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Tribe comes together for Andy Irons

November 17 2010 | Surfing, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

People connected to our coasts are part of something larger than a sport. They are part of a tribe. They may surf or they may walk the beaches, but one thing they all have in common is a deep love and respect for our oceans, waves and beaches. It's because we share this larger connection  that this tribe felt a deep loss with the passing of Andy Irons. A subset of the entire coastal tribe paddles out or swims into the ocean with regularity. A still smaller group has the ability to ride waves with skill, grace and dexterity. And an even smaller group will rise to a higher level and make their living as a professional surfer, literally paid to spend their time in this amazing world. A tiny group of professionals have risen to the level Andy did. As I look at these images, I feel the respect emanating from this larger tribe. I feel the respect that Andy Irons gained from all those concentric circles of watermen, ocean lovers and coastal dwellers. I love these images taken by Terry Lilley because he captures that essence. He captures the immense respect people have developed for Andy. Terry's images even take this idea one step further. He uses the idea and imagery of respect for an ocean champion and literally submerges it INTO the waters. Into the ocean. Based on Andy's extraordinary talents in the oceans, this seems perfectly apropos.
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