North Shore surfers Irons, Valiere place high in Hansen’s Pipeline contest

Bruce Irons of Hanalei and Evan Valiere of Kalihiwai took second and an equal-fifth place, respectively, Monday in the Hansen’s Energy Pro surfing contest.

The 3-star World Qualifying Series event was held in waves with faces measuring 15 to 25 feet and featured a large roster of surfers from Hawai’i.

Total prize money was $50,000, with Irons winning $3,500 and Valiere $1,500.

Valiere was also awarded the Todd Chesser memorial award for “having so much heart out there,” said the young Kalihiwai surfer’s mom Carol Valiere. Chesser, a top young Hawai’i surfer, died surfing an outer reef break on the North Shore of O’ahu in the late 1990s, and the award is presented by Chesser’s mother.

Irons’ brother Andy Irons is the current Association of Surfing Professionals World Champion, and is on tour away from Hawai’i. The brothers have won a number of top surfing contests held at Pipeline, a wave known for its big tubular left-breaking waves.

Valiere is currently living at the Quiksilver house, which is located along the beach at Pipeline. The well-known surf wear company sponsors Valiere, and is one of several large surfing-related companies who maintain homes on the North Shore to house their top pro surfers.

His mom reported that Valiere, 19, was said to be taking off on biggest waves of day Monday, and making them, and that he’s taking a semester off from college studies at Kaua’i Community College to focus on surfing among the world’s top pro surfers on the North Shore of O’ahu.

Valiere’s father, Steve Valiere, is a noted painter of surfing scenes. His works appear in numerous surfing publications and are hung in galleries as far away as Paris.

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