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Brazilian big wave surfer Maya Gabeira rides a wave during a surf session off Praia do Norte in Nazare, central Portugal, on January 18, 2018. (FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)

Holy cow!

Surfer defies death, sets world record for biggest wave ever ridden by a woman

By WITW Staff on October 3, 2018

A surfer from Brazil this week claimed a Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed by a woman — and also conquered the waters in which she nearly died attempting a similar feat five years ago. Maya Gabeira caught a monstrous 68-foot wave off the coast of Portugal at Praia do Norte Beach in Nazaré, about 80 miles north of Lisbon, during a surf competition in January. This week the record was certified by Guinness World Records — and the breathtaking video of her achievement went viral on social media.

The feat was doubly sweet for Gabeira, 31, because five years ago at the same site, she nearly died tangling with a furious ocean giant. Setting the world record for the largest wave surfed by a woman has been a lifelong dream for Gabeira and in a 2013 competition at Praia do Norte Beach she was thrown from her board by a monster wave. She was left unconscious and suffered near fatal injuries. “Dreams do come true,” she wrote in a post on Instagram next to a photo of her receiving her award this week.

The World Surf League posted a video of the monumental achievement, which included an interview with the surfing extraordinaire and she echoed the idea that conquering the wave was like a dream.

“But of course, after the accident in Nazaré 2013, it felt like a very distant dream,” the daredevil said.  If we’re being completely honest, that wave looks more like a nightmare to us, but that’s why we’re sitting in an office writing about Gabeira and Gabeira is out setting world records.

“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,” she said.

Watch the video of Gabeira surfing the 68-foot wave below and hear her talk more about the remarkable experience.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.


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