Riding ocean waves four storeys high

Surfer Jeff Clark was born and raised a mile away from a spot on the Californian coast which produces waves as high as a four-storey building. Jeff always dreamed of taking on these daunting waves despite the nearby presence of the Mavericks rocks. In 1975, after studying them for many weeks, he became the first surfer to ride the Mavericks.

It was almost another two decades before Mavericks began to catch the attention of the surfing world and in 1994, Mark Foo, a leading big wave surfer, arrived with other international surfboarders to take on the Mavericks.

Jeff Clark spoke to Witness about how seeking the ultimate thrill might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.

Witness is a World Service programme of the stories of our times told by the people who were there.

BBC News