Duru Flares and Taylor Resists Before Clashing in Protest Vendee Pro Final

LA SAUZAIE, France - The building surf conditions blessed Day 6 of the 2009 Protest Vendee Pro with consistent six foot (two meter) waves breaking over La Sauzaie for the Quarterfinals and Semifinals scheduled in the late afternoon. The young generation confirmed once again their domination with Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA), 19, and Lincoln Taylor (AUS), 20, coming out on top of the wolf pack to reach the final which will run tomorrow Sunday, April 12th around 4 PM.

Inform and rising star Joan Duru from the South West Coast of France, took command of proceedings with exceptional surfing storming through the Quarterfinals and the Semifinals with the highest heat result of the event to defeat event wildcard Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) - 18.30 points out of a possible 20 - and the first perfect 10.00 point ride so far to best New Zeland’s Richard Christie (NZL), 20.

"I am so stoked to make the final because I really wanted to do well coming here," Duru said. "It is the first year I got here early to get ready and adapt to the waves here and it’s been working perfectly so far. Making the final was my goal and I hope tomorrow ends up right for me."

Duru, who destroyed the vertical walls delivered by La Sauzaie’s exceptional set up today, posted today’s best scores in two heats only using his back and forehand attack to make his Protest Vendee Pro intentions clear before tomorrow’s final. With a 9.63, an 8.67 and a perfect 10.00 to wrap up his day, Duru was unstoppable and will be confident when he paddles out with the red singlet on Sunday.

"I just wanted to surf at my best and let go the fins on every turn," Duru said. "I was confident even if the conditions were tricky and I pushed my turns as hard as I could. The waves were really great and I am stoked to get such conditions and do well. Tomorrow should be good as well so I am looking forward to surfing the final."

Duru, who will now meet with Australian surfer Lincoln Taylor (AUS) in the last encounter of the 2009 edition, will have the crowd’s support towards his shot at the crown, which would be his second ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) victory since the ASP WQS 1-Star Superbock Pro in Portugal two years ago.

Taylor, who nailed his final berth in the last minutes of his semifinal against other French young gun Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), is the outsider of tomorrow’s encounter and will definitely have less pressure as the Australian surfer is on his first year on the ASP WQS. Taylor, who came up with solid nerves and ss to rush back in the last minutes of Semifinal No. 2 and advcance, posted a good 8.83 point ride on his backhand to impress the ASP judging panel and better the 8.60 points he needed.

"It was a close heat and I was happy to find that last wave in the end," Taylor said. "I wasn’t expecting such a good result coming here for the first time and to make the final is already amazing. A win would be perfect and I will see how things go when the final is on tomorrow."

Lacomare, 18, was left away from his first ASP WQS 4-Star event final, a disappointing finish for the youngman who was seen as a favourite for the crown after dominating his heats on the way to the Semifinals and posting a series of high scores including a 16.17 point heat result (out of a possible 20) in Quarterfinal No. 4.

"I am happy with that 3rd but I w as so close to making the final with Joan (Duru)..." Lacomare said. "I would have loved to surf with him tomorrow but things did not go my way in the end and there is nothing to else I could do, Lincoln (Taylor) finished with that good wave."

Joan Duru (FRA) Vs Lincoln Taylor (AUS)

Heat 1:
Joan Duru (FRA) 16.50 pts Def. Richard Christie (NZL) 13.84 pts
Heat 2: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 13.66 pts Def. Marc lacomare (FRA) 13.50 pts