Going hard for a rogue swell!

Aug 31 / Clara Akemi

It's been seven years since we last came face-to-face. I couldn't take your hard hit that knocked me down and left me in tatters. Those years were really tough, I had to endure a lot of pain and not knowing if I would bounce back. You were always haunting and messing with my mind, like a constant echo of all that panic felt before blacking out. Now here I stand, staring at you with fear in my eyes.

-'We’re ready, whenever you want.' My thoughts are broken by my coach, Dan, who goes on. 'You don’t have to do this...'
-‘I gotta keep going and catch that monster wave’. I replied to him right before he finished giving me his point of view.
As I am being towed by the jet-ski beyond the breakers, there is no doubt at all that I'll overcome those waves and won’t die.
-'Go. Now it's on you!' Dan shouted. After letting go of the rope, I’m completely on my own, just hearing the crash of the waves.
-'You! How dare you bother me again? It's not smart of you. Leave me alone!' The wave lets out a furious yell while it begins to swell up beneath my feet like a towering beast lifting me up to a height of 20 meters.
Despite almost getting slammed by the wave, I manage to glide across the wall of water safely, keeping my thrill and fear in check. I leave the sea totally stoked and relieved. Oddly enough, now I feel the waves not with fear, but with respect and reverence and I'm ready for a new chapter in my life.
Maya Gabeira, a Brazilian surfer, is the inspiration behind this story. In 2013, she had a severe accident in Nazare, Portugal, when an estimated 144 tons of water broke over her, being rescued unconscious with a broken leg. Currently, Maya holds two world women’s records.
The 2023/2024 contest season is scheduled to kick off in November, bringing together the awesome big-wave riders in Nazare. It takes a lot of guts to surf gigantic waves ranging from 25 to 27 meters in height, reaching speeds of up to 80 km/h. I wish them a lifetime of success and a long career!
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