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Surfer Andrew Cotton seeks ultimate big waves

Updated 1822 GMT (0222 HKT) December 29, 2016
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British surfer Andrew Cotton hopes to ride the biggest wave in history, ideally in previously untouched waters. Red Bull Content Pool
That quest has taken him to Portugal, where he surfed one of the biggest waves in history of 60 feet in 2014. Red Bull Content Pool
But the Englishman has his heart set on the record held by his surf buddy Garrett McNamara. The American's official best is a 78-footer in 2011; he claimed to have managed 100 feet in January 2013, but this has not been ratified by Guinness World Records. Red Bull Content Pool
Cotton, here venturing into the water in Portugal, says big-wave surfing can sometimes take days of preparation for just five or six seconds on a wave. Red Bull Content Pool
Cotton likens riding a big wave -- and knowing you will be engulfed by the water -- to meditation. Here he catches a wave in Killybegs, Ireland. Red Bull Content Pool
A trained plumber, he has been able to put his previous trade on hold for the past two years to surf professionally. Red Bull Content Pool
Jet skis are often essential when trying to catch big waves, and Cotton took McNamara onto his 2013 effort. Red Bull Content Pool
He admits there are dangers to big wave surfing and says he feels fear every time it comes to tackle the monstrous swells -- such as this one at Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal. Red Bull Content Pool
The world's leading big-wave surfers flock to Nazare for the European winter season. Lars Baron/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Cotton spends months of the year away from his wife Katy and their two children to pursue his profession. Red Bull Content Pool
But he relishes returning home and surfing his home waters in Croyde on the north Devon coast in England. Red Bull Content Pool