Joan Duru Wins ASP WQS 4-Star Protest Vendee Pro to Lead European Ratings
LA SAUZAIE, France - Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA), 19, won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star Protest Vendee Pro after defeating Australian surfer Lincoln Taylor in the final encounter of the 2009 event. Duru, who took advantage of the tricky three foot (one meter) waves breaking at La Sauzaie, stole the crown from Taylor with a last minute wave, the French man clinching the valuable 1500 ratings’ points counting for the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) International and regional ratings and US$ 12 000 for his run.
Duru, who dominated the quarterfinals and semifinals Satruday, came out on top in a nerve-racking battle until a last-minute exchange that saw him get the lead back and secure his win with an 8.50 point ride (out of a possible 10). The 19-year-old competitor, seen as France’s next best chance for a Dream Tour qualification, unleashed his powerful back and forehand assaults to post a 16.33 point heat result (out of a possible 20) on his way to victory.
"I am over the moon right now and so happy to get that win," Duru said. "It was such a tough heat with so fewer waves coming-in and it was really close. I got that good 7.83 in the ning and just waited for twenty-five minutes until I relaized I had to go for anything to get the score and win. I didn’t surf that lastwave at my best but got the score and finished with that 8.50 pointer."
Duru, who adds a second ASP WQS title to his young career after his first win a couple of years ago in Portugal and an ASP European Junior Crown as well as a runner-up finish in the ASP WQS 5-Star Zarautz event last year, confirms his rise amongst surfing’s current leaders and is targeting a qualification for next year’s ASP World Tour.
"I am targeting the ASP World Tour so I wanted that win to get the momentum and start the year off with a good result," Duru said. "I had a good run last year on the ASP WQS so I believe I can go for the ASP Top 45."
Duru’s win rockets him to No. 7 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) and places him on top of the ASP WQS European Tour before the upcoming ASP WQS 6-Star Estoril Quiksilver Coast Pro.
Lincoln Taylor (North Stradbroke Island, AUS), 20, finished runner-up in the Protest Vendee Pro securing his best result to date missing out top honours after leading the battle for twenty minutes. Taylor, who went through six heats with several close finishes and a win over Marc Lacomare (FRA) in the Semifinals, ended his 2009 run with an average 12.37 point heat result and takes home US$ 6 000and a great confidence boost before moving on to the next event in Portugal.
"It was hard out there and Joan (Duru) definitely won that heat," Taylor said. "I surfed the waves I could get but he got the better ones. It is my best result ever so I am happy with that runner-up finish and I hope I can keep up the good job in the next events."
PROTEST VENDEE PRO FINAL
1 - Joan Duru (FRA) 16.33 pts
2 - Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.37 pts