Tuesday, November 2, 2010

There are many, many unanswered questions here and the truth, when it comes out may not be a pretty sight for everyone concerned.

Nonetheless a great champion died alone in a hotel room in Texas and leaves a wife and unborn child behind.
That is a tragedy and leaves alot of people in shock wondering what the hell happened.
Deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

I was lucky enough to interview Andy twice this year and surf with him the evening before his great comeback victory in Tahiti.

He was gracious, humble, stoked, warm and personable.
His surfing was a Dionysian blend of pure emotion and athletic spontaneity. His great performances left deep visceral impressions on those lucky enough to witness them.
In heavy water lefts where a surfers courage and skill were tested to the limit he was first among equals.
His rivalry with Slater produced epic performances, enthralling contests and remains a high water mark for Professional surfing.
His comeback saw a man of great humility and tenderness who aroused tremendous affection and respect from his peers.

I’ve described Andy Irons in biblical terms several times this year. Looking back these descriptions have an eerie prescience. At times he didn’;t really seem of this world.
He seemed insubstantial, ghost-like. A shadow of his former self.

Who know when death first casts it’s shadow on the living. Some men seem marked for it at an early age. With others it comes without warning.

Looking back at Andy this year it seems a shadow was upon him. The eerie shambling figure at Snapper, walking up the hill in the rain with bent shoulders and wife following behind at a respectful distance. Even in the throes of triumph in Tahiti Andy seemed somehow disbelieving, as if this were all a dream that would end soon.

He has fallen.
We are all falling.
Sliding along the knife edge of oblivion towards the end of time.

His legacy will remain for the ages. He burned bright. Too bright to be gifted the blessing of longevity.
He was one of the few to capture the imagination of the many. He transcended the mediocre and achieved greatness.
RIP Andy Irons.

-Steve Shearer