Andy Irons Services Held Worldwide; Outpouring Of Aloha From Many Parts Of The Globe Is Testimony To His Lasting Legacy
If Andy Irons ever worried about his legacy he can certainly rest peacefully after today. Memorial services took place all around the world for Kauai native Andy Irons Sunday November 14, 2010, an outpouring of love and celebration of a short life that had great impact. A 3-time World Surfing Champion, Andy was not only a great surfer and waterman, but a well loved family man husband and great champion of the State of Hawaii and the Island of Kauai that he called home his entire life.
As his family and friends gathered at Andy's beloved home spot of Pine Trees on Kauai, simultaneous services were held in California, Puerto Rico, Maine, Florida, Bali, Europe and Australia.
Thousands filled the normally quiet Hanalei Bay on Kauai, with signs and chants for Andy. Five thousand miles across the Pacific, in Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach and Salt Creek in Dana Point, California surfers paid their own respects. Over 3,000 mourners gathered under the shadow of the Huntington Pier, among them Quiksilver founder Bob McKnight, former world champion Lisa Andersen, Hurley founder Bob Hurley, Surfline mastermind Sean Collins, as well as legends such as David Nuuhiwa, Reno Abellira, Mike Parsons and Jericho Poppler.
Reverend Summo, who gave the eulogy at Huntington Pier, noted that "Andy Irons was a gift from God, as is the very act of riding waves. He was special to all of us."
A native of Hawaii and a friend of the Irons family, he made the point that "as surfers we are bound by the spirit of water, and our love for the ocean. All over the world there are surfers in the water right now remembering Andy and the joy we share in the waves."
With hundreds in the paddle out circle of celebrants raised their voices, thousands more watched at the end of the Huntington Pier (above). The roar of their memorial chant could be heard hundreds of yards down the beach.
“What an amazing day, what an outpouring,” said Billabong’s Jeff Booth after the paddle-out ceremony in Huntington. “Aaron Pai deserves a lot of credit for organizing this. He said, ‘We need to get something together to remember Andy,’ and that’s what he did.”
Major news organizations attended including NBC and CBS affiliates, LA Times, Orange County Register, ESPN, and Radio Australia.
In other parts of the world memorials were smaller and more low key, but no less passionate. "This was a day to celebrate Andy Irons life and achievements," noted Royce Cansler, Billabong's Director of Retail Relations, who had helped put the HB memorial together. "This was a a beautiful day everywhere in the world to remember one of our greatest surf heroes."