Sarah Hauser: this 36-foot wave earned her a spot in the Guinness World Records | Photo: Casey Hauser

Sarah Hauser has been awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever windsurfed by a woman.

The windsurfer from New Caledonia rode a 36-foot (10.97 meters) wave at Jaws/Peahi in Maui, Hawaii, on December 31, 2019.

Hauser took advantage of perfect swell and splendid 25-knot offshore winds to draw an eye-catching line on the giant blue walls of moving water.

"I remember I was very anxious while getting ready in the morning. My stomach was in a knot, and I was having trouble eating. I wasn't sure what to expect," the windsurfer told Windsurf Journal.

"But when everything lined up as it should, I found myself on that giant, smooth, translucent wave - it was just ecstasy!"

"At that point, I didn't even wonder how big it was, if I was the first woman or not. I was living in a sacred moment, and all my senses were awakened. It was just magic!"

The feat opens a new chapter for women's big wave windsurfing, as it is the first Guinness World Record awarded in this discipline.

"It's been a long certification process, but I hope it inspires women and people in general to create their own path and dream their dreams even when no one else ever had that dream before," explained Hauser.

Stepping Stone

The wave caught on New Year's Eve 2019 is expected to empower female windsurfers and increase the number of sailors taking on extreme ocean conditions.

"A wave like this one lasts less than a minute, but it takes years and years of training and equipment development and not giving up to make it happen," added the Maui-based windsurfer.

Hauser's historic ride had already been named "Women's Biggest Wave of All Time" by the International Windsurfing Tour (IWT), the organization responsible for verifying the stunt for Guinness World Records.

"It was an epic day of fun and pushing my limits. I am grateful to Marcilio Browne for giving me a ride out there," adds the new world record holder.

"Also, I'm immensely grateful to my friend Maxi, who was doing safety for me in the jet ski, basically following each of my waves, making sure I didn't fall, and getting to me if I had to be rescued."

Hauser referred to her 36-foot wave at Jaws as something that is "not about controlling fear, but more like trying to dance with it."

The talented wave sailor says she is happy to leave a mark in the history of windsurfing but, above everything else, it's important to ratify and formalize a special moment like the one she lived.

"In surfing, everything is documented. In windsurfing, there are gaps that need to be filled," concludes Sarah Hauser.

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