Today the surfing world is mourning the loss of one of its own. Yesterday afternoon, news broke that three-time world champion Andy Irons had passed away suddenly.
After withdrawing from the Rip Curl Pro Search this week because of suspected Dengue Fever, Andy was on his way home to Kauai, Hawaii, but was too sick to catch his connecting flight to Dallas. He was found dead on Tuesday morning in his hotel room.
Andy was one of the most dominant surfers in the history of the sport, and from 2002 through 2004 he had an absolute stranglehold on the ASP world title.
Considered to be Kelly Slater's fiercest rival, his competitive fire burned hotter than anybody else on the planet. He's the only surfer to have ever won at every stop on the ASP World Tour, but more than that, it was his fearlessness in the world's heaviest waves that set him apart. One of the best backside tube riders ever, his bravado at Teahupoo and other awe-inspiring waves of consequence are what set him apart from the rest.
“At this time the family thanks his friends and fans for their support, and asks that the community respect its privacy,” said an official Irons family statement. “The family also asks to not be contacted so their focus can remain on one another during this time of profound loss.”
The statement continues: “Irons, who began his career with the elite ASP World Tour in 1998, went on to collect 20 elite tour victories, four Triple Crown of Surfing Titles, three consecutive ASP World Titles and change the sport forever with his unparalleled ability and comprehensive approach to surfing.”
Andy will missed by all. Though no longer officially supported by Red Bull, Andy blazed a trail for Red Bull Surfing before anyone else in the surfing world, along with his brother Bruce, who continues to do so.
Our best wishes go out to the Irons family, his wife Lyndie and all their friends around the world.