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British surfer conquers ‘biggest wave in history’ in world record claim



This is the moment a British surfer claims to have broken the record for riding the biggest wave ever.

Daredevil Tom Butler, 29, challenged a huge swell at The Nazare in Portugal – estimated to be more than 100ft tall (30m).

He says onlookers and surfing experts are confident he had beaten the previous record of 80ft, which was set earlier this year by Rodrigo Koxa from Brazil.

Butler, from Newquay, Cornwall, said surfing the wave was like “running away from a raging bull”.

He must now submit photographic evidence to the World Surf League who will officiate the claim ahead of an awards ceremony in April.

Butler said: “It’s the biggest wave surfed in the world this season and could beat the current big wave world record.

“When I was going down I thought, ‘Holy f**k, this is the fastest I’ve ever been’.

“Time kind of slows down, it’s instinct really. I was doing everything to hold my balance.

Tom Butler is no stranger to riding monster waves. Pic: Instagram/Tommybutts
Tom Butler is no stranger to riding monster waves. Pic: Instagram/Tommybutts

“That’s when you’re training comes in – I do lots of gymnastics training to help me keep balanced.”

Butler predicted the giant wave was “20 times my height, and I’m 6ft 2in”.

He added: “You don’t really see it behind you because you’re so concentrated on what’s ahead of you.

“It’s like running from a raging bull, you don’t stop to think about how much it weighs – if you get eye contact then you’ve already failed.

“I reckon it was maybe 90 or even 100ft. I haven’t had a ruler handy while in Portugal but when I get home I’ll try to figure it out.

“It was a monster, I know that for sure.”

He said that photo journalists who cover the sport on a regular basis believe the wave could be taller than the previous world record wave.

Butler is no stranger to big wave surfing, making headlines around the world after a dramatic crash at The Nazare in 2015.

He was left with a lung injury and bleeding from the ear but lived to surf another day.

His potential record-breaker was filmed on Friday when he said the conditions were just right.

Butler grew up surfing the waves at Fistral Beach near his home in Newquay.

He has since gone on to become one of the world’s best surfers and is sponsored by GoPro, NineFeetTall and Sudeste Sports.

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