It has been reported this morning that tomorrow it will be officially announced that Bruce Irons ha been awarded a wild card into the The Billabong Pipe Masters, held in memory of brother Andy Irons.
There was much controversy last year after Bruce after Bruce didn’t get a spot, with angry cries from angry fans and even some angry words from Bruce himself, who posted the following on his Insta account:
‘Today is one of the lowest days of my surfing career because Billabong told me that there is no room for me in their contest which is in memory of my brother; who is on every poster, T-shirt, hat and banner for this contest. There were 28 people in the trials but for some reason there was no room for me. Today I lost all respect for Billabong. I guarantee my brother would be disappointed in the decision Billabong has made especially after how much money my brother brought this company along with three world titles. The least they could do is put me in this event as long as it’s called Pipe Masters in loving memory of Andy Irons.’
With a view to prevent a similar scenario in 2015 the surf community has come out in force, using the hashtag #Bruce4pipemasterswildcard (snappy eh?). Not solely the preserve of the armchair pundit, big names including WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski as well as tour surfers Kolohe Andino and Jeremy Flores have come out in support of the cause, and appears the WSL has taken notice. Previously they replied by simply stating on their twitter that Bruce had been given a spot in the trials where he would have to battle it out with the rest of the field for the two open spots in the event, however this new announcement (albeit an unofficial one) seems to suggest they’ve had a change of heart, and will now be giving Bruce his spot without his board even having to touch the water.
Whether or not this social media campaign is behind the commissioners decision is hard to say definitively, however it is important to remember that the WSL are a business and businesses tend to listen to the desires of their customers.