NORTH Devon big wave surfer Andrew Cotton described what he does as “normal surfing on steroids” during a film which aired on the BBC’s One Show last night.
Cotton made headlines when he tackled a potentially record-breaking wave in Portugal earlier this week, and a film crew has been following the Braunton surfer as he tackles monster waves on the coast of Portuguese fishing town Nazaré.
Hosts Chris Evans introduced the film by saying: “While Europe was battered by the storm that was St Jude’s this week, one man from Devon was hoping for even windier weather.”
The film, which was partly shot in North Devon, showed ‘Cotty’ and his wife Katie talking about his surfing career.
Cotty said about riding the monster 80ft wave in Portugal: “I was just focusing on not falling off and surfing as best as I could.
“It almost felt as if it was slow motion, I felt every bump and chop.
“I want my kids to grow up knowing dreams are possible, and hopefully this is a good example of that.”
Wife Katie said Andrew, who is a plumber by trade, played down what he does.
She said: “If I really think about it’s a bit petrifying, so I just pretend he has gone plumbing.”
Cotty also appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme earlier in the week.
During his interview with Jeremy Paxman, Cotton said it was the fastest he had ever gone on a surf board.
He said: “We use a really short, heavy surf boards, which isn’t like the standard surf board that you would ride back home in Devon.
“If I had to guess, I would say I was going at around 20mph.”
Paxman asked Cotton if he was scared while surfing the wave, to which he replied: “Fear definitely comes into it, but you have to put the fear in its place.”
Experts will now view video footage of the wave to decide if Andrew will make it into the record books.
One surfer, Brazilian Maya Gabeira, was pulled unconscious from the shore-break following a heavy wipeout and was resuscitated on the beach before
being whisked to hospital where she is recovering.
“She’s lucky she’s alive,” said Cotton. “That was definitely the biggest surf I’ve ever seen – tricky, challenging and very dangerous.”
Watch the full film here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/tv/episode/b03fczwv/The_One_Show_01_11_2013