While the Hercules swell lit up a slew of big wave spots across Europe, Belharra might have witnessed the biggest wave ever to be paddled in to.
Arguably the best paddler in the world (he’s won the Molokai to Oahu race a record ten times), Australian waterman Jamie Mitchell paddled into what fellow big wave rider Shane Dorian called a 60-foot wave today in France. The session occurred at an offshore reef called Belharra near the town of Saint-Jean de Luz in the southwest corner of the Bay of Biscay.
And sixty feet might be an understatement.
In an interview posted on Stab.com, Shane was reported to say, “It’s hard to tell, but that wave was over 60 feet, for sure.” Now that’s Shane Dorian calling it sixty feet—meaning it’s more like eighty feet. And while Belharra isn’t the hollowest big wave spot in the world, Mitchell’s wave was nuts—a thick, bowling up right that was held up by a strong offshore wind. Watch the video a few times—that wave was anything but soft.
Jamie Mitchell wasn’t the only one to turn heads at Belharra, Hawaii native Shane Dorian drew some attention as well.
For most big wave chargers, Belharra was the call. But those who ventured elsewhere didn’t exactly come up short.