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Brazilian Woman Sets Record Surfing Biggest Wave

Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira rides a wave off Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal, Jan. 18, 2018.

Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira has been credited with setting a world record for the largest-ever wave surfed by a female earlier this year.

The 31-year-old Gabeira caught the 20.72 meter wave in January off the coast of Nazare, Portugal.

The record was confirmed this week, and Gabeira was recognized for her achievement at a ceremony in Portugal.

It is the first time a woman was recognized for a biggest wave award in a separate category, something Gabeira herself had lobbied for since 2013.

Brazilian Woman Sets Record Surfing Biggest Wave
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That year she was knocked off her board and nearly drowned attempting to catch a giant wave in Nazare.

Some of the largest surfable waves in the world routinely form off the coast of Nazare each year. Scientists say a combination of weather conditions and underwater geological formations contribute to the phenomenon.