LISBON – Veteran Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire died on Thursday. While practicing toe-in surfing in a huge wave in Nazaré. On Portugal’s central coast, local maritime authorities said.
Support staff on jet skis managed to get the 47-year-old to the beach, but all efforts to revive him failed.
Freire was one of three Brazilian surfers. Who became known as the “Mad Dogs” after conquering the giant wave “Jaws” in Hawaii. They were featured in the 2016 documentary Mad Dogs.
Tributes poured in from other surfers on Instagram.
“He surfed all day with a big smile on his face. This is how I will keep him in my memory. Legendary,” posted fellow big wave surfer Nick Von Rupp.
“Today we lost a great man, a very good friend and a legendary surfer Marcio Freire. He was such a happy soul, always had a smile on his face… Rest in peace buddy,” wrote sports photographer Fred Pompermyer.
“He surfed all day with a big smile on his face
Nazaré boasts some of the biggest waves in the world. They are enlarged by an underwater canyon three miles deep. That ends where the North Atlantic meets the coastline near the former fishing village.
American Garrett McNamara put Nazareth on the map in 2011. When he set the world record for the largest wave surfed at 78 feet. While practicing toe-in surfing on a huge wave in Nazaré.
Brazilian Rodrigo Coxa bettered McNamara’s mark in Nazare in 2017. And German Sebastian Studner broke the record again in 2020, surfing an 86-foot wave there.