Irons was arguably the most dominant surfer of the early to mid 2000s. In addition to his three consecutive world titles from 2002 to 2004, Irons had 20 World Tour victories and four Triple Crown Of Surfing titles. But more significant than the statistics was his reputation as perhaps the only true rival nine-time World Champion Kelly Slater has ever known, and the two engaged in some of the most memorable title races in history. Irons returned to the World Tour this year after a one-year hiatus. While his results had been inconsistent, a win at the Billabong Pro Tahiti in August signified a return to form in the kind of powerful, barreling surf in which he made his reputation.