ANDY Irons is the 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti champion and a popular one to boot. He defeated CJ Hobgood in overhead waves who just couldn't make it through a number of deep barrels.
Andy used to be chalk or cheese, some loved his competitive 'I'm going to eat you' uber-aggressive anti-hero style but he's never carried the crowd like others. Since dropping off the tour and returning he's gained likeability and the the channel went bonkers as he won. Turns out he still likes that winning feeling.
"I did it!" Irons exclaimed. "I took a lot of losses, but I put in the hard work too. I dedicate this win 100% to my wife, Lindy, she is everything to me and without her, I'd be nothing. I really, really like competing because I love to win and I feel on top of the world today. I surf because I love to win. I love this feeling."
Second to local winning in the popularity stakes it has to be a 'Bong rider. This is no joke, everything in Tahiti is obsessed by this comp and the wave. From the wallpaper in the airport to local phone offers and collectable 'limited edition' Coca Cola cans it's all Billabong Pro Tahiti. Even to the extent of having a channel on the TV in the aeroplane. They love it here, it's all people ask you about once they know you're a surfer.