Andy Irons: a very good surfer

Andy Irons, three-time world surfing champion, has died in a hotel room, in Dallas, USA, at the age of 32.

Reports say Andy Irons withdrew from the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico because he was battling with dengue fever and had to leave the island for proper treatment. He failed the first round of competition and was not in physical conditions to get back on water for the second round of the surfing contest.

In order to fight the viral infection, he spent two days in an intravenous drip, in Miami. As he was trying to reach his own Hawaiian doctor, he lost the flight connection to his homeland, from Dallas. He was feeling strong fever and vomiting made him check in the Grand Hyatt Hotel DFW Airport.

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

Andy would be a father, for the first time, in the next month. He will be survived by his wife Lyndie Dupuis. 

Irons was crowned king of the ASP World Tour, during three consecutive years, from 2002 to 2004. Also, he had won two Rip Curl Pro Search: Mexico (2006) and Chile (2007).

Andy will always be remembered as one of the greatest surfers of the world and a funny, genuine, competitive, vibrant and direct human being. His latest title was the famous 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti, held in the Teahupoo wave peak.

"Andy has made me a better, more focused and stronger competitor. 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", said Kelly Slater of his fellow and rival surfer.

In his last event of the ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Andy Irons said he was feeling very happy and that he was living great times.

"At this time the family thanks his friends and fans for their support, and asks that the community respect its privacy. The family also asks to not be contacted so their focus can remain on one another during this time of profound loss", says Andy Irons' family in a statement.

The 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico has been suspended. The Association of Surfing Professionals and the pro surfers will decide if/when to resume the event.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lyndie, Bruce, his family and friends in Kauai. Pay your tribute to Andy Irons.

There's a tribute photo gallery dedicated to Andy Irons. Read the most famous Andy Irons' quotes.

Andy Irons: the curriculum of a surfing icon

ASP World Tour titles: 3
Dream Tour victories: 20
Triple Crown of Surfing titles: 4
Rip Curl Pro Search titles: 2