Reexamining Kelly Slater and Andy Irons 2003 World Title Race
Greatest Rivalry In Surf
Andy Iron's won the title in 2002 when Slater was dabbling with retirement. Slater's return marked the beginning of surfing's greatest rivalry. These two would later become friends before Iron's untimely death in 2010.
Irons was truly coming into his own in 2003, winning four events. His freesurfs were devastating as well.
That year, Slater won his second (of four) Billabong Pro at Teahupoo. Even then, he owned the place.
But if anyone else knew how to navigate heavy water on his backhand, it was Irons.
2003 was a fantastic year for Andy Irons. "I know that Andy was just getting more secure and on a better path," remembers photographer Tom Servais.
Andy Irons & Cory Lopez
Irons, taking advantage of a lay day in Polynesia with longtime friend and travel partner, Cory Lopez.
Andy Irons & Kelly Slater
When Irons took the final at Pipe, it sealed the world title as well. The look on Slater's face said it all.
Irons had a razor focus in 2003. It was his second world title, ramping up his dynasty -- still a point of pride for the Hawaiian people.