He’s the World Champ, and now the Triple Crown and Pipe Champ![IMAGE 1]
You have to sit back and wonder if Bruce and Andy Irons were sitting in the yard at the Volcom Pipe house this morning having the following conversation: Bruce says, “What do you want to do today Andy?”
Andy replies, “Try to take over the world, Bruce.” Whether that exchange occurred or not, Andy has completed the quest for total world domination in the sport of surfing. Shining in the Gerry Lopez XBOX Pipeline Masters final today, he has won the Pipe Masters, the Triple Crown, and the World Title all in the same year—a feat previously accomplished only by fellow-finalist Kelly Slater in 1995.
The all-star final consisted of eight-time Pipe Master finalist Kelly Slater, the 2001 WQS World Champion Mick Fanning, 2002 Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Finalist Shane Dorian, and 2002 WCT Champ Andy Irons. The final took place in three- to five-foot surf with the occasional six-foot set rolling through and approximately 5,000 spectators on the beach.
Dorian got off to a solid start with a nice Backdoor barrel scoring a 4.5, and backed it up with a score of 7.75—giving him a solid lead. Andy answered back with a solid barrel and a huge floater off the whitewash scoring a 6.0 and giving himself a solid second-place position. As a set rolled in, Dorian took off extremely deep on a great wave and received an 8.35. Andy then received the best score of the heat with a 9.25—still in second place, but only needing a 6.85 to take the lead with half the heat remaining.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Mick attempted to put together some scores, but couldn’t seem to find the deep barrels necessary to get high scores at Pipe.
It seemed as though Andy used the same strategy that gave him the late win at Teahupoo this year, by racking up some solid waves and then waiting for the set wave to put him on top near the end. With approximately five minutes remaining, a set appeared on the outside near the third reef. Andy took off on a fantastic wave, getting barreled and making it well out onto the shoulder, and proceeding to work the rest of the wave (a tactic that doesn’t necessarily increase the score much—the majority of the scores at Pipe are the result of how good the barrel is) but received a 8.4. This forced Dorian in a position of needing a 9.3-wave, which never came through.
As the final seconds counted down off the clock, Andy’s friends ran into the water to hug the champion who’s won it all this year—carrying him onto the deep sand at Ehukai Beach Park, like a Hawaiian king, except now Andy’s king of the world.[IMAGE 3]Final Scores:
1st Andy Irons (Haw ) 17.65p
2nd Shane Dorian (Haw ) 16.1Op
3rd Kelly Slater (USA ) 9.55p
4th Mick Fanning (Aus ) 9.OOp