Wipeout frame grab reveal how much water Russell Bierke had to survive. Raw Footage @ Nazaré, Portugal – 2018.11.07
This raw footage shows Australian Big Wave Surfer, Russell Bierke (21 yrs old), charging one of the biggest waves of the day on the first peak at Nazaré during yesterday’s monster swell.
Bierke’s manages to ride the most critical part of the wave but wipes out after the massive water explosion behind him, suffering an extensive hold down before resurfacing just in time to catch a quick breath before the next wave impact.
The following rescue is performed by award-wining Big Wave Surfer Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca from Brazil, riding a jetski Lucas is able to help Russell until he reaches the safety of the sand.
This sequence was the main highlight of the day, during the biggest session of the season so far, with waves exceeding 60 ft on the face.
Bierke with an extensive experience in heavy waves and nasty wipeouts gave the following statement to filmmaker Pedro Miranda who captured this footage: “this was by far my longest hold down ever! I barely got a breath before the second wave landed on me. Feeling pretty sore today, got a good whiplash when I skipped in front of the wave, but no injuries which is good” (…) “Felt like I could barely walk up the beach when I got there”.
Russell Bierke is one of the most respected young talents in the Big Wave Surfing world, he won the mythical “Red Bull Cape Fear” in 2016 with just 19 yrs old, one of the most extreme and dangerous events in the sport.
This was the first time Bierke surfed the infamous giant waves of Nazaré in Portugal, the locals applauded his “go for it” attitude after this wave, joking with “Welcome to Naza, Russell Bierke!”, since it’s kind of a tradition Big Wave surfers to get a huge beating during their first session in Nazaré, usually regarded as a good luck sign.
Praia do Norte beach, near the fishing village of Nazaré, has become famous worldwide for huge waves in 2011, when Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara set a world record for the largest wave ever surfed at 78-foot at the time, in 2017 that record was broken by Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa, setting the bar at 80-foot.