May 11 - Surfer Garrett McNamara wins a Billabong XXL award for his record-setting 78-foot wave surf off the coast of Portugal. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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(ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara has been recognized by Guinness World Records for riding the largest-ever wave, a towering 78-foot wall of water he says he caught at Nazare, Portugal in November, 2011. McNamara's record-setting feat was verified by Guinness after an independent panel of big wave and photography experts painstakingly measured still and video images of the colossal wave, a spokeswoman for the agency said. "You know, I just surf... We're so fortunate we get to surf, it's what we love to do, and we're passionate about, and these awards and all this stuff, I mean, at the end of the day, it's all about doing it for the love of it," McNamara, 44, said at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, where he was presented with their biggest wave award and a check for 15,000 dollars (USD). According to Guinness, the epic feat eclipsed the previous record, set in 2008 by big-wave surfing great Mike Parsons at Cortes Bank in California, by more than a foot. McNamara, from Haleiwa, Hawaii, has surfed professionally since the age of 17. The record was made official at the Billabong Awards, which were held in Anaheim, California. While video of McNamara's ride elicited awe at the Billabong event, the bigger winner of the evening was Nathan Fletcher, who pocketed a check for 50,000 dollars as Sony's Xperia ride of the year winner for enduring a break near Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011.
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