CAPBRETON, France – Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA), 20, got back to his best level last weekend after nailing a solid equal 5th place finish in the Hang Loose Pro, an ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star prime competition taking place on the beautiful island of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.
Being the first major stop on the 2010 ASP WQS and offering more points than a regular 6-Star rated event thanks to its PRIME status, the Hang Loose Pro saw some of the world’s best surfers take to the water for their season opener, Joan Duru making his way up to the Quarterfinals of the event.
Duru, who got through four rounds with solid surfing and promising levels of surfing, was stopped in the third Quarterfinal match-up against talented Brazilian Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) in a close battle, losing by 0.34 points only. Racking valuable 2742 ratings’ points counting for the freshly launched ASP One Ranking system, Duru showed he was in excellent form and ready to chase an ASP elite contingent qualification spot for 2011.
The 20-year-old, who finished one spot short of an ASP Top 45 inception at the end of 2009, was competing in his first event this year at the Hang Loose Pro and showed he was able to defeat some of the world’s best including ASP World Tour rookie Jadson Andre (BRA) in Round 5.
Duru’s performance was not one of a kind for the European contingent as experienced athlete Hodei Collazo (Zarautz, EUK), 24, followed the footsteps of the French competitor by posting one of his best performances ever with an equal 9th place result.
Collazo, who has been a full-time ASP WQS competitor for three years now, showed his backhand tube riding skills could cause some damage in the crystal-clear waters of Fernando de Noronha, the Basque surfer eliminating former ASP World Tour member Marlon Lipke (DEU) in Round 2 and rising South African star Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) in Round 4 before losing to Gustavo Fernandes (BRA).
Collazo, who had an up-and-down year in 2009 netting a couple of good runs and several disappointing results, confirmed he was able to shine amongst the world’s best surfers and hopefully keeps his roll going when he paddles out for the upcoming events.
Last but not least, experienced competitor and former ASP Top 45 surfer (2006, 2008 and 2009) Michael Picon (Capbreton, FRA) managed to get an equal 17th place finish by making the three-man round 4 of the Prime rated event. Picon, 30, who has given himself another year on the ASP WQS to try and requalify for next year’s elite contingent, remains one of Europe’s best hopes at any event around the world, the goofyfooter being capable of winning major events.