Sat, 6 November 2010

thumb_a-llandudno_Anton-Louw2Surfers around South Africa held paddle-out memorials for Hawaiian Andy Irons as his career nemesis Kelly Slater closed in on an unprecedented 10th world surfing title.

In Port Elizabeth, Kerry Wright reports that "I think we were the first city to hold a paddle out, arranged by Jaryd Mason and Brad Beck via FB  - Thursday afternoon at the Pipe. Attended by 40-50 guys, John McCleod and Dave Lipshitz shared some thoughts and prayers".

At Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg, about 70 surfers paid tribute to the three-time world champion when they paddled out to just beyond the breakers, bearing flowers held between their teeth. Spike and surf elder Tich Paul said a few words to the assembled, with Tich saying a prayer to commit Irons to the big kahuna in the sky. Paul commented on Iron’s prodigious abilities, and how, even in far-away South Africa, his talents were recognised.

Paddle-out ceremonies were also held out at the backline in Big Bay, Bloubergstrand, as well as Llandudno, the Strand (30 or so people in beautiful 2-3ft offshores), Jeffrey’s Bay (atleast 40-50 folk bearing flowers in clean, flat seas and cloudy skies) and Durban, the biggest paddleout.

A few hundred surfers paid homage off the New Pier along the city’s golden mile, lead out to sea by Shane Thorne. It was a moving gathering to see so many people out there. In Durban, according to Justin and Faye Klusener, once the circle broke up a single dolphin appeared amongst the surfers and swam around them for some time. Eerie.

It might seem strange to outsiders that a bunch of surfers in a far-away land make such a big thing when another surfer they have never met dies.

This is the brotherhood of surfing. Like him or not, he was an outrageous talent.



0 #1 Willie 2010-11-06 18:13
I was at a Strand pipe paddle out for AI, another good 30 or so people in beautiful 2-3ft offshores. Really great to see a surfing community pull together to say goodbye to a massive talent.
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