Surf champion Andy Irons dies at 32

November 3, 2010, 9:19 AM HST · Updated November 3, 9:19 AM
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By Fred Guzman

The world of surfing is mourning the death of three-time world champion Andy Irons at the age of 32.

Irons emerged from Kauai to attain legendary status in his sport and was generally regarded as the best surfer of his generation.

Irons was returning home after withdrawing from the Rip Curl Pro Search in Puerto Rico due to illness.

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He was found at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, where he had checked in during a layover on his way to Kauai.

Reports on the cause of death are mixed. His family is citing dengue fever, a viral disease carried by mosquitoes.

The medical examiner’s office in Dallas said it is investigating his death as a possible overdose of methadone, a powerful controlled substance used for pain. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

In addition to his three world titles, Irons was a four-time Vans Triple Crown of Surfing winner. During his brief but illustrious career, Irons was credited with 19 major surfing titles.

Irons is survived by his wife, Lydie, who is seven months pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Irons progressed through the amateur ranks and qualified for theWorld Tour in 1997, a year after graduating from Kapaa High School. In 2002, Irons won his first world crown and defended his title the next two years, ending the reign of nine-time world champion Kelly Slater.

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