Joan Duru (FRA) claimed his second consecutive Protest Vendee Pro title defeating Glen Hall (IRL) in a low scoring 35-minute final. Using his priority and taking advantage of the scarce waves on offer Duru made history being the first competitor to claim The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Protest Vendee Pro twice in-a-row.
After waiting for the tide to push in over the reef at La Sauzaie consistent 3-4ft (1.0m) waves were on offer for the final day of competition of the US$ 85.000 ASP Men’s Star event. Late this afternoon the huge full tide meant fewer sets coming through the final hour of competition.
Joan Duru (FRA) was unstoppable today as he steam rolled his way through the quarters and semi finals to enter the final heat as clear favourite to take out this year’s title. Duru used his experience of the break at La Sauzaie to anticipate the ever changing conditions with the high tide and get some scores on the board before concentrating on any major waves.
Taking advantage of Hall’s decision to go on the first wave of one of the biggest sets of the day Duru paddled into the following wave to execute a series of powerful backhand smashes to score an 8.33 out of a possible 10 and clinch the victory.
“Glenn is a really good competitor and I knew the waves were going to be a little worse so I tried to get some good ones at the start but I fell off. He took the first wave of that set and he had priority and I don’t know what he did but the second one was good and that was when I got the victory.”
Visibly pleased with his win Duru maintained his composure and reflected on the Protest Vendee Pro, his European Men’s Series ratings and his future events.
“I like this place a lot and everything is perfect. The weather is perfect and there are so many people here today it’s great and it is good for me to be up high now on the ratings because I would really like to be European champion again. From here I’m off to Trestles where I hope to continue with the confidence I have gained at Vendee.”
Glen Hall (IRL) finished second at the Protest Vendee Pro his best result at this event and the outright lead on the European Men’s Series ratings. Holding priority for the majority of the final Hall found himself in a do or die situation as the clock ran down. Needing to get back into the final Hall made a last ditched effort to haul back Duru’s commanding lead but unfortunately his wave selection was off allowing his opponent the advantage of a much higher points scoring potential wave.
“I’m not too disappointed with the overall results and it was the waves that let me down a little bit in the final. I feel like I did a few errors with my priority but it was probably more the fact that I was just trying to get into the game because I hadn’t had a wave yet so that’s why I took that wave.”
Fewer and fewer sets came through leaving both finalists surprised at the situation they found themselves in.
“We were both sitting out there getting cold thinking where have the waves gone so it was just one of those things and Joan came out on top so good on him.”
“The European title is really the goal behind the goal,” continued Hall on his European ratings lead. “I want to qualify for the WCT but they come together because if you do well here in Europe in the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) then you are up there on the European ratings so it is really good for me to be in the lead now. It’s my best result here for sure because I’ve only been here once before so I’ll be back for sure next year.”
Romain Cloitre (FRA) fought all the way to the wire in his tight semi-final clash against eventual Protest Vendee Pro runner up Glenn Hall. Finishing equal 3rd his best result at the Protest Vendee Pro the 21-year-old from Capbreton was pleased with his result but felt his wave selection was one factor which did not help him in his bid to make the final.
“I am happy with my result and of course I would like to do better but Glenn (Hall) surfed really well in my heat and I didn’t catch the good waves so I only got a 5 but I am still stoked to get this result and this is my best result in Vendee so I’m happy with that.”
Cloitre trailed needing an excellent score to overtake Hall and waited for a high scoring ride. Attempting several big manoeuvres to impress the judging panel time eventually ran out leaving him out of the Protest Vendee Pro 2010.
“I was really looking for a good wave because I needed 8 points so I was looking to do a big air or to do something big but I didn’t find the wave and that is the end of my contest.”
Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) also finished equal third after being unable to stop a freight training Duru. The young South African advance through his quarter-final clash and looked to be gaining momentum with each heat.
“I ended up having a good heat in the quarters because I had a good rhythm and I waited for the good ones but now it has gone a bit more flat so I was a little bit too patient letting good waves go and I couldn’t bounce back.”
Getting off to a slow start Palmboom never threw in the towel in his attempt to gain the lead. Knowing he needed a large score it came down to a waiting game which in the end proved fruitless.
“I was trailing the whole way but I was determined to come back so I was just waiting for a bomb but it never really come so that happens but I’ll be back for sure next year, I love this place.”
The Protest Vendee Pro is stop nº2 of 12 in the ASP European Star Series 2010 which will eventually crown this year’s European men’s champion.