Come relieve the greatest story in surf history... again!
I am not an expert in surfing. I am not an expert in technique, in wave forecasting, in critical analysis, in board building, in surf travel. I am not an expert in surf history, in competition, in judging, in reading a wave. I am not an expert in anything but turning one surf story into three, four, five, even infinite. I am an expert in Mick Fanning, Ashton Goggans, Paul Speaker, Backward Fin Beth etc.
And I thought I was the best in the world at this but I am not. Garrett McNamara beats me like a drum. He kicks me like a dead horse and he is back, once again, with wall-to-wall coverage of Nazare.
You saw him on CNN with Anderson Cooper, again, and I thought it was a replay from years ago but it was fresh and today he is in The New York Times, saving the little Portuguese fishing village from the monster waves that used to terrify them and let’s read just a touch, just a smidgen.
NAZARÉ, Portugal — At the market in the ancient fishing village of Nazaré, Portuguese pensioners shopped for their fruit and vegetables. Retired fishermen chatted over coffee. And a record-breaking American surfer sipped on a cucumber and celery smoothie.
It was Garrett McNamara, a 51-year-old from Hawaii who until recently held the world record for the highest wave ever surfed. And who, for most of his life, had never visited Europe and had to take some time to find Portugal on a map.
“I never envisaged this,” said Mr. McNamara, who tended to surf in the Pacific Ocean. “Portugal was never a destination.”
For centuries, Nazaré was a traditional seaside town, where fishermen taught their children to avoid the huge waves that crashed against the nearby cliffs. But over the past eight years, those same waves have turned the place into an unlikely draw for extreme surfers like Mr. McNamara, their fans and the global companies that sponsor the athletes.
Etc. Etc. And you know the rest of the story because you’ve read/seen it 100 times, 1000 times, infinite times.
I tip my cap to you, Mr. McNamara. Game recognizes game.