Now I don’t know about you, but just getting out of bed in the morning can feel like an achievement! Especially on a Monday at the start of a long working week. Just the thought of it is making me feel really freakin’ tired.
So, when someone comes along like Maya Gabeira and does something so physically demanding and simply extraordinary, you realise just how lazy you’re being.
Whilst we’re moping about eating our breakfast and expecting a pat on the back just for turning up on time, she’s out here riding waves the size of small skyscrapers.
Just your average day as a superstar surfer I suppose. But then when a really freakin’ big one comes along, you’ve got to take your opportunity to make history… and that’s exactly what she did.
Maya, a Brazilian originally from Rio De Janeiro, has claimed the title for the ‘Largest Wave Surfed Unlimited (Female)’, whilst securing the World Surf League’s inaugural Women’s XXL BiggestWave Award at the same time.
And when you see the video, you’ll realise just how impressive that achievement really is.
The Brazilian, now 31, successfully navigated her way along a wave measuring in at 68ft or 20.72 metres from trough to crest off the coast of Nazare, Portugal in a big-wave break called Prai Do Norte.
The moment happened way back in January, but she was only presented with her Guinness World Records certificate in a ceremony on October 1st.
You might be thinking “wow, she’s pretty badass” and you’d be right. Because, just like most sports, surfing is not without its dangers.
During her acceptance speech, Gabeira referred back to 2013, a year when she suffered a severe injury riding a wave in the very same place, Nazare Portugal. The 31-year-old snapped her tibia after being hit by a huge wave and the resulting damage left her struggling to swim. She nearly drowned.
But that’s part and parcel of being an extreme sports professional and of course after her recovery, she got straight back into surfing again.
“To set the world record has been a dream of mine for many years,”
“But of course, after the accident in Nazaré 2013, it felt like a very distant dream. It took a lot of work to have a season like last year, to be 100% again, and to complete it with a Guinness World Records title is quite special.”
She continued: “It’s been quite a journey, but I can honestly say that in 2013 when I first came to Nazaré my life changed like never before.”
“Of course, there was an accident, injuries and so on, but also I moved to Nazaré to be closer to the wave. I dedicated most of my time to the spot and I had years to focus on improving, on safety and on being around the best people to get where I wanted to be.”
“That time was priceless, it taught me a lot and slowly I got back to my feet. Back to surfing at 100% and in a spot that I honestly consider the biggest and most challenging wave I ever surfed.”
Sophie Goldschmidt, the WSL CEO, spoke of Maya fondly having been wowed by her commitment to the sport despite her injuries and the huge achievement she’d managed:
“Maya exemplifies the courage, commitment, and progression of female athletes around the world and we are so proud to celebrate her today as the new Guinness World Records title holder for the Largest Wave Surfed Unlimited (Female),”
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate just how freakin’ cool this woman is!
What do you make of Maya’s stunning surfing abilities?
Check out the amazing full video below:
(Video Credit: SurferToday.com)