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Thursday, August 21, 2014         

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Late surfer's wife gives birth to boy

Congratulations roll in for Lyndie Irons and the first child of the champion waterman

By Rosemarie Bernardo

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Lyndie Irons, widow of the late surfing champion Andy Irons, gave birth to their son on Kauai yesterday.

Andrew Axel Irons was born via Caesarean section about 8 a.m. yesterday. "Mom and baby are doing fine," said Jodi Wilmott, spokeswoman of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

A three-time world surfing champion, Irons, 32, died Nov. 2 in Dallas. The cause of death is under investigation. Irons' wife was seven months pregnant at the time of his death. Andrew is their first child.

On Nov. 14, thousands attended a memorial service at Hanalei Bay to celebrate Irons' life.

Messages were posted yesterday on websites including those of Surfer Magazine, Twitter and North Shore Kauai congratulating Irons' family members. "We officially welcome Andy Axel Irons into the world. All our love to Lyndie and the Irons family," tweeted Billabong.

Yesterday was the first day of the Billabong Pipe Masters, this year being held in honor of the surfing icon. Soon after the birth of his son, Irons' brother, Bruce, flew to Oahu from Kauai on a private jet to participate in the first heat of the event.

"He's a nice, healthy baby boy. Andy Axel's doing really good and I'm just happy that they're healthy. 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) and parked at Mokuleia and drove right there," said Bruce Irons in a news release.

Emotions were high among competitors and spectators at the prestigious event.

Tom Whitaker, who was Andy Irons' replacement in the Pipe Masters, competed in the same heat as Bruce.

"It was just an emotional heat. Life's not about getting through heats anymore, it's about loving people. Little Andy was born this morning and Bruce was there. I've got a little boy now too, so we just connected," said Whitaker in the release.

A tribute to celebrate Andy Irons' life and achievements will be held in conjunction with the Pipe Masters at 10 a.m. Saturday at Pipeline, according to surfing websites. A paddle-out by competitors in the Pipe Masters will take place during the event.






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