Action starts with Portuguese Professional Big Wave Surfer Alex Botelho paddling into a huge wave in Nazaré, Portugal, during the infamous session of February 1...
Action starts with Portuguese Professional Big Wave Surfer Alex Botelho paddling into a huge wave in Nazaré, Portugal, during the infamous session of February 16, 2018, which was one of the last Big Wave sessions of a long Winter Season in Praia do Norte.
As Alex attempts to drop a huge wave, he falls off his board in a nasty wipeout, takes a ton of water on his head and loses his surfboard in the process.
He manages to come to the surface quickly, but the next wave is already approaching, making it impossible for his team mate and professional Big Wave Surfer Hugo Vau, on the jetski, to pick him up.
Alex now has to duck dive this huge wall of water before a rescue attempt is possible.
After the two first waves, Hugo Vau is finally able to rescue Alex with the jetski, and they now rush to the inside zone of Praia do Norte to find Alex’s surfboard.
They need it before they can go back to the outside to catch more waves.
The Inside area of Praia do Norte is the most dangerous spot on the beach: waves can be unpredictable and terribly thick, the foamy white water makes it very difficult to manoeuvre the jet skis, and that's where most accidents happen.
When they finally find the surfboard, a rogue wave capsizes the jetski and both Hugo and Alex get dragged in different directions.
Hugo finds himself relatively near the jet ski and tries to regain control as fast as he can, another huge wave approaches, and Hugo makes a decision that may have saved his life: he aborts the attempt to jump on the jetski and dives as deep as he can.
A wise decision because the next wave breaks directly on top of the jetski and he most probably wouldn’t have survived the impact.
The action continues in the Inside, where Alex tries to regain control of the jet ski and once again things get complicated.
At the end, the jetski gets to the sand, and both Hugo and Alex manage to get to dry land, unharmed.
Against all odds, the jetski also ends with minor damages.
Praia do Norte is incredibly dangerous at any size.
The day this action took place was not the biggest of the season, yet, things can get really threatening, even with the most experienced watermen involved.
Hugo Vau and Alex Botelho are no strangers to Nazaré, they are among the most skilled watermen in the world with many years of experience in Praia do Norte.
Hugo Vau, 40 years old, is one of the first pioneers of Big Wave Surfing in Nazaré.
He’s been part of Garrett McNamara’s team since the beginning of Nazaré's first explorations back in 2010.
Hugo has been nominated for the WSL Biggest Wave Award several times, and has under his belt some of the biggest waves ever ridden on this beach.
Alex Botelho, 27 years old, is currently the only Portuguese running on the WSL Big Wave Tour, amongst an elite crew that includes the best and most respected big wave surfers worldwide.
Recently, Alex has been a standout among the Big Wave international scene, he has successfully paddled some of the most critical waves of the season, across all Continents.
Praia do Norte beach, near the fishing village of Nazaré, has become famous worldwide for huge waves in 2011, when Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara set a world-record for the largest wave ever surfed: 24 meters (78-foot).
Copyright © 2018, Máquina Voadora, all rights reserved
Filmed and Edited by: Máquina Voadora
Featured Surfers: Alex Botelho & Hugo Vau
Music: “God of War" by NCM Ender Guney (youtu.be/d6WlTTsGons)
Location: Praia do Norte, Nazaré - Portugal
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