Bruce Irons: emotional waves

And there he was, Andy Irons, overlooking his fellow surfers and friends paddling for each moment they shared with the Hawaiian. The 2010 Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons has kicked off in six foot waves, on Oahu’s North Shore.

It was a day of mixed feelings. Bruce Irons witnessed the birth of Andy Jr. and flew in to the contest to compete against Tom Whitaker, who took Andy's open slot.

"He's a nice, healthy baby boy. Lyndie and Andy Axel are doing really good and I'm just happy that they're healthy” Bruce said after the heat. “Contests are fun but life means a lot more. I was at the hospital at 8 o'clock, the baby came out, some guy gave us a private jet, picked us up at the airport, flew by the (Pipeline) lineup and parked at Mokuleia, and drove right here".

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Cobden Beach: New Zealand lost two great surfers | Photo: hs238/Panoramio

Glen Cruse and Kane Nieper have lost their lives in the Pike River Coal Mine tragedy, in New Zealand. Our fellow surfers were members of the Kahuna Boardriders Club.

Glen was a miner and Kane was a builder working for a local contractor. They both had young children and were wonderful mates.

Last week, the surf club members attended the memorial service, at Omoto Racecourse, and gathered friends and family to remember their friends.

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Taj Burrow: hide and seek

The world's best surfers are preparing for the last event of year. And, what a contest. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2010 Billabong Pipeline Masters, in Hawaii, the 50th US state.

The third jewel of the Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing will kick off December 8th and will be finished until the 20th. There are 24 surfers competing for the iconic contest.

The reigning 10-time ASP World champion, Kelly Slater, will be up and running in the third round. Taj Burrow, from Australia, will be defending his Billabong Pipe Masters title. “I’m just really happy to be back in Hawaii and to have it looking like there are going to be waves for the start,” Burrow said. “Pipe is a special wave and winning there last year was definitely one of the highlights of my career. I just hope we can all get some big barrels and have a good event.”

The leader of the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing rankings will be very focused and not even an old ankle injury will stop him from trying to take home the golden trophy.

“Defending the Triple Crown has been the goal since I found out when I could come back,” Parkinson said. “To be honest, my ankle wasn’t feeling 100% when I started back at Haleiwa and my confidence wasn’t that high. Obviously things went really well for me at Haleiwa and I had an alright result in Sunset. The waves have been pretty slow since Haleiwa so hopefully we get some surf for Pipe”.

Saturday, a final celebration dedicated to the life and achievements of Andy Irons will be held at Pipeline, at 10am.

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1:Adam Melling (AUS) vs. Kamalei Alexander (HAW)
Heat 2:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Clay Marzo (HAW)
Heat 3:Kai Otton (AUS) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 4:Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Kiron Jabour (HAW)
Heat 5:Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 6:Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Danny Fuller (HAW)
Heat 7:Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Heat 8:Luke Munro (AUS) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 9:Gabe Kling (USA) vs. Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Heat 10:Rob Machado (USA) vs. Granger Larsen (HAW)
Heat 11:Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Joel Centeio (HAW)
Heat 12:Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2:Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBD
Heat 3:Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 4:Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 5:Taylor Knox (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 6:Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7:Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 8:Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 9:Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. TBD
Heat 10:Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 11:Brett Simpson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12:Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. TBD

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 3:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 4:Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 5:C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 7:Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 8:Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 9:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBD
Heat 10:Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 11:Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. TBD
Heat 12:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBD