Incredible moment death-defying surfer jumps off cliff to join competition after turning up late
Known for their chilled-out demeanor and slow pace of life, it will come as no surprise to most people to learn that surfers have poor timekeeping.
What is more surprising though is how one sportsman made up for his lack of punctuality - by jumping 30 feet off a cliff and into a raging sea after he was late for a compeition.
This unnamed surfer was spotted by photographer and graphic designer Allen Hughes as he was capturing images of a surfing competition off of Lighthouse Point, in Santa Cruz, California.
This is the moment a surfer who was late for a competition off of Lighthouse Point, Santa Cruz, jumped 30 feet off a cliff just in time to catch his heat
Hughes, 65, said: 'Everyone else was watching the surfers out at sea, but then I noticed this guy running along Lighthouse Point. I watched for quite a while and before each heat the surfers would climb down to the end of Lighthouse Point and make a smaller 10 foot jump.
'I noticed this guy run down to the end, he was late for his heat. I could tell he was anxious so I focused my camera on him and before anyone knew it, he ran and jumped off the cliff.
'He timed it perfectly and landed just behind the white water and paddled out. I never did find out who he was. The cliff itself must be 30 foot high and the waves were maybe higher.'
These dramatic photographs have captured ice-cold waves crashing against rocks off the coast of Italy.
Stunning: The images were taken by Italian photographer Giovanni Allievi, 44, on a trip to Savona in Italy
'Where I live the sea is a peaceful presence, but in certain seasons it can show its power,' said Mr Allievi.
'To me, humans seem like dwarfs in comparison to the power of nature. 'During sea storms it is possible to see this spectacular phenomenon where the waves can take up amazing shapes.
'There is a place a few kilometres from where I live in which the sea bed rises abruptly and ends with a vertical cliff, it is an amazing sight to witness.'
The pictures show the waves precisely at their breaking point displaying what appears to be a crystal-like blanket of water
High tide: These incredible shots show waves precisely at their breaking point, displaying what appears to be a crystal-like blanket of water
Mr Allievi, from Varigotti, in Italy, says he sets off early in the morning to capture the waves in all their glory.
With the sun rising in the background behind the waves, he captured the stunning aqua colours as the water breaks.
Mr Allievi said: 'It takes a long time to capture these photographs.
Taken near Mr Allievi's home in Varigotti, Italy, he sets off early in the morning to capture the waves in all their glory
There is a place a few kilometres from where Mr Allievi lives where the sea bed rises abruptly and ends with a vertical cliff
With the sun rising in the background behind the waves, he captured the stunning aqua colours as the water breaks
The unnamed athlete ran along the rocky cliff clutching his board before making the impressive leap, watched by photographer Allen Hughes
He added: 'In my youth I jumped from this rock all the time, but never when the sea was like this.'
Lighthouse Point is located at the northern point of Monterey Bay just south of Santa Cruz as is a world renowned surfing spot.
The waters are known as Steamer Lane and it was here that Jack O'Neill developed the modern-day wetsuit and the 'leash' which attaches a surfer's board to their leg so it doesn't get lost if they fall off.
The waters off of Lighthouse Point are known as Steamer Lane and are where Jack O'Neill developed the modern wetsuit and where he lost his eye
The bearded businessman also lost his eye while surfing the waters, which lead to him wearing his famous eye patch.
It is the home of O'Neill Wetsuits and every year for the last three decades it hosts the O'Neill Coldwater Classic competition in November.
The lighthouse itself is home to the Santa Cruz surfing museum which features a collection of rare and vintage surf boards.
Surfing has been present in Santa Cruz for over 100 years and was introduced by Hawaiians who used wooden planks to ride waves, a far cry from today's carbon fiber boards.
Brazilian surfer may have set new World Record after riding 100-foot storm wave off the coast of Portugal
A Brazilian surfer could have ridden one of the biggest waves in history today as waves of up to 100ft created by St Jude's storm battered the European coast.
While many risked their lives going out into the waters this morning, witnesses believe it was surger Carlos Burle who rode the tallest wave - possibly beating the world record set by Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara in 2011. McNamara's wave was estimated to be 78ft tall, but the waves hitting off the coast of Portugal near Nazare were noticeably taller.
'It was luck. We never know when we will be catching the wave. I still hadn't surfed any wave and everyone had already had their rides,' Mr Burle told Surfer Today.
Daredevil surfer Carlos Burle rides down what is believed to be one of the biggest waves ever conquered at Nazare, Portugal. The exact size of the wave Burle rode is yet to be determined, but it is believed to be close to challenging McNamara's feat from earlier this year. The incredible moment was captured from the hillside overlooking the bay by Portugese photographer To Mane.
Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle surfs a wave at North Beach during a giant swell that hit the Portuguese coast at North Beach, Nazare, Portugal. The Brazilian may have beaten Havaiian Garrett Mcnamara's record for the biggest wave ever surfed at 30 meters that was broken last January also at North Beach, Nazare.
Proud moment: Burle (second right, on the right) watches video of his monumental wave after getting out the water with the current world-record holder Garrett McNamara (far right, on the right)
Friendly competition: Burle (right) poses with the current world-record holder Garrett McNamara after the Brazilian surfer road the biggest wave of the day off the coast of Portugal near the fishing village of Nazare
Mr Burle's feat is even more amazing considering he had just saved a fellow Brazilian surfing friend from nearly drowning just before that. Maya Gabeira nearly drowned and had to be resuscitated on the beach when she fell on a wave and her jet-ski partner could not get to her in time. She was rescued unconscious and taken to hospital, where she was reportedly doing well despite suffering a broken ankle. 'Maya [Gabeira] almost died. For me, it was a big adrenaline moment to get back there after what happened,' he said.
Broken ankle: Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira floats apparently unconscious before being rescued by fellow surfers after falling trying to ride a big wave at the Praia do Norte
Hauled away: Brazilian professional surfer Maya Gabeira is rescued after a giant wave knocked her unconscious in the surf zone, in Praia do Norte, in Nazare, Portugal
Help: Surfers apply CPR to fellow surfer Maya Gabeira, from Brazil, who nearly drowned after falling trying to ride a big wave at the Praia do Norte
Father-off-two Andrew Cotton, 34, of Croyde, North Devon - who is a part-time professional surfer, plumber and lifeguard - also took on the monster waves off the coast of Portugal at Praia do Norte, around 8am this morning.
Married Mr Cotton, whose wife Katie and two children Honey, six, and Ace, one, are currently braving the storm at home on the Devon coast, was towed into the waves by his US surfing partner Garrett McNamara.
The duo work together in big waves by towing one another into the swells using a jet-ski, because waves of that size move so quickly it is impossible to paddle into the wave using just arm power.
English surfer Andrew Cotton rides an 80ft wave at the Praia do Norte, north beach, at the fishing village of Nazare in Portugal
The married father-of-two took on the monster waves caused by Atlantic Storm St Jude
It is not the first time Mr Cotton has been involved in a surfing world record - two years ago he was driving the jet-ski when he towed Mr McNamara into a giant wave at the same spot in 2011.
The beach is well-known in surfing circles as a mecca for huge waves because it picks up the full brunt of the violent Atlantic storm swells.
Mr Cotton had been avidly monitoring weather data and eagerly anticipating the waves created by St Jude's hitting Portugal, but was disappointed because the biggest waves created by the storm actually hit overnight before sunrise.
He said he could hear the waves pounding the shoreline overnight from inside the beach house he is staying in, saying the monster swells were even making the walls shake.
This morning Mr Cotton and his team were in the water before light at 6am, along with scores of other surfers all trying to ride the biggest wave.
Mr Cotton said: 'The storm that hit England last night started the waves hitting here last night. The house was shaking last night. We're staying in a house on the beach and I've stayed here before when it's been big and the odd set made the walls shake, but last night the whole thing was just shaking all night.'
Crowds watch on as brave British surfer Andrew Cotton glides into an 80ft monster wave
But despite the ominous rumbling, Mr Cotton said he slept remarkably well and was in the water raring to go before light.
He caught two waves before the potential record-breaker, which he believes was at around 8am, after he'd been in the sea for about two hours.
Mr Cotton described the moment he was towed-in to the monster: 'Garrett heard on the radio that the third wave looked good so he just popped me in there in the perfect position. It was really bumpy, I spent most of the time just trying to stay on my feet, it's like you can't go fast enough, it's not like normal surfing.'
Mr Cotton said it is hard for him to judge exactly how big a wave that size is, particularly as he is riding it.
He said: 'Everyone wants to put figures on it, there were definitely 80ft waves there today, some even bigger, it was ridiculous, everyone got huge waves today, it was frightening out there.
An unidentified surfer wipes out at a giant wave at Praia do Norte during a swell that hit the Portuguese coast, at Nazare, Portugal
'It's a really dangerous place because it's not a point break or a headland, it's a beach, so there's no way round and if you fall you're left swimming in 60ft white water.'
Mr Cotton did fall on the wave after the potential record-breaker because the wind had become really strong and was making the surface of the water difficult to ride.
He said: 'It started to get choppy, I wasn't gliding I was literally bouncing from chop to chop and I ended up catching and edge and just slammed down. I was under for quite a while.'
Mr Cotton is planning on staying in Portugal for the rest of the week as there are further big swells predicted for Wednesday. 'Hopefully there's more to come but with surfing you could wait ten years for it to get this big again, I just have to make sure I'm ready when it comes.'