Photographer / Drone Videographer / Co-Founder, Máquina Voadora
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The action here starts swiftly, with Brazilian big wave surfer Marcelo Luna charging into a huge wave in Nazaré, Portugal, during the infamous session of November 8, 2017, a day otherwise known as “The Big Wednesday.” After successfully riding the huge wave, Marcelo is unable to grab the jet ski sled and misses his only chance of avoiding every surfer’s worst nightmare: getting pounded by a direct hit at one of the most terrifying waves in the world.

This is the same  session where Rodrigo Koxa inked a new Guiness World Record for largest wave ever surfed, as well as when Andrew Cotton suffered a severe back injury in Praia do Norte. This sequence with Marcelo Luna took place during the early morning, at the very beginning of this historic moment in surf.

In this episode of Nazaré Dispatch, Marcelo gives his first person testimony to the filmmakers and the local drone team’s Máquina Voadora about what happened and what it felt like to surf and get pounded to within an inch of his life. His friend, Italian big wave surfer Alessandro Marcianó, which was Marcelo’s teammate during that session, also describes the sequence, giving the audience rare insight into what happens during a big wave session at Nazaré when things go wrong.

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“I realised that I almost died,” Marcelo told the filmmakers. “One more wave, maybe, and I think I would be knocked out. It was hardcore… it was the worst situation I’ve ever experienced at Nazaré, I’m blessed to be alive.”

Marcelo has been chasing giants at Nazaré since 2016 and is one of the most hard-charging surfers in the area–a regular presence when conditions go ballistic at Praia do Norte.

This piece was produced by Máquina Voadora – Produções, with additional footage by Nuno Dias, Pedro Miranda and Alessandro Marcianó.