This 15m deep shoal 2,5km away from the coast creating an A-frame peak on the 2 or 3 largest swells of the winter stayed a surfer’s fantasy before jet-skis came into the picture. A small crew made history on November 22 2002 before a second session on March 10 2003 when Sebastian St. Jean wave was estimated at 66 ft (20m) during the XXL contest final.
Six European big-wave surfers rode the biggest waves ever surfed in Europe outside St Jean de Luz, in SW France on Friday 22 November 2002. Waves were in the 30 feet/10 metres size range.
Weather forecasts and swell charts were studied in detail in the days leading up to “Famous Friday” offering the surfers one of the best opportunities ever to realize their ten year old dream, of attempting to surf “Belharra”, the outside reef off Socoa, St Jean de Luz, France, for the first time ever.
The surfers made up of 3 tow-in teams on jet-skis (PWCs, in American), had practised for years in advance for this day, and were well trained in the use of all the appropriate equipment and conditions. Riders making up the tow-in teams were:-
Michelle Larronde (Hawaii)
Vincent Lartizien (Hossegor, Fr.)
Yann Benetrix (Hossegor, Fr.)
Max Larretche (Boucou Fr.)
Peyo Lizarazu (Pays Basque)
Fred Basse (Hossegor Fr.)