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19.07.04 - THREE EARLY FLIERS - THREE black birds are flying home a lot earlier than they'd like, but they'll be back plump with confidence and glowing white with brilliance...
15.07.04 - NO APOLOGIES - It occasionally seems like some surfers get more exposure than others; it happens, but there’s no bias intended...
- Can’t find a wave? Get up and look around!
- Who is fit, and who is not, for the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay?
- Scheduled to be in South-east Asia, but ending up on North Stradbroke Island.

28.07.04 - THE CHAMP TO CHASE - A quick chat with Andy Irons after his win in the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.
Ex sarge, Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday July 28, 2004.

Andy Irons, Nathan HedgeSARGE: So Mr. ‘World Champ' Sir (!)....after five of 11 WCT events, you are now 1598 points ahead of the pack. That's quite a remarkable lead!
ANDY: I like the sound of that! Six events left's not over yet!
SARGE: So, at this point, who do you consider as your main threats?
ANDY: Kelly is always going to be a threat. "UnderHog" was really hungry today! It wasn't 'underdog' today or this week, it was "UnderHog"! I'm stoked for him. He was looking really strong, and just still warming up I reckon. The Hog has really been getting good results. Parko is looking really good. He's hungry and he will drop his two-event miss/loss, that he missed out on by being there at home for Monica and Evie Kate's birth. I have to acknowledge that both CJ Hobgood and Occy are both surfing well too. Of everyone though, I'm just stoked for Hedgie of all. The way he surfed this event, and Tahiti, he's actually looking like a world title contender. He always had a good go. If he can keep the rhythm, he's looking pretty confident. He's changed ever since dislocating his shoulder in that final in Tahiti. I think it's really brought out a new Hog! They're all under the top 10 level, so I'll be looking at how they are all doing in every event. I'll just have to stick to my guns and make sure I finish ahead of those guys and keep my lead.
Andy IronsSARGE: Sorry if you consider it offensive but, in my humble opinion, you were almost looking lackadaisical this event. Let's face it, you didn't spark up until the final.
ANDY: What's that word? Laxadazical?
SARGE: You were looking almost lazily confident.
ANDY: Oh! I don't know what that looks like. Maybe I have been watching Parko too much? It's kind of a disguise - getting groovy, you know; kind of pull a groove out not getting too far ahead of myself. Over the past years I've been getting too amped up, and missing sections and stuff. JBay is a fast wave, but if you surf up your tail, and do carvings all morning...I dunno - I've just been trying to lean back a bit more and draw my turns out. Before I get the freaking out inside, I just do the deep breath thing, not get too agitated and, you know, just deal with what's ahead of me. It worked out really well.
Andy IronsSARGE: You never would've known, you just looked so calm. Like Slater, especially through the 90s. I was just talking to Kelly, and he himself said "Andy has got that calm that worked for me for a long time!"
ANDY: Wow! That's quite a compliment! I think my girlfriend Lyndie has got a lot to do with it. She makes me feel really at ease. She makes me feel like there's nothing going on, nothing's wrong, everything's cool. We don't fight, so it works out really well. Before you know it, I'm just chillin' out there with her, and the heat is starting and I'm ready to go without qualms. I think she has a lot to do with my calm, my stability. She just keeps me real stable. And you know, I'm also a veteran too! I've been doing this for like 10 years now, so when the horn goes off, I know what to do.
Andy IronsSARGE: So how about your third consecutive annual showdown with your nemesis Sean Holmes? A lot of people believe you just got by him, and many thought Sean got worked. How did it feel for you on inside with that one?
ANDY: Yeah, it was a bit of a squeak. I was making mistakes in that heat. Nemesis was still going hard; he's still surfing strong. I think, just the last two years, where he caught the first wave of the heat - that was what always bit me on the ass. I made sure I was sitting on the inside of him. When it came down to the push, I needed a 7.6 and I got a 7. By the crowds reaction I thought that I got a 10. That kinda shook me up. But it seems like, if I just squeeze past the wild cards, I get my momentum out of that, building in every heat, and then hopefully reaching the peak in the final.
Andy IronsSARGE: How was that perfect 10 you scored in the final! You must've just been blowing up inside after that one!
ANDY: I was freaking out! I just couldn't help myself; I had to claim it! Trying not to ‘claim it’, anymore, is much better. I love the claim. It feels good to me, like I'm making a come-back. Kelly was doing a lot of claims last year. He was claiming a lot, and Parko was too. I reckon, if you feel really good about a score, don't hold back. I think people should let it out, let it fly! I felt really good about that one and I had to let them know.
Andy IronsSARGE: Can one presume that Pipeline is the event that you're most looking forward to?
ANDY: The next WCT is Japan, and it’s back at Chiba/Hebara and I never did well there before, so that should be interesting. I won Japan last year, but there was a pretty decent waves some of the time there in Niijima - until the final day anyway. I'm looking forward to Trestles; it’s a great spot. France has been good to me the last couple of years. I’ll just keep building it up, especially now that Sunset is back to being a WQS, and Pipeline then looks like it's going to be the big showdown. Hopefully I will continue my lead all the way through, so I don't have to worry about stressing about the last event, and can just relax and take it all home.
Andy IronsSARGE: A lot of people are saying that it seems like destiny is on Andy's side!
ANDY: I don't know. I just need to not get too far ahead of myself. I'm feeling good right now - I just won the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, and I think it's one of the best wins of my career. I'm just going to savour the moment. I feel good about it, and I’m going to enjoy it with my girl and have a good time!