually be 77 feet about a year later.

YouTube videos and photos of McNamara riding the giant swell surfaced on the Web Monday.

The Nazaré coast's mammoth waves are attributed to the 1,000-foot deep underwater canyon that runs from the ocean to the coast's cliffs. The canyon narrows as it gets closer to the shore, which acts like a funnel and amplifies the waves, according to The Guardian.

To reach Adam Poulisse:
apoulisse@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6214.
On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse


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