By Kresta Painter
Photos Tammy Moniz
A captivated group of family, friends, and awestruck tourists crowded the beach in Hanalei Bay on Kauai for the 15th Annual Irons Brothers’ Pine Trees Classic on April 9th where glassy 2-3ft waves rolled in. With over 250 participants, the celebration of surfing and the spirit of aloha was abundant for all, contestants as well as their biggest fans. Patty Irons described how she felt about the day by stating simply, “Andy was all about aloha”.
Since its inception, the annual Pine Trees Classic has been dedicated to creating a family-focused and fun day of surfing while giving kids a supportive venue to compete with their peers. The day was festive and magical for many. It was the first ever surf competition for Kailani Dove Hart, age 8. “I love surfing
the Pine Trees contest,” he said, “because we get to surf with all of our friends and cheer each other on!” Because the day is focused on non-ranked surfers, the competition is all about enjoying the waves with family and friends.
Mila Irons, age 7, Axel Irons, age 6, and Koby Irons, age 4, participated in the ever-popular Keiki push-in with over 100 other aspiring surfers. Mila surfed with a big smile and Koby may have had his first rail grab ever on a mini left-hander. This was also the day Axel signed a hat for his grandma, Danielle Irons for
the first time. His gesture, one that his father Andy always did at surf competitions for his mom, was just one of a thousand sweet moments of aloha shared by many throughout the day.
There is no doubt the Pine Trees Classic is a reflection of a long- standing commitment by the Irons family to keep Andy’s spirit and dreams alive by inspiring and supporting a community of young surfers. The event is looked forward to by many every year, and this year again was filled with sunshine, smiles and an abundance of aloha spirit. Truly a success and a beautiful tribute to a community who loved and admired Andy Irons.