UK big wave surfer Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton is on a mission - a mission to surf the biggest wave on the planet and set a new world record.
In 2013 Cotty very nearly achieved this, surfing the second biggest wave of the year in Nazare, Portugal; measured at a monstrous 61 feet. In 2014 Cotty aims to travel the globe looking to break the current world record of 78 feet, and ride the biggest waves on the planet. To do this he needs your help.
We need to raise £10,000 to help him realise this goal and document this epic winter season. Be part of something incredible and support his mission to bring this world record to the UK.
Incredibly, Cotty is without a headline sponsor with deep pockets to support his death defying mission. Working a both a lifeguard and plumber during the summer, he saves every penny to fund his winter chasing giant waves. This money doesn't go far as the nature of big wave surfing makes it astronomically expensive. Travel plans to far reaching locations are last minute - filming is treacherous and incredibly costly with the specialist safety equipment needed. The big wave season in Northern Hemisphere is our winter, huge storms which create the biggest waves can be expected anytime from October through to March. Being in the right place at the right time with all the right safety equipment is paramount.
Last year Cotty's big wave season was documented in a six part series, 'Behind The Lines'. This year, we also want to document this incredible journey. The aim is for every step, paddle and wipe out of Cotty's mission to be captured and released across the globe as episodes. To make this happen costs money, a huge amount of money. Cotty is driven by this mission but needs the support of other surf lovers to make it happen.
Andrew Cotton was born in Plymouth and grew up on the North Devon coast where he first started surfing at the age of seven. Ever since then, catching waves and being in and around the ocean has been his life. When Cotty left school he worked in a local surfboard factory until the age of twenty-five. He then re-trained as a plumber, but along the way began to realise that his real passion lay in big wave surfing.
Initially, Cotty focussed on helping to pioneer big wave spots in Ireland, and more recently he turned his attention to Nazare, Portugal. Numerous Billabong XXL entries followed and he garnered wider attention in 2012 when he towed American surfer Garrett McNamara into what the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed as the biggest wave ever surfed.
Since then, Cotty has ridden a number of monster waves, one or two of which have caused debate in the press as to whether they are even bigger than Garret’s record. With the national and global media coverage that followed, he has firmly stamped his mark on big wave surfing and is now regarded as one of the best big wave riders in the world.
"I’m already very much living my own dream, in that I surf professionally and catch some of the biggest waves in the world. But big wave riding is very much in its infancy and there are plenty of big waves still to be discovered and surfed.
With pretty much all the great mountains of the world climbed and explorers having reached most of the nooks and crannies on the planet, it really is something to consider that in big wave surfing you’re able to explore completely new territory and even potentially to push forward the frontiers of what’s considered possible."
"Andrew Cotton is rewriting British surfing history. He's surfed the biggest waves ever ridden by a Briton, and is consistently placing in the top five in the world with nominations in the Billabong XXL Awards. He has done this through a mixture of his skill, bravery, determination and hard work.
He's a world class professional athlete who has achieved a lot with very little financial help - now with your support, you can help Cotty continue to put British surfing firmly on the map & challenge the biggest waves on the planet this winter - and clinch that world record for Britain."
To break the world record Cotty needs to chase every storm, and every monster swell Mother Nature throws at the planet. He needs to be able to travel to legendary big wave spots like Jaws and Waimea in Hawaii , Mavericks in California and Todos Santos in Baja. Your money will help Cotty get to these places and crucially give him the chance to break the record. You are his wings.
Cotty also has to train hard to stay alive. Really hard. He must be able to hold his breath for minutes in the most extreme conditions to stay alive amongst the gigantic waves. A two wave hold down can wipe life out in the flash of an eye. Your money will help Cotty train with the best and use the most progressive breath holding courses and techniques. He has also been working closely with personal trainer Andrew Blake to be in top physical and mental form.
Cotty's passion for big wave surfing runs deep, so if you're passionate about surfing and bringing this record to the UK, help him realise his goal and be part of something historic.
"Some people might see riding these mountains of water as a metaphor for what’s possible in the modern world but for me it’s about getting out into the (usually freezing cold) water with my friends and catching the best waves it’s possible to catch. If, along the way, I happen to catch the biggest wave ever ridden then hey, it’ll be the icing on the cake.” - Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton
In return for yout support, there are some awesome and exclusive rewards on offer. Every single person who backs the project will also get their name on the credits of the final episode of the Behind the Lines series 2.