Jamie Mitchell Paddles Into A 60-Foot Wave
Belharra, France plays host to the Hercules swell
Hands down 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.
Props to Mitchell, too. A lifelong surfer, for years he was known as the best paddler in the world, but of late he's more focused on the big wave deal and has been chasing swells across the globe for years now. The big question is whether Jamie's wave will be up for an award in the upcoming Billabong XXL Awards. It probably won't win Ride of the Year because he fell, but Wipeout if the Year could be a good consolation award.