North Devon surfer Andrew Cotton has ridden a potentially world record breaking wave.
Cotton, from Braunton, caught the wave off the north Portuguese coast at Nazaré this morning.
It was estimated at about 80ft – rivalling the 78ft world record into which Cotton towed Garrett McNamara in November 2011.
Swell from the St Jude storm that has battered southern England and northern Europe started to build yesterday but the real action happened on Monday morning as enormous waves rolled in.
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.”
For the last three years, McNamara, Cotton and the Zon North Canyon crew have been wintering in the Portuguese town, aiming to ride the world’s biggest waves.
For the first time a live web stream allowed viewers around the world to see one of the heaviest surf sessions ever.
Cotton was in the right place this morning to be towed by a jetski into the beast. Experts will now view the footage to judge whether it was a record breaker.