(Reuters) - Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa was named a ‘world record holder’ at the weekend after the judging panel at the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards decided he had ridden an 80-foot (24.38m) wave in Portugal last year.
Koxa won the “Biggest Wave” award for successfully managing the huge swell off Nazaré on Portugal’s Silver Coast on November 8, his ride adjudged to have bettered American Garrett McNamara’s record of 78 feet at the same break in 2011.
“I try to surf big waves all my life and I had a huge experience in 2014 where I almost died at Nazare,” Koxa told http://www.worldsurfleague.com.
“Four months later, I had bad dreams, I didn’t travel, I got scared, and my wife helped me psychologically. Now, I’m just so happy and this is the best day of my life.”
Andrew Cotton might be forgiven a few bad dreams after his spectacular wipeout at Nazaré on the same day as Koxa nailed his big ride.
The Englishman, who was left nursing 12 broken vertebrae in his back and is only now almost ready to get back into the water, was awarded the “Wipeout of the Year” at the ceremony in Santa Monica, California.
Writing by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford