Published July 31, 2013
HONOLULU – 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.