On January 17, 2018, Portuguese big wave surfer Hugo Vau had a day he will remember for the rest of his life at Nazaré's Praia do Norte in Portugal.
According to several sources that were at the scene of the surf, Vau caught what might have been the largest wave ever surfed at 115 feet (35 meters).
"I'm proud of you, Vau! Today, I saw probably the biggest wave surfed at Nazaré by Hugo Vau on the biggest swell ever! The conditions were hard, but the perseverance of this amazing Portuguese team was speechless!" said videographer Jorge Leal.
Leal believes that the "Big Mama" - the wave of all waves - has finally arrived after seven years of waiting in what was considered a historical day of surfing in Nazaré.
"We need very specific tidal conditions and swell size for the wave to break at this location. The wave I caught was huge. Surfers who know Praia do Norte well told me it was the biggest wave they have ever seen surfing here," noted Hugo Vau.
The Portuguese daredevil was towed into the potential record wave by Brazilian charger Alex Botelho, with Marcelo Luna in the safety backup jet ski.
The call was made by Leal, who was on terra firma shooting the surf. But for now, Vau is not worried about the size of his wave.
"That's irrelevant. Unfortunately, there is still no scientific method, so the measurement is made based on the size of the surfer compared to the wave. In the end, all that matters is that we get to the water, have fun, and leave alive. In Nazaré, nobody does anything by himself," added Vau.
Hugo's wave will be scrutinized by the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards and eventually sent to the Guinness World Records for official validation.
The swell that hit Nazaré was tracked by a large number of international surfers. Maya Gabeira, Ross Clarke-Jones, Justine Dupont, Ross Clarke-Jones, Axi Munian, Benjamin Sanchis, and Sebastian Steudtner also caught and made sure they got their share of bombs.
The Guinness World Record for the biggest wave ever surfed belongs to Garrett McNamara, who rode a 78-foot wave (23,7 meters) in Nazaré on November 9, 2011.