100 Foot Wave (2021–…): Season 1, Episode 5 - The Circus - full transcript

As the word gets out about Nazare, the Worlds top surfers begin to arrive for the first official competition. Concerns over safety measures, causes more worries for Garrett.

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It's the most
difficult decision

to look at the mirror and
say, "It's time to stop."

His foot is
fractured in eight places.

He needed a plate
and all these screws.

The doctor said
that I should never surf again.

I've never been so unprepared

to ride a big wave
ever in my life.

I've never questioned
not being able to walk.

I don't fear dying.

I get more fearful of
not being able to surf.

I fear that.



You have evidence of
healing through here.

Now it's time to get
serious so I'm training hard.

I'd say two weeks, I'll
be driving a jet ski,

maybe surfing.

You can look back into history,

and you can interview
a lot of people,

and they're gonna tell
you about this notion

of the 100-foot wave.

- The 100-foot wave.
- 100-foot wave.

- 100-foot wave.
- The 100-foot wave.

The 100-foot wave.

And people wonder where
that concept came from.

I'm gonna tell you
right now it was me.

I had sort of proposed that idea



as one of my many
projects over the years,

and it was laughed at at first,

but before long, people
went, "You know what?

There are 100-foot waves
out there, maybe bigger."

When Garrett rode the
giant wave in 2011

and it was clearly the
world record biggest wave

that had been ridden
at that point in time,

it just came out of left field.

It was such a
shocker for everyone

throughout the
big-wave-surfing world

'cause big waves,
they come in Hawaii.

They come in the West Coast.

They don't come in the Atlantic.

But lo and behold,
the biggest waves

in the world are
there in Nazaré.

Seeing Garrett ride these
waves resonated with people,

just watching a
tiny little surfer

streaking down this massive wave

and then going past
this ancient structure

that's been there
since the 1500s.

It's just... You couldn't
have made that up.

And there are giant
waves starting in October

all winter long, like,
every three days.

It's just the most
amazing wave factory

that exists on the planet.

It's really become one of the
most... if not the most...

Famous surf spot in
the world right now.

But any surfer who's been
involved in the pioneering

of a big-wave break can't
help but feel some kind

of ownership to it,

and it's got to be
a little difficult

for Garrett to see this
starlet he discovered

sort of, you know, dating
other handsome dudes.

But that's just the
way that things go.

Check out these monster
100-foot waves off Portugal.

The biggest wave ever surfed,

as high as 100 feet.

To put that in perspective,

that is taller than an
eight-story building.

Surfers are always looking
for the next great thing.

It often breaks those brave
or crazy board riders.

Severe wipeouts on waves
of mind-boggling heights.

What happens here happens
nowhere else in the world.

- Biggest wave ever surfed.
- The biggest wave ever...

- The biggest wave.
- The 100-foot wave.

No one would've had Portugal
on their top-ten list

of water-sports
destinations ten years ago,

but now every important
big-wave surfer goes there

late October, early
November to train.

Now the women, with
Maya and Justine,

it's really becoming a
much more diverse time

in big-wave surfing.

Maya came very early on.

She had a really bad experience,

and overcame the
traumatic experience,

and became the most determined,

most focused
big-wave-surfing woman.

I had a pretty guilty
feeling after the accident

of, like, wanting
something too bad

that it almost killed me.

And if you ask me, like,
what made me come back,

I didn't want the
accident to shape

the rest of my life.

January 18 of 2018,

we went out really,
really early.

It was super cold.

All the waves were
especially big.

And I knew that if I
rode a wave that day,

it was probably gonna be a
world record for a woman.

And when it came,
I just knew it.

I knew that that wave
had a lot of potential.

I knew it was a lot
of water moving.

I knew that I did
not want to fall.

I see that video, and I
can barely believe it's me.

That wave got me the
women's world record.

She ended up with
the world record,

and I was so stoked.

For a while, she was the
only girl trying to charge.

And then Justine came along,

and they're both just
amazing, amazing athletes.

In big-wave surfing, the
girls are just as capable

as the guys.

Justine is one of
the standout surfers

in Nazaré.

Paddle, tow,
stand-up, shortboard,

it doesn't matter.

Like, she's amazing
at all of it.

She definitely caught

some of the biggest
waves this year,

without a doubt, yeah.

This was the first
place I felt not judged

by me being a
woman in the water.

This small community...
Nobody cared

that I was a woman,
which is not something

I can say about Hawaii
and other places.

- You can put a pin.
- Yeah.

More than 20,000 flashes
of lightning were recorded

as the storm raged throughout
Saturday and into Sunday.

Rain warnings in effect

for pretty much all of
Portugal at this time.

In addition to this,
the red surf warning

in effect for some of
those coastal areas.

Whoa.

That's tight, eh?

'Cause you had a
foot operation...

Like, six weeks ago.

I remember kind of thinking
it still might be possible

the whole time, and I
almost was gonna surf.

I was in my hotel
room, and I was looking

in the mirror,
talking to myself,

trying to figure it out,

playing through the
different scenarios.

That Patagonia suit...

I felt confident about driving

and putting Cotty
and CJ on waves.

But I didn't feel confident
about taking a big wipeout.

Uh...

I'm just doing my best
to stay calm and patient.

I'm feeling like we
should be at the harbor

going in the water already.

But it doesn't matter.
I'm not surfing.

Yeah.

Probably get more nervous
the fact that it's CJ

instead of Garrett.

There's a really
perfect, clean swell,

the kind of days that
I really look forward

to surfing here in Nazaré.

Gonna put CJ on wave
of his life today.

The only one you want
is you want this,

or you want this.

There's one that comes
right here in the middle.

Then this one's hollow.

I'd say there are gonna be
at least 30 skis out there,

so it's gonna be pretty crowded.

This is actually the
best it's been looking.

Look at that. That
looks actually nice.

Once we realized
that Garrett's foot

was pretty messed up and he
wasn't gonna be able to surf,

it kind of put, like,
Garrett, Cotty, and I all

in our own versions of
what's going on here,

as opposed to, okay, boom,
we're all on the same page.

We're all healthy. We
all want this wave.

Three of us were in
different places, you know?

Me with minor injuries
still looking to surf,

Garrett, like, really kind
of taking a step back,

and Cotty, like,
rearing, ready to go.

What are you thinking?

Don't know, really.

Cotty remind me a lot of myself

as far as his desires
and his focus.

It's nice to see him so hungry.

Be nice to get him
what he's looking for.

- You excited?
- Slightly nervous, you know?

- It looks like the magic day.
- Yeah.

- You're excited but nervous.
- Nervous, which is good.

Hello, hello?

This was the biggest swell

that came through
this season so far.

It was Garrett's first
time really driving

since the foot injury,

and we were ready for a
giant wave to come through.

We're gonna offer
this to the ocean

in thanks and gratitude,

and also asking her
permission to keep us safe

and protect all of us,

that we can all stay present,
and just soak it all up

and be in our bodies,
have some good experience.

Nicole?

Yes, hi.

Okay, so we're
all linked up now.

Everybody good? Does
anybody need anything?

When I got back on the waves,

I definitely felt a big uprising

in the competitive energy,

just with all the
people out there.

It's a circus out there now.

Everyone's there ready to go,
wanting to push the limits,

wanting to catch the
biggest wave ever.

It's kind of surreal, you
know, like, looking back

to how good we had it with
no one about, you know?

But now, you know,
there's 20, 30 Jet Skis.

Who's to blame?

Us.

You're a victim of
your own success.

This is the first time
that I'm surfing Nazaré

in six years,

and I definitely
had that feeling

of the new kid in school.

All these pros, everyone
I see in all the videos,

and everything, and they
don't know who I am,

and I'm just kind of
Garrett's sidekick.

And then there's the
other side of that, too.

The Portuguese
people especially,

they would remind
me... They're like,

"No, you're the original.

You were here with Garrett
in the first time."

So that's good, too,
because I need to learn

to claim my moment,

claim what's rightfully
mine, you know?

And if it's just one
glorious wave at Nazaré

amidst all these people,

it's like, no, I
can get one, too.

Nicole, you up there?

Yeah.

We're in between
first and second peak,

way outside, the furthest out.

A little outside,
you might have one

that swings into first peak.

I'm basically just kind
of trying to get one wave

and get the biggest
wave that I can.

And I see this big
set come through.

I'm like, "Man, that's the one."

Garrett puts me on a
right way up the beach,

and I go on this thing,
and I'm, like, lining up,

and I drop down, and
I'm just flying so fast,

and it's bumping so hard,
and I'm barely staying on.

I feel like I'm
fighting to stay on.

If you fall off, you're, like...

With no breath for a while,

and that's a very scary thought.

I end up making it out,

and there's a bigger
wave behind it, massive.

He comes. He picks me up.

I, like, kind of
get the board on,

get on the sled, and he
was flying out of there.

Done with CJ, he kicked out,
and then I put him on the sled.

We had to get out of
there really quick,

and the board came
out from under him,

so his board is on the beach,

and I'm not sure
how we can get it.

I was pretty happy
that my board washed in

and I kind of couldn't
surf any other waves

'cause it was pretty terrifying.

I felt pretty unstable going
that fast with those bumps,

like, flying down that wave

I was like, "Oh, my God.

Am I, like, ready
for this right now?"

And I didn't really feel
like I was too ready for it,

so it freaked me out,
actually, quite a bit.

I'm questioning and doubting,

like, "What am I doing?
What am I doing?"

"Is it really that fun

"to be out there trying
to surf these 50, 60...

"We're talking
about 100-foot wave.

"Is it that fun?

Eh, not really."

So I'm thinking, I'm
like, "What am I doing?

"I'm out there risking my
life for what," you know?

What if 200-foot waves existed
on the planet, good ones?

Are we gonna be out there
trying to surf them?

Like, where do we draw the line?

- It wasn't too...
- I kind of liked it.

It was nice.

Waves were being surfed
all over the place.

Usually, there's a lot of
waves not going ridden,

and it's fun to watch
everybody ride them.

People on the cliff are happy.

I've surfed enough
waves out here.

It's fun to watch people now.

The perspective to be
able to see the wave

and the way the
shadow was, and...

You know, it was amazing.

Yeah, she scored this wave

with a bunch of dudes out there,

and everybody just frothing,
and somehow she got that wave,

the bomb of the day,
and just charged it.

That was one of the best
shots I ever filmed.

It's an interesting world,
surfers and surf photographers.

It's a very codependent
relationship,

because, really, you can't
have a surf photographer

without a professional surfer,

and, really, you can't
be a professional surfer

if you don't have a photographer

taking photos of you.

If you want to go
out and surf for fun,

photographers aren't necessary,

but if you want to
surf for a living,

you got to document most
of the things you do.

Ho-ho-ho-ho!

And in the world of
cinematography in the ocean,

Mike Prickett has
been at the forefront.

My name is Mike Prickett, and
I'm a surf cinematographer

from the North Shore of Hawaii.

I've been doing this,
jeez, for almost 40 years,

since 1979, I think I started.

Mike Prickett is one

of the greatest surf
cinematographers in history.

Okay, Garrett, give us
a little information

on Pipeline...

Mike was always at
the top of his game.

He was always the guy you
wanted working with you.

He's been a legend in
the surf community,

swimming out in the
biggest days of surf

with these massive camera
rigs on his shoulder.

Basically, almost any
big film that you've seen

that's water work to
just any surf movie

Mike has shot.

But Mike has gone
through some tough times.

He had a horrific
accident in Tahiti.

Yeah, I went to Tahiti
to do a commercial,

and I saw a diver
that was in trouble

that had got stuck
in a down current.

So I went down to rescue him.

When I got to him, he
was 220 feet underwater.

He had no air, and he
was in a complete panic.

His eyes were this big.

And I was trying to get
him to calm down underwater

'cause he was
hyperventilating underwater,

but as I was bringing
him to the surface,

I could feel the air
starting to get lower,

and I knew that we were
gonna run out of air soon.

We had no choice but just
to make an emergency ascent.

We went right to the surface.
We didn't make a safety stop.

Within a matter of moments,
he was already passed out,

due to getting the bends.

The bends is like
bubbles in your blood.

And so the bubbles went
into my spinal cord.

On March 14th, I was injured
in a dive accident in Tahiti

and paralyzed from
the waist down.

And the doctor said I
have about six months

before I plateau off
of my recovery, so...

You know, yeah, I
got six months to see

if I can ever walk again.

Um, we'll see.

It's been quite a while
since that happened,

and I was in a wheelchair,

and then now I don't bring
my wheelchair at all with me.

I just force myself
to hobble around,

and I torture all my friends
that go slow walking with me,

'cause I take forever.

Yeah, they don't care.

They're like, "Oh, come on,
pick it up, cripple guy."

Slowly, through
physical therapy,

he's able to move his legs.

He still has no feeling on them,

but he's walking around
with crutches now.

It's like a slow
road to recovery,

but, yeah, that's
kind of what happened.

Let's go and get in position

like you were gonna shoot
a regular surfing shot

in the shoulder of the
wave for right now.

And then after that,
we'll try to track one.

I'm gonna put Cotty on a
couple waves right now.

We're gonna move over
to second, third peak

away from the surfers.

There we go, rolling.

Garrett is pulling
Cotty down a wave.

Now we're looking up at
Cotty. He's going right.

Whoa, whoa, and, yep, we got it.

Oh.

Whoa!

I been here a long time
doing footages in the Jet Ski

with GoPro, with the stops,

- and this is the future.
- Yeah.

Everything looks good.

To see Mike come back and
continue to be amazing,

both technically
and artistically,

is just and absolute
inspiration.

I was elected mayor

on the 29th of September, 2013.

When I came to the city hall,

the Nazaré project had already
fulfilled some of its goals.

And we needed to open up
Praia do Norte, Nazaré,

to other surfers
to spread the word.

And within that vision for me,

it was mandatory to have a
world surfing event over here.

Through the work of
Garrett and the other guys,

through the work also of the
ladies who surf over here,

not only the men, we've
been showcasing the world

that the biggest
waves on the planet

are here in Praia
do Norte in Nazaré

and making sure that my
dream and the dream of a lot

of people in Nazaré
is maintained for you.

- It's good to see.
- It's good to see.

Are you excited about
the Nazaré Tow Challenge?

Yes, I'm really excited about
the Nazaré Tow Challenge.

It's

you know, again, it's
another opportunity

to compete on the world stage.

I'm looking for perfect
conditions, you know?

Like, I want to be
actually surfing.

I don't want to be surviving.

Big-wave-surfing events

generally have a window

that'll run a certain
number of months.

The Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge

started November 1

and ran through the
end of February,

so we had four months to wait
for just the right combination

of all the elements
to come together.

And calling the day
for a big-wave event

is probably one of the
most complex things

you can possibly do in the
sporting world by a mile.

The Super Bowl, I can
tell you five years

from now exactly what day
and hour the kickoff is.

In big waves, it's
just not like that.

There's gonna be a
day at some point

in the next four months,

and we'll tell you
three days in advance.

You are constantly
monitoring the local weather,

the tide, the exact
direction of the swell,

because you never
know totally for sure,

but you have that
pressure of saying,

"Look, we're going
to run an event.

"We're gonna have 100 people
from around the world fly in.

"We're gonna spend between
the event and the prize money

and the broadcast probably not
far off a million dollars."

So, when that perfect
storm does come,

you don't want to blow it.

The clock was ticking away.

With an amazing crew
of decision makers

at the World Surf League and
especially the local crew

there at Nazaré, we were able

to just take what we knew
about every other storm

that's come in in the last
six, seven years and study it

and look for the one that
had all the right components.

February 11th was going
to be easily the best day

of the year.

They reached out, and I said,

"Yes, it looks amazing.
There's definitely a swell."

It seems to be big enough,

and I believe the
waves will be there.

Pretty cool... Exactly
what we envisioned

and focused on and
planned for this place

from the day we showed up
is now actually happening.

And Cotty's got a spot.

I got a spot, but
I'm not gonna...

Well, I am keeping a wild card
spot so that if I'm better

and it is the 100-foot
day, then I'll surf it.

What's up?

I'm getting excited
for you for this year.

Yeah?

I'll definitely
be ready to drive.

Yeah?

But, I mean, 100% ready
to be on the cliff

and orchestrating, which
that'll be fun, too.

Might be more valuable, huh?

Couldn't do it.

'Cause you
want to be in the water.

All right, love you.

Right, I'll speak
to you in a bit.

- Love you, buddy.

Yeah, I got it.

When Garrett was
starting to talk

about the Tow Challenge
and everything,

I felt like I had no
business being in it at all.

I just felt way out of
my league, honestly.

All these surfers have had

an extra six years'
experience surfing Nazaré,

when I haven't even been around,

and, yeah, it was
hardly even on my radar

to be a competitor in that.

So I didn't come back for
the second half of the season

just because I
didn't feel ready.

And also, I had
another opportunity,

a thing that arose

that was more what I was
supposed to be doing,

which was going
deeper into healing.

I flew down to
Peru for two weeks.

This tribe has created

this little village center there

for people to come and
experience the medicine

of the jungle.

The diet's two meals a day.

And then at nighttime,
dinner is drinking ayahuasca.

So I went there looking
for some healing,

looking for some answers
and some clarity on life.

And I've gotten so much
growth and learning

from that experience.

And as I'm getting clearer
on what all this means

and what's important to myself,

I'm finding more respect

and a different kind of drive

for pushing these limits
and surfing this giant wave.

I feel better
about the quest now

for this 100-foot wave,

and I don't feel
rushed at all about it.

It's gonna come when it comes.

With the contest on and stuff,

it's not been the most
straightforward of years.

I've been surfing with Garrett

for the last eight, nine years,

and, obviously,
Garrett's been injured.

So I've been partnered with
Tom Butler from the UK.

No.

I'll probably regret that.

- Right, bad.
- Yeah.

Been putting in
the time with Tom

'cause we have to then build
our connection together,

you know, 'cause
we got to compete.

I do feel fortunate to have Tom

because he was one of
the early guys at Nazaré.

WSL Tow Challenge is being
watched all around the world.

News crews are coming
from all around the world.

And that's pressure.

But it didn't take too long

before we were getting
quite comfortable

and believing in ourselves.

- Cotty's excited, hungry.
- He wants it.

He's been training
for it all year.

He's got a good partner,
and they're ready.

But they've also got
some serious competition.

- Grab the keys?
- Yeah.

- How you doing?
- How's it going?

- Good. Welcome.
- Hey, good to see you.

You like 'em that weight?

- It's just 'cause it's small.
- Yeah.

I have my heavy ones for
tomorrow and the next day.

- Okay, how heavy?
- Ten kilos.

- Exactly.
- Yeah.

Is this one you were
doing all the flips on?

- Uh-huh.
- Sick.

- That's the guy to watch.
- That's Kai Lenny.

And he pretty much
does every discipline

in the water in sports, but
he's the best at everything.

He does 360s and lands
it, and it's amazing.

So I think he's the
best guy to watch,

and he's an upcomer,

and now that Garrett's
discovered this wave,

Kai's gonna rip it apart.

If you need anything
while you're here,

please let me know.

Okay, thanks, GMAC,
maybe some tips.

- Nah, I'll get tips from you.

Big-wave surfing definitely
has its old guard

and its new guard,

and Garrett's the ultimate
example of the old guard.

The new guard is perfectly
represented by Kai Lenny.

He's just, like, a
once-in-a-generation freak.

He's just progressing
more rapidly

than any surfer in history.

Big-wave surfing probably
will never be the same

after Kai Lenny.

I mean, the things
that he's doing,

like, Garrett isn't
gonna be doing that.

I don't see CJ doing that. I
don't see Cotty doing that.

Big-wave surfing ebbs and
flows with popularity.

And someone like Garrett
has gone through the highs

and the lows of the sport.

I think, as far as progression
goes within the sport,

it's gonna keep on going places

no one ever thought
was possible.

My tow-in partner for
the Nazaré challenge is

Lucas Chumbo,

and when Lucas and I
decided to team up,

he, in my eyes, was the most
progressive big-wave surfer.

He's really pushing the level
at Nazaré with giant barrels

and giants airs
and big maneuvers.

And I wanted to be
partnered with somebody

that I had a huge
amount of respect for

and who I thought was
actually better than me.

Mr. McNamara, how
you doing, good?

Good to see you.

Lucas is somebody to focus on.

He's, like, the best
guy at Nazaré right now.

- This is the blow.
- Yeah, this is the blow.

When I got here in Nazaré,

I feel so much at home,

or, like, I feel so
comfortable here.

I'm at home, and I'm
doing what I love,

and for sure, I'm
in the best place

to do what I love.

- What's up, guys?
- How you doing?

You guys get a couple?

All day in your
wetsuit yesterday.

Yeah, fuck, all
day in the wetsuit.

You know what time I finish?

- 2:00 a.m.
- What?

- To clean the... the ski.
- The ski.

- I'm done today.
- Can it.

Yeah, I need to rest.

I loved it, actually.

When I came first
time to Nazaré,

I didn't have any sponsor.

Then two years after,

I got the sponsor from Red Bull.

And this was a dream for me.

And now I have my locker.

I want to thank you for coming

to the inaugural Nazaré
Tow Surfing Challenge.

This is an event

that for a lot of us has been
a lifetime in preparation for,

a real opportunity to
showcase the state of the art

of big-wave surfing.

When Garrett male the record,

nobody go to the lighthouse
on that day, you know?

Imagine the difference
between that day and now.

I'm not sure, is this your
first time you come back

to Nazaré since you
had the accident?

- Of course not, yeah?
- Oh, no, no.

No, that was, like,
years ago now, so, yeah.

Do people think you're
a bit, like, mad

that you're coming back after
going through something so...

- No, 'cause it, like...
- If it was that horrendous,

then I wouldn't want to
do it again, you know?

And never thought
I was gonna drown,

never thought I was gonna die.

So it's just, like,
it's an injury.

- Cheers, guys.
- Cheers, man.

- Thank you.
- Thank you very much.

- Very kind of you.
- No worries.

Being constantly reminded
about the wipeout

you can't take it too seriously.

It's just part of it.

Gave me a little exposure
as well, you know, like...

I could've made that wave.

It could be the best
wave of my life,

but probably no one
would've ever seen it.

And that's the thing,
isn't it, yeah?

It's that double-edged sword
of what people want to see.

I've been doing
the Big Wave Awards

for 20 years now,

and everyone wants to
win Ride of the Year.

The one that you don't
necessarily want to win

is the wipeout of the year.

One of the hall-of-fame moments

was Andrew Cotton at Nazaré

and getting a little trophy
at the end of the year

that affirms that yours was
the best wipeout of the year,

I guess, maybe took a little
bit of the sting out of it.

Been trying to win an XXL Award

for my whole career,

and then I win one
for a bloody wipeout.

You know, like, the irony
is just, like, you know...

And I can remember
just, like, oh, God,

like, this is just so typical.

I don't think
there's any question

that people love a good wipeout.

Just from pure statistics,

I just know how many views

the wipeouts get versus
the biggest paddle wave.

It's just not even close.

As long as they
come out of it okay,

it's just an epic fail.

The five best wipeouts will
be enjoyed probably more

than the one best skillful ride,

'cause most people looking at
it don't know the difference.

The waves are supposed to be
good tomorrow, too, right?

Yeah.

Are you gonna surf tomorrow?

My foot's not really ready
for this kind of stuff.

It's not worth it to go
out there and hurt my foot,

and then when the big
old swell comes...

That's true.

I miss you so much right now.

I miss you.

These are the times when I
just want to get on a plane.

I stay home sometimes,
but it's all a blur.

Motherhood is a blur.

Oh, I got one!

Yeah, Garrett had a
lot of work to do.

So sometimes it's
easier for Garrett to go

and just get the work done than
for the whole family to go...

Mommy!

Go do bubbles!

Without my family around,
there's a lot of time to think.

And so I'm thinking there and...

"Huh, I could do the contest."

One wave's all I
need, one big wave.

100-footer comes, at
least I'll be out there,

and it'll probably come
to me, so I was thinking,

"Yeah, I think I
want to surf it."

Three days ago,
I went out there.

And after I drove
around and felt my foot,

felt the chops, and

checked into my body and

realized that if I fell,

I probably wouldn't come home.

And I was actually
getting scared

letting fear enter my mind.

I have no business out here,

and I want nothing
to do with this.

Garrett's mentioned
the fear a little bit,

and I don't think it's
so much fear of the waves

but fear of the pain that
he felt with his shoulder.

I don't think he's
afraid of dying,

'cause if you die,
you're not in pain.

His is, like, just
feeling that pain again

and depression.

I do

feel that it would've
been amazing to surf,

but I didn't want to push it.

I wasn't ready.

I've been on the walkie for a
minute or two here and there.

Never really was a spotter.

I've always been
interested in doing it

because I want to see what
the people are watching

when they're spotting and
how they're sharing with us

what they see and where
they want us to go.

I think we'll have a good
little practice with Cotty.

I think it'll work out.

It's gonna be interesting,
something new for me.

Cotty, you guys out there?

Do you want to wait for the
sets or just go for anything?

It just feels
different trying to

see which wave
they should go for.

I can't see where you guys are.

Third... second, third peak...

Shit. Wait, wait, wait, wait.

Definitely some
waves on the outside.

Just hang tight
right where you are.

Second peak, second
peak, run over there.

Go get it, go get
it. Go, go, go, go!

He's going, he's
going, he's going.

He made it. Holy shit.

Amazing.

Wow, that was a heat winner.

This is gonna be the
greatest show in surfing.

There's no doubt about it.

- Yeah, boys.
- Hell yeah.

- You guys are already here.
- That was too fast.

I thought it was going
to eat you, yeah.

You cranked it so hard, and
the whitewater was coming.

I'm like, "Oh, he's done."

I was about to start saying...

I was about to
say, "Down, down!"

To have Garrett in your corner,

like, it's the dream, isn't it?

You know, like, if
someone had said to me,

like, ten years ago,

"Oh, you're gonna be in the
Duracell Nazaré Challenge,

and Garrett's gonna be on
the radio calling the shots,"

I'd never, ever in a million
years think that is possible.

Garrett was just, you
know, someone you saw

in magazines and movies.

You know?

Not somebody who FaceTimes
you at 6:00 in the morning.

Hello? Hey!

Hi, Theia.

Did it get smaller?

No, it's good size.

There's gonna be
some good waves,

and it was really
beautiful today.

Guess what I got
a taste of today?

I have so much
more understanding

and I guess I should say
respect for spotting.

- Oh.

'Cause I spotted today on
the cliff for practice.

It's hard to tell which
wave's gonna be the wave.

Yeah, it's really hard.

As soon as they came,

I scored them the sickest
wave right out of the gate,

and it worked perfect,

and then they got
another good one,

and then it was tough.

Guys, you guys got
to win this thing.

- You guys got to win this thing.
- Yeah, I know.

Well, we're set, aren't we?

Oh, it's nice and warm in here.

I'm so cold.

Thank you so much for
bringing that stuff.

Yeah, no worries.

I'm so sorry to put that on you.

- It felt good.
- Good to see you.

So you guys had a
meeting at Lino's?

Yeah, yeah.

What kind of a meeting?

Safety and then...

What is the safety plan?

Do they have one ski
delegated to each team?

Some people weren't happy.

There was only, like, two or
three really good safety guys

out of the five.

That doesn't seem good at all.

Those safety skis are gonna
be on the beach so fast

when they lose their ski.

And you're happy with that?

You know, it's what can
you do, really, you know?

Like, I think it's gonna be

as safe as it can be.

You know?

Mm, let me call Bill.

All right.

- I'll speak to you later.
- All right, bye.

It's just things can
go wrong so quick.

You can have two skis
down in a second.

All of a sudden,
everybody's on two skis,

and there's still
three skis surfing.

Garrett!

Bill, I was talking to
Cotty about the safety.

It sounds really, really

scary to me what you
guys got in place.

We're about to have
another meeting on it.

It's been basically an outgrowth

of what we all talked about,
you know, the last meeting.

If you want to
come and chime in,

that's coming right up.

See, if I was in the event, I
would wan... I would say more,

but since I'm not,
I don't really feel

like it's my place to
say anything, but...

It's either join in

or wait and see what
everyone comes up with.

- Okay, all right.
- Okay, bye.

Garrett is like a lot of us.

He'll be a team player
when it suits him,

and he'll be an independent
when it suits him.

And he and I and a lot of
other people have had times

where we've clashed and
it's gotten pretty weird.

His vision has not always
matched everyone else's.

We are heading to
the safety meeting

for the contest.

This is gonna be super
big, super gnarly.

It's got to be super safe.

So I was concerned
about the safety,

and I show up at this meeting,

and they're not having
a shadow follow.

It wasn't mandatory for
each team to have a shadow.

And I spoke very blunt

about what I felt.

Without your backup
safety, it's very unsafe,

and good luck.

No, no, no, no, hey!

It was important that
you have veterans

like Garrett McNamara who
are pushing the safety side,

especially in competition,

because it's easy to
get clouded in the fog

of competitive surfing,

and you forget about the basics

and the stuff that's
most important.

A lot of preparation went
into having a safety plan

in place for that event

and a lot of really qualified
people working on it.

We had 15 Jet Skis
dedicated to rescue.

If everyone knows
what they're doing

and sticks to their assignment,

it provides a pretty good
safety net for everyone.

Hopefully they'll understand

what I was sharing with them.

I really hope the
best for everybody.

I hope everybody comes home.

For the Nazaré Tow
Surfing Challenge,

every important big-wave
surfer from Brazil,

from Hawaii,
California, whatever,

everyone's there.

To see this place have a
professional tow-in contest,

this is something
maybe I dreamed about.

I'm not even sure.

But I'm very proud

that we have, you know,
myself and Justine at a level

that I think we'll do something.

You know, we'll catch
waves, and we'll represent,

and we'll put on
a show hopefully.

It's quite a unique spectacle,

and whenever we run an event
with the World Surf League

at Praia do Norte, the
world has its eyes on us.

It's amazing, in
just a few years,

how excited people have
gotten over this wave.

You're gonna see thousands
and thousands of people

just covering the cliffs,

and it's just like you're
going to a Super Bowl

of surfing.

Blessed with great conditions

and a big swell in the water.

I'm Paul Evans.

In the studio alongside me,

Peter Mel and Garrett McNamara.

Garrett, how you
feeling about today?

I'm excited.

I can't wait to see these guys
out there giving it their best,

and it's gonna be a great show.

We are expecting some
epic performances.

40 or 50 of the world's
best big-wave surfers

all pushing the limits.

- This is gonna be awesome.

There are the teams

we looked out towards,

particularly Chianca

and Lenny.

A lot of buzz, a lot of hype.

Those guys are really taking
tow to the next level.

Those are gonna be
the two standouts.

These guys are gonna bring
a whole different look

to riding big waves.

Yeah, they're definitely a
force to be reckoned with.

Every time I do a competition,

I'm just looking to get
the best waves of my life.

And if they're the
best waves of my life,

then they should
win the competition.

Not many people
have spent more time

towing out here
than Andrew Cotton.

How do you fancy their chances?

Everybody loves Cotty,
and he's hungry,

and he wants it.

I'm really excited to see
them in action in their heat.

This is it.

If I'm gonna do it, I want
to be in it to win it.

I was just super hyped
up for the event.

Big-wave-surfing competitions,

they can potentially
be life-changing.

Everyone wants the same thing.

Everyone wants that
photo or that wave

that's gonna make a career
and change your life.

The Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge
really was the first event

of its kind ever.

The rules of the biggest wave

depend on the
photographic evidence.

No matter how good
you really are, you're going

to reach a situation that'll
send you into oblivion.

Fear is
something we choose.

For the big waves, the only
thing that exists is right now.

He got a bomb wave
but then there was disaster.