“This photo of a giant wave was magnificent” – Liberation

A look back at Australian Garett MacNamara’s passion for surfing.

“When I got to the bay, the conditions seemed ideal, the waves clean and smooth. I watched them for a long time, series of six meters, some much larger than others […]. I lost control of my board […]. Clearing with the speed of a cannonball, I sank into the darkness […]. Still underwater, breathless, back pierced by pain. The ocean finally set me free […]. Until that day, I had convinced myself that I was invincible, that the ocean could never destroy me. I was 22 years old, and, all wet, I weighed 67 kilos. This is what Australian surfer Garett MacNamara writes in his book the bites of the sea (Paulson). Last week, he participated in a literary meeting at the International Book and Adventure Film Festival in La Rochelle.

He showed up with a nice gash on his face. “A few days ago my board hit my cheek, my helmet went straight into my cheek…” Garett’s big wave surfing is impressive. These are waves almost 30 meters high. He started this discipline at 11 years old. At the beginning of his career, he did not think of becoming a professional. At 22, he got knocked down in a “pipe”, broke his neck. After this accident, he didn’t know if he could get back on a board. An osteopath took care of him. After a year, the injury was gone.

His discovery of Nazaré, in Portugal, where there is a gigantic wave? A “body-boarder” sent him an email showing him that there was no escape, no way to recover if we fell. “It was a sleepy little fishing village. This photo of a giant wave and the cliff, it was magnificent. And her eyes sparkle at the memory.

Source: Libération by www.liberation.fr.

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