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  1. ITV Report

British surfer defends 'world's biggest wave' ride

Andrew Cotton riding a potentially record breaking wave at Nazaré, Portugal Photo: Billabong

A big-wave surfer who may have broken his own world record, set just three months ago, after he dropped in on a monster wave off the coast of Portugal has defended the death-defying ride saying he was backed up a large support crew.

Andrew Cotton told ITV News he is not "an idiot" when he caught the nearly 80ft wave.

I can understand that if you just looked at a photo and go what an idiot. It's not just me going out there by myself, we have safety team, back-up drivers medics on the beach, everyone's got communications. It's not like just going down to the local beach and going for a quick surf.

ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports:

Cotton, who hails from Devon, was back at Nazaré in Portugal – the spot where he surfed a wave estimated at a world-record 78ft in October.

Photographer Bruno Aleixo, who captured the surfer break the world record in October, estimated the wave was at least as big as his earlier effort. The definitive ruling will come from judges from surf brand Billabong in March.

Andrew Cotton drops at Praia do Norte, in Nazaré November 2013. Credit: REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
Big-wave surfers Garrett McNamara (R) of the U.S. and Andrew Cotton of Britain Credit: REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

Cotton, a part-time plumber, wore an inflatable vest, which carried him back to the surface after he fell on the wave.