Paddle Out, Hanalei – Andy Irons

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yesterday we wandered down the beach in hanalei to witness an incredible display of love and support. we heard lots of hands smacking together as surfers reunited. we saw hugs in every direction. we took the whole scene in, watching flowers fall from the sky into a giant circle of love out at sea. it was impossible to hold back tears as the water crowd of nearly a thousand people chanted and splashed as they released andy's ashes. our hearts were breaking for all those that loved him, especially his wife lyndie who is expecting their first baby.

{ a nicely written post that i found about the hometown memorial over on surf wire.}

Hanalei Bay offered a window into heaven today as thousands gathered from around Hawaii and the world to celebrate the life of three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons. At the shore of Andy's cherished home, family, friends, and those whose lives have been touched by the 32-year-old gathered to bid farewell to the surfer, father, brother, son and husband who inspired a generation.

In the embrace of majestic Hanalei, Andy's younger brother Bruce led close to 1,000 friends in a paddle out beyond the rising waves to encircle a double-hull canoe that carried Andy's wife Lyndie, his parents and close friends. On shore, thousands more watched on as Andy's ashes were released into the sea and flowers poured from a helicopter circling above.

At the same time, synchronized tributes were taking place around the world from Australia to Europe, and mainland USA in the greatest outpouring of aloha the surfing world has ever seen. It was a fitting tribute to a young man whose home-grown achievements, passion for life and family, and committed character proved that childhood dreams are worth chasing.

Mahalo to the Irons Family, who opened their arms to share their son with the world and embraced us all today. Mahalo to the community of Hanalei for allowing us to partake in this day and who will continue to support the Irons family for many years to come.

read more and see video over on Hawaii News.