Tidal bore at Foz do rio Araguari : Photo Rick Werneck
Picuruta Salazar surfs mile-long wave in the Pororoca
Big-Wave riders Carlos Mock, Ross Clark Jones and Eraldo Gueiros, accompanied by surfer Picuruta Salazar, one of the greatest names in Brazilian surfing, participated in an 7 day free surf expedition in the Amazon, where they practiced
tow-in on the waves of the Pororoca from the Foz do rio Araguari, no Amapá, considerad one of the strongest and riskiest waves of the Amazon.
Picuruta Salazar surfed a wave for 35 minutes
Photo Rick Werneck.
The trip made between 17 and 23 of March, was organized by Red Bull, under the coordination of surfer and shaper American Gary Linden, former president from the ASP, and baptized "Pororoca - Surfando o Amazonas". As the athletes arrived there were okay waves of up to 3 meters on the day before the expedition.
But free-surf in the Amazonia brought other surprises beyond the possibility of doing tow-in. Picuruta Salazar, with 145 accredited victories in his career, may have conquered one more. He surfed a wave for 35 minutes, traversing a distance of 12,2 kilometres. "I cannot guarantee it, but I believe this is a world record. I have never heard of anyone surfing so long a wave", speculated Gary Linden.
The difficulty of surfing the Pororoca is in the river current that flows in the contrary direction to that of the sea. The secret is to catch the wave as it opens, and without the jet ski that would be impossible", said Salazar.
Mobile accomadation & transport for the surfers
Photo Rick Werneck.
Not having surfed for three months, because of a serious accident in Hawaii, when seriously injuring his pélvis and knee, Carlos Mock returned to action in a wave never imagined. "The pleasure of surfing that wave is itīs the only one. It combines everything that a surfer longs for: is itīs long and happens in the marvelous region of the Amazonia", affirmed Mock, who despite still not being completely recuperated, plans surfing in the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event in July.
In the last two years, Linden and personnel from Red Bull traveled to the region three times with the objective of mounting better logistics to facilitate the ultimate of using jet skis for the first time from a boat to the
Pororoca. "The jet ski was very important to give mobility to the surfers and put them several times on the same wave at any moment", added Linden.
Getting to the wave with minimum risk : Photo Rick Werneck.
"The doubt was that the jet skis themselves would get stuck in sandbanks, like the rowboats voadeiras. No one has ever done tow-in on the Pororoca", guaranteed Eraldo Gueiros, Mocks Big-Wave partner in Tow-in. After forming teams and identifying breaks the pace amounted to a logistic certainty.
Carlos Burle takes off on a big one : Photo Rick Werneck.
Beyond the two jets ski, with sled and tow-in ropes, the expedition counted on a main platform vessel of 27 meters in length, two support boats, four aluminum runabouts, called voadeiras, an inflatable dinghy for rescue, and a helicopter. It is in the Spring tides of March and April that the Pororoca is the strongest. Each day a caravan of support boats and jet skis headed for nearby the river-mouth with the Atlantic ocean around a hour before the wave was due to enter. During just about everyday of the expedition the team had a good time and conditions. Rare in the Amazonia.
Sininho, Picuruta, Burle, Ross, Eraldo e Linden.
Photo Rick Werneck.
The surfers alternated on the jet ski, while putting the each other on the wave, in the quest for the best single surf on the Pororoca. "I found that I made one of the best cut backs in my life", confessed the Australian Ross Clark Jones.
Jones had already heard about the Pororoca, but did not imagine it was so surprising. "Surfing in the Amazon is an experience for few", he affirmed. The Australian big-wave rider and Picuruta practiced in synergy after the jet went out of the wave. The two surfed a perfect sequence, Ross in the wave in front of Picuruta following behind. "I whitewashed, rode and spent the wave that comes from behind. I did that several times. Never surfed so much in one day".
Picuruta stayed so long in the wave that went to barbado.. .
Photo Rick Werneck.
In all, 25 persons, without counting the athletes, were part of the support team for the expedition. A film crew hired from Germany recorded all of the moments from the expedition to produce an exclusive documentary, that will be distributed to TV channels and stations at the end of April.
Expedition coverage courtesy of Alceu Toledo Junior,
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the World of Surfing at http://waves.terra.com.br/
More about Pororoco
The Pororoca is known throughout the Amazon basin, from the tiny village of Sao Domingos do Capim in Para state, to the feared monster of the Rio Araguari in Amapa stateīs jungle depths. Amapaīs capital, Macapa, lies on the Amazonīs shore, south west of the expansive Canal do Norte, where the width of the pororoca extends to 16km. From this port boats are the only access to the remote channels around Ilha Mexicana and Ilha Caviana. The pororoca has even been sighted over 200km inland on the small Amazon tributary, the Rio Guajara.
With a maze of river channels, a diverse array of deadly creatures, and bank debris hurled upriver in excess of 20mps, the concept of hunting down the pororoca is a truly phenomenal prospect.
"Thereīs nothing that compares with this! In the ocean a good wave might last 30 seconds, but the pororoca you can surf for like six minutes or more. Itīs a dream come true!" .......... Double Pororoca Surf Champion, Ricardo Tatui
"Itīs something rare and something thatīs ours. Before, the pororoca was considered dangerous, now itīs a tourist attraction!" ......... Para State sportīs secretary, Francisco Fernando
Pororoca info courtesy Bore Riders Club
Bore-Surfing - Surfersvillage
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