Several sources are reporting three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons has died. He was 32. A statement issued by his family said this:
"Irons, 32, withdrew from a professional surfing event in Puerto Rico last weekend due to illness, and passed away during a layover en-route to his home in Kauai, Hawaii. He had reportedly been battling with Dengue Fever, a viral disease."
Irons won the world surfing championships in 2002, 2003, and 2004. He appeared on the cover of Outside twice, in June 2005 and May 2004. We'll be reporting more as soon as we learn it.
This time of year it's expected that ice cream shops and fast-food restaurants might add a dash of holiday-inspired ingredients to dessert items to evoke some seasonal spirit and extra sales. But what about energy-food brands?
Two of the biggest players, Clif Bar & Company and GU Energy Labs, unveiled holiday-themed products this month. The Christmasy bars and gels include cranberries, gingerbread flavors, "icing," and spices normally found in a pumpkin pie.
GU's Vanilla Gingerbread and Mint Chocolate energy gels, which I have not yet tried, come out this week. They include similar nutritional stats as the company's regular GU, though with fun holiday packaging and flavoring usually reserved for Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.
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A number of surfers shared their thoughts on Irons.
“My thoughts are with Bruce and Lyndie and their parents and all of his many friends around the world,” Slater said. “It's a huge and far too premature loss for all of us. He was the most intense competitor I've ever known and one of the most sensitive people. He had so much life left in him and it hurts to think about. We look forward to his memory living on with our memories of him and his child on the way. There are a lot of uncles awaiting his arrival. I really miss Andy. He had a really good heart." --Kelly Slater
“It was good having the paddle-out, getting everyone together,” Fanning said. “We're a surfing family. We all look out for each other. Just for us to paddle out and show our respects to Andy, to his family, to all his friends on Kauai and Hawaii - it's good. We are all hurting right now and we're just wanting to pay our respects.” --Mick Fanning
"I think that the biggest thing is that we're thankful for so much,” Hobgood said. “I'm thankful to be a surfer because we are family and I'm thankful to be a part of Andy's family. I've traveled with him since I was 12 years old. Just the person that he was, it made me a better person. It made everyone around him a better person." -- C.J. Hobgood
“We didn't see the guys that often on Tour, but Andy in particular is one of the most beautiful human-beings,” Gilmore said. “Such an incredible competitor, but always so gentle and so kind. Always gave you the time of day. No matter where you were or how busy he was, he'd stop and say hi and ask how you were going. He's going to be really really missed by everyone.” --Stephanie Gilmore