Surfers new to Nazaré fail to heed safety advice; Garrett’s appearance at a competition takes a dark turn.
The huge swells at Nazaré continue to challenge and confound the best surfers in the world, and several dramatic rescues take place close to the perilous rocks. At the Gigantes De Nazaré event in January 2022, several wipeouts and close calls threaten lives, as danger is narrowly averted by acts of heroism and strength. Nicole McNamara's brother, C.J. Macias, catches an enormous wave, but then disaster strikes.
In the fall of 2021 and the start of the new big wave season, Garrett McNamara is now the director of the World Surf League's Tow Surfing Challenge in Nazaré, but eight-month pregnant Nicole McNamara and their young children fall ill with COVID-19, complicating his preparations and the plans for the birth. When the competition begins in December, Tony Laureano isn't invited to participate with the best in class. For the surfers competing, challenging conditions and terrifying wipeouts highlight the importance of their relationships with jet ski pilots who are also rescuers. Nicole McNamara gives birth to baby Fé.
Justine Dupont chases a swell in the Pacific at Mavericks, and then at Jaws in Hawaii, where three years earlier she suffered the biggest injury of her career; returning to Maui, Dupont faces her fears and surprises even herself.
Portugal's National Health Commission closes down all surfing due to Covid protocols, stranding the surfers for several weeks.
At the start of the new big wave season in October 2020, Hurricane Epsilon brings huge swells to Nazaré, and the biggest names in surfing congregate to battle for the largest wave.
In front of thousands of spectators, the WSL's Tow Surfing Challenge comes to an abrupt end after one competitor suffers a serious injury. As the surfers process the news, they reflect on their tremendous love, fear, and awe of their unpredictable sport. Later, after sitting out the contest, Garrett puts his own injuries behind him and gets back in the water.
After the World Surf League announces that Nazare will host an upcoming big wave competition, athletes from around the globe arrive to participate in the tournament. But as the event grows in scope, so do Garrett's concerns over the proposed safety protocols. Later, the world-class surfers prepare for some of the largest, most unpredictable waves they've ever seen.
In 2017, prominent surfers flock to Nazaré for its largest swell to date and while one pro sets a new world record, Andrew Cotton suffers a devastating wipeout. In 2019, after rallying through a back-to-back concussion and broken foot, Garrett struggles with determining whether he's mentally ready to get back in the water.
A few days after his historic ride, Garrett is visited by his mother, whose presence prompts an exploration into his highly unconventional and turbulent childhood. In 2013, a group of Brazilians arrive in Nazaré, but their failure to heed Garrett's safety advice results in a near-fatal accident. In 2017, Garrett's appearance at a big wave competition takes a devasting turn.
In 2011, just as the largest swell of the season approaches, the McNamaras and their team reconvene in Nazaré, where they kick preparations into high gear to prepare for their upcoming attempt at making history. Then, despite some unexpected hurdles, Garrett catches a wave that forever changes him, the small seaside town, and the legacy of the sport.
After discovering Nazaré, Portugal's monstrous swells, pro surfer Garrett McNamara sets out to achieve his dream of riding a 100-foot wave.