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The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge
presented by Rockstar Games

Iinternational Bodyboarding Association
Shark Island, Cronulla, NSW
27 June - 31July 2006

Trials – In memory of Brett Young: 16th – 18th of June

Local Standout and Wildcard Andrew Lester Talks About Going Deep for $40,000

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 May, 2006 : - - Australian Andrew Lester enters the Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge as a local Wildcard! What’s the go there you may ask! What happened last year - Why isn’t he in the top 16! Andrew has dominated the top level of this sport for years – constantly winning events / constantly pushing himself towards that goal that he has been striving for – his first world title – will this year see the return of Andrew Lester.

Interview by Mark Fordham

What has been happening lately Andy? Give us a quick summary of the last 12 months in the life of Andy Lester.

The past 12 months have been a little up and down for me. I had a really good first heat in last years Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge and felt really good for the next few events. Unfortunately I couldn't find my rhythm and ended low in the ratings.

After the end of last years IBA World Men’s tour you ended up missing the cut for the top 16. For the first time it looks as if you will have to fight your way through the earlier rounds?

Basically – The last year of the WST being 2004- comprised of a top 24. When the WST merged with the WQT which was a top 16 at the time, a decision was made that it would be the top 20 for 2005. This was a transitional year and would go back to top 16 in the second year(2006).

It was to make things fair for the leading riders in both tours being the top 16 WST riders and the top 4 WQT riders, then for 2006 it would be again scaled down to the top 16. I’m looking forward to competing in the earlier rounds. Being in the top 16 for so long, you tend to get a little lazy. So hopefully it works in my favour and I can take down the top rated guys.

At The Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro you needed to do well, how was the event and what happened during that heat?

Going into the pipe event I knew I needed to do well. So my game plan was to get a wave quickly at the start and then wait for the sets. I ended up waiting the last 14 minutes of a 25 minute heat. The waves just didn't come.

Once you realised that you weren’t going to make the top 16 for next year what was going through your mind? Did you have any thoughts of having a year off?

I was pretty upset after the event. I didn't perform and in turn I will now have to pay the consequences. A year off for me though was never an option. I'm here to win a world title and I’ll pursue that for as long as it takes.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned on tour in 2005? Do you feel like you need to change something or train harder?

The most valuable lesson I learnt last year was to not take things for granted. You have to earn and work hard for everything you get. I've been training harder for this years challenge than I have in my career.

Last years CSIC ended with a lack of waves. What was your reaction to the announcement for equal points and equal prize money for all quarter finalists on the last possible day of last years waiting period? Do you think it was the right decision made? Did it affect your plans for the world title race?

I was really disappointed with how last years event finished. At Cronulla Point when it came down to a vote, there were only 3 riders out of 16 who wanted to compete. Ben Player, Mitch Rawlins and myself. I was hoping it didn't come to a vote. It's easy to say now whether it was the right or wrong decision. It happened and I can't do anything about it.

I would have surfed on the day the decision was made but the others voted against it. With having equal points with everyone else, it meant I couldn't drop an event. So every comp I entered counted to my overall point score.

Do you ever get that feeling like you’re the favorite going into your local home break event? Does it feel like having a bull’s-eye on you- with everybody want to beat you. Does this have an effect on your mental preparation for the CSIC?

I wouldn't say I’m the favorite, I think I have a good knowledge of the wave and the other riders are aware of that. Every year I go out to win the event, if other riders are worrying about what I’m doing then that's going to put them off. But mentally I know I can beat anyone out there, it's a matter of doing it in a 30 minute heat, and then going out and doing it 3 more times.

Current IBA world champion Ben Player will be a marked man for this first International event for 2006, Is Ben a threat to you? Who do you consider the toughest opposition for this year’s event?

Ben is a definite threat in the event, he comes down and put some time in out there leading up to the contest. The past winners are threats because they know what it takes to win.

Your peers on the WMT considered you one of the best free surfers in the world, do you enter an event with this philosophy or do you have a planned strategic attack for the heat. How do you prepare yourself?

In the island event I try and go off instinct. I try and think that I am free surfing and stay relaxed. In other events I change my strategy to what the surf is doing.

What do you do when the surf is flat!

Lately I’ve been going to the gym and then go for a paddle on the big clubby boards. Kick a footy in the afternoon. Go for a swim, just kill time.

Describe your perfect day.

Perfect day for me would be a king high tide at 9.30am with an 8ft south east swell and light west winds. On the way home find a lottery ticket. Win big on that and then sit down and watch the sharkies win the NRL premiership. Go out to celebrate and find the woman of my dreams, who likes me too.

Who are your surfing mates at home?

I surf with Alex Leon and Ringa mainly. Whoever's around? Few of the younger guys like Johnny Showell and Jacko.

What is your standard board these days?

These days I’m riding a 41 inch Dow board with a stringer combo, with a cresent tail and nose bulbs. It is a pretty simple shape that works for me.

From the first time you ever picked up a Bodyboard, did you ever imagine being in the position you are today?

Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would get to do this. Go to the places I’ve been and the people I’ve meet. I'm so stoked with my career and achievements.

What’s planned after the CSIC for Andrew Lester! What do you hope to achieve for this year on tour? What events will you target / any surf trips planned ?

My plans for this year are to compete on the IBA WMT tour and really push for a world title. Everything I’m doing is going towards that goal.

For all your official and up to date information

www.cronullasharkislandchallenge.com

Source: http://www.globalsurfnews.com/news.asp?Id_news=21891
 

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Cronulla_Sharks: RT @NRLNEWS: RR: Saddened to hear of the news that Andy Irons has passed away. Condolences to friends and family

Cronulla_Sharks: RT @NRLNEWS: RR: Saddened to hear of the news that Andy Irons has passed away. Condolences to friends and family of Irons.

More...
 

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RIP- Andy Irons

Mark Occhilupo delivers emotional tribute to former world champion Andy Irons after his sudden death

David Riccio From: The Daily Telegraph November 03, 2010 9:45AM

THE surfing world is in mourning with reports that three-time world champion Andy Irons is dead.

Irons missed his first and second round heats at the Rip Curl Search Puerto Rico stop on the ASP Men's World Tour on Saturday due to illness and was travelling back home when the 32 year-old was deemed too ill to travel on his connecting flight from Texas to Hawaii and was grounded there.

He was found dead in his room early this morning.

Australia's former world champion Mark Occhilupo delivered an emotional tribute to Irons on Fox Sports News.

"He was one of my best mates," said Occhilupo. "It's really, really heart-wrenching.

"He was such a vibrant, lovely person to be around."

A statement was released from Irons' family via the ASP World Tour.

"The world of surfing mourns an incredibly sad loss today with the news that Hawaii's Andy Irons has died," the statement read.

"Andy was a beloved husband and a true champion. Irons, 32, withdrew from a professional surfing event in Puerto Rico last weekend due to illness and passed away during a layover en route to his home in Kauai, Hawaii.

"At this time the family sincerely thanks his friends and fans for their support and asks that the community respect their privacy. The family also asks not to be contacted so their focus can remain on one another during this time of profound loss."

Rip Curl event organisers were planning to meet shortly to determine whether they should cancel the remainder of the competition or continue on in Irons' honour.

"We're still getting our key people together so there's nothing to really discuss at the moment," said event manager Brooke Farris.

"We haven't made any announcement as such."

The cause of death has yet to be confirmed but Occhilupo corroborated the reports on several surfing websites which identified dengue fever as the cause.

The Australian said Irons had suffered from dengue fever before, after catching it in Bali, and that it flared when the American was feeling run down.

Occhilupo said Irons was discovered in his Dallas hotel by a Billabong rep who had gone to his room after a call from Irons' wife Lyndie Dupuis who couldn't understand why she hadn't heard from her husband.

The Australian, who said he broke down crying after being told the news by fellow pro surfer Joel Parkinson, will fly to Hawaii on Saturday.

"It's going to be one of the biggest funerals in history because he was loved by everyone," said Occhilupo.

"I'm just devastated."

Irons was arguably the most dominant surfer of the early to mid 2000s.

In addition to his world titles, Irons had 19 world tour victories and has the distinction of being the only surfer to have won at every location on the tour.

But more significant than the statistics was his reputation as perhaps the only true rival nine-time World Champion Kelly Slater has ever known, and the two engaged in some of the most memorable title races in history.

Irons returned to the World Tour this year after a one-year hiatus. While his results had been up and down, a recent win at the Billabong Pro Tahiti in August signified a return to form in the kind of powerful, barrelling surf in which he made his reputation.

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk echoed the sentiments of surf fans across the world when he tweeted early this morning: "R.I.P. Andy Irons. You & your incredible talents will be missed dearly. Thank you for the good times in Fiji.''

Australian pro surfer Luke Munro was also in shock when he tweeted: "Just arrived on aussie soil but feel sick with the news I have just heard.''

Irons is survived by his family and pregnant wife Lyndie.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sp...ns-dies-suddenly/story-e6frey6i-1225947086628

Very sad. :(
 

SharkLabelSociety

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I heard about this when I was on the road this morning. Unbelievable.

When I was a kid I had a big Andy Irons poster in my bedroom. Even though Occy was my hero as a young surfer, I was an Irons fan as well.

RIP.
 

gando2230

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I hope its not drug related but it doesnt look good.

Want to remembered as a big wave charger than a druggo?
 

dier

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I haven't heard much since yesterday about this story. Last I heard it was gange(?) fever.

Did a quick search and found this:

Former surf champ Andy Irons died from a drug overdose
Staff writers From: Herald
Sun November 04, 2010 12:00AM

SURF champ Andy Irons was found dead beside bottles of insomnia and anxiety medication, but not methadone, according to a report.

Authorities discovered bottles containing the prescription medications alprazolam, a generic form of Xanax, and zolpidem, a generic form of Ambien, on a nightstand in Irons' Texas hotel room, news website TMZ reported.

The website, citing a police report, said the 32-year-old was found "laying on his back with the sheet pulled up to his neck".

"The bed covers and pillows were neatly set and nothing appeared out of the ordinary."

Contrary to newspaper reports yesterday, there was no mention in the police report of methadone being found in any of the medicine bottles.



The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported the death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose after methadone was discovered in a zolpidem bottle.

A US medical examiner has ruled out trauma and foul play in the death.

Irons, a native of Maui, Hawaii, and winner of three world titles and 20 pro tour events, died yesterday after reportedly suffering a bout of dengue fever.

He was returning from Puerto Rico, where he was to compete in the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search.

He withdrew citing an illness he contracted in Portugal.

Tarrant County Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani said the cause and manner of death are pending due to completion of lab tests, which could take several weeks.

His wife, Lyndie, is expecting the couple's first child in December.

He was found in bed by staff at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after failing to respond to a wake-up call, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.

Irons was regarded as a surfer's surfer, a charmed boardrider with movie star looks and laid-back approach to his success. The surfing community is in mourning for the loss of an athlete who embodied his sport.

"It's all about the feeling I get from riding that wave," he once said. "I have a lot of inner demons and if I didn't have surfing to get them out of my system, I would self-destruct.

"Surfing is the reason that keeps me going in a normal state, that keeps my life on an even keel. Without it I would just tip into oblivion."

Irons, who was world champion in 2002, 2003, and 2004, also leaves behind an adoring surfing fraternity, including fellow champs Kelly Slater and Australian Mark Occhilupo, who saw him as a genuine hero.

"I just broke down, I went to my wife and couldn't stop crying," the 1999 world champ told Fox Sports.

"It's just really, really heart-wrenching . . . I'm devastated. He was such a vibrant, lovely person to be around."

Slater, whose rivalry with Irons was surfing's equivalent of Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier, was rocked by Irons' death not long after they buried the hatchet after years of animosity.

He will dedicate his next world title to Irons' memory.

"Andy has made me a better, more focused and stronger competitor," Slater said.

"Whether I've been in situations in the past where I've wanted to admit it or not, he's always been one of my favourite surfers."

A statement from Irons' family described him as "a beloved husband, and a true champion".

Billabong, a company Irons had a strong relationship with, declared "a profound loss".

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/wo...-a-drug-overdose/story-e6frf7lf-1225947537150
 
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gando2230

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Check out this tribute to Andy Irons, Tracks Mag

Tracks Andy Irons Tribute Video
By Greg Weatherall
04 November 2010

Tracks, Andy Irons tribute.

The pro tour pays its respects to a friend and a legend… Direct from Puerto Rico Andy’s peers offer their sentiments on the three-time world champion.
Featuring timeless footage of Andy, images of the memorial paddle out and tributes from Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Steph Gilmore.

Philip Andrew Irons 1978 - 2010

BORKED

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P-1Sc4W0Hg

http://www.tracksmag.com/201011042083/Videos/Tracks-Tube/Tracks-Andy-Irons-Tribute-VIdeo.html
 

Gil

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Great tribute, well done tracks and the surfing community.
 

Megashark

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Tragic news, still can't believe it. A real star of the surfing world and by all accounts a fantastic bloke as well. RIP.
 

gando2230

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Kelly "SlaTEN" Claims his historic tenth world title at Puerto Rico.
What a legend of the sport.
 

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A very moving tribute to AI from his good mate Parko:

ANDY
Posted by Parko in Freestyling,Photos,World Tour

Wes rang me yesterday morning. I had two missed calls back-to-back from Wes so I knew something must be up. When he finally got me he asked if the kids were around. I told him they were and he told me it was best I just walk away from them for a second. Then he told me what had happened. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I went white and I bawled. Right there on the spot. But then I went into shock and I was in this state of shock all day yesterday. A bunch of us went up to the surf club at Snapper yesterday afternoon and had a few beers and cried and told Andy stories. We were talking about when we went over to the desert in West Oz last year to surf and were there for Occ’s birthday. We surfed that righthander; just me and Andy out surfing together. Then we had to sleep in a two-man tent head-to-toe and he complained the whole time because he hated camping. There were so many memories. I remember flipping a chocolate bar in Japan with him for priority in a heat we had together back in 2003. But that was just one… there were a million of them.

I think I felt worse today than I did yesterday. I woke up this morning and just bawled because it was real now. Yesterday I was numb with the shock of hearing the news, but I woke up today and it was real. I’m never going to see him again. I’m never going to see my friend. He’s gone. I went and trained at the gym Andy and I used to train at, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I was waiting for him just to walk through the door.

I’m really thinking of the guys over in Puerto Rico right now. I really miss them at a time like this, and it must be really hard for the guys who are still in the contest to have to deal with losing their friend but having to keep on surfing. It sucks for the guys still in it, but the contest has to go on. I’m feeling like all this is happening a long way away, and I’m really missing being around my friends on tour.

I was supposed to be travelling with Andy this year. Before I cut my foot we had it all sorted out that I was going to be travelling with him for the rest of the year; through California, Europe and Puerto Rico. I was going to be travelling with him and Freddy and we were all going to be hanging out together as this little team. And we were already talking about travelling together next year, taking the girls and the kids to Tahiti. The thought of him dying alone in a hotel room just wrecks me.

As a surfer he had that mad dog in him. He wasn’t afraid of anything, and wore his heart on both his sleeves. He was the most emotional surfer I’ve ever seen. He had that unbelievable aggression in his surfing, and he became one of the best. I idolised him. If Andy put his mind to it there was nothing he couldn’t do on a wave, and over the years I’ve seen him do some of the most incredible things on the most incredible waves. He and Kelly, between them, have owned surfing for the past 10 years.

When I was talking to Mick on the phone yesterday I said to him that I think I understand now how he must have felt when his brother, Sean died, because Andy was like a brother to me. He was one of my best friends. You know what I liked about Andy? He remembered everyone. He had this ability to remember faces and names and people in places he hadn’t been to in a decade. People meant everything to him, and he made everyone feel special. You didn’t need to be a professional surfer. He’d meet so many people over the years in all the places he’d been, but he’d remember their names and he had time for all of them. He had that quality. He got involved in people’s lives and took an interest in people’s lives. It didn’t matter who you were. And I know he died young, but he lived his life to the fullest, and what he did in 32 years would take most people 132 years.

My heart goes out to Lyndie, his son, Bruce, his family, his Hawaiian crew and everyone around the world he reached out to.

Andy was a king; a king of surfing.

Love you, mate.

Joel

http://joelparko.com/freestyling/andy/
 

gando2230

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Congrats Parko.

PARKINSON PREVAILS WITH THIRD VANS TRIPLE CROWN

After losing yesterday in round three, Parkinson, 29, had to watch his third consecutive Triple Crown title unfold from the sidelines. If Adrian Buchan made it to the final, he would have stolen the title from Joel.

Parkinson won $10,000, a one-of-a-kind $10,000 Nixon watch for his position as the most consistent performer across the Vans Triple Crown series. He won the first stop at Haleiwa, returning from an injury that took him away from the ASP World Tour for six months; he reached the quarter finals at Sunset Beach, and finished equal 13th here.

"It's really sweet this year," said Parkinson. "I had close calls a couple of years, with Andy one year when he had to win the final to win the Triple Crown and he did. He took the money, the cars, everything from me," he laughed.

"Thanks for everything, I'll be back next year."

http://triplecrownofsurfing.com/vtcs10/news_article/parkinson_prevails_with_third_vans_triple_crown.
 
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