Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, HAWAII - January 26, 2011 -- With a perfect 10 from Ian Walsh, and a dose of trademark Bruce Irons brilliance to reinvigorate the local drive, the Hawaiian contingent at the Volcom Pipe Pro tapped into a rhythm all their own today. As defending event champion Jamie O'Brien prepares to make his first appearance here tomorrow, the local barrel-riding force is gaining momentum right in time for the final day.
In excellent 8-foot surf, eight of the top 10 scoring tubes today were laid down by Hawaii surfers, including the 10 and an 8.27 from Maui's Ian Walsh, and a stand-alone 9-point ride from Irons that left even him in disbelief.
Stealing a moment away from his larger role in his family's life on Kauai, Bruce Irons found himself in a world of his own in the barrel at Backdoor today; so much so that he had no idea that his only real score - a nine - was the best wave ridden in his heat and more than enough to move him forward in the competition. He disappeared off into the free-surfing lineup after the heat, looking like he needed a moment alone, before making his way back half an hour later. Speaking in an interview on the beach, he was shocked to learn that he was still in the running.
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