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Hawaii surfer who rode gnarliest wave ever honored by Portugal's navy for science behind ride

Portugal's navy is honoring Hawaii surfer Garrett McNamara for what it took to ride the gnarliest wave ever.

The navy awarded the big-wave surfer its Medalha Naval de Vasco da Gama in a ceremony this week in Lisbon.

The 45-year-old pro from Oahu's North Shore captured the world's attention in 2011 after catching a 78-foot wave at Portugal's Praia do Norte, near Nazare (nah-zah-RAY'). It was determined to be a record by the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards and certified by Guinness World Records.

A commendation signed by a navy admiral says McNamara worked with the navy's hydrography office to predict the giant waves.

McNamara turned heads again earlier this year after a photo surfaced of him riding another massive swell at the same spot.

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