At about 1:30 p.m. today, under perfect skies, and in decent (3-5 foot) surf at Lower Trestles, three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons lost in his quarter-final bout with Australian Phil MacDonald. It was an evenly contested heat, with the two regular footers exchanging waves, and when all was said and done, MacDonald edged Irons by a mere tenth of a point.
On the beach, a wave of disappointment swept over the crowd, as Andy bowing out meant we wouldn’t see a much-anticipated Slater-Irons final.
Irons loss opens up several new world-title-race scenarios, including opening a window of opportunity for the supersonic Mick Fanning (currently #3 in the ratings), who dispatched C.J. Hobgood in the next quarterfinal to make the semis.
I was going to try to get some comments from Andy, but he was understandably not that happy when he got out of the water, and he packed his stuff up and took off. Knowing A.I., he’ll use this loss as fuel to burn in the beachbreaks of Southern France on the 9th stop of the 12-stop 2005 tour. I wouldn’t want to get Andy in a heat in France, he’ll be out for vengance.
The semi finals are set:
Semi #1: Kelly Slater vs. Taj Burrow
Semi #2: Phil MacDonald vs. Mike Fanning
Semi finals about to start … I’ll do an update when it’s all over. Go to BoostMobile.com.