Europe's Surfers Excelling at International Events

It has been an action-packed month of April around the world with no less than one ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star, two 6-Star and two 6-Star Prime rated events putting the international ratings upside down and kicking-off another race that promises to bring world class level this year again.

Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA), 20, leads Europe's ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) soldiers after nettin three consecutive high performance results in April that have rocketed him to No. 4 on the intrnational ratings.  Copyright: Aquashot/aspeurope.comFrom France and Scotland's cold waters to South Africa and Trestles' warm destinations, Europeans displayed promising levels of surfing with both qualifying soldiers and Dream Tour representatives securing solid results, France's star Joan Duru (FRA) rising to No. 4 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings.

Joan Duru, 20, was in sensational form throughout a testing month of April placing no worse than equal 9th in three consecutive events, the French surfer getting his biggest win ever at the ASP WQS 4-Star Protest Vendee Pro before reaching the Semifinals of the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime O'Neill CWC Scotland at Thurso.

"That 3rd place in Scotland is a serious keeper and I am so happy with that run," Duru said. "I surfed well in the event, felt relaxed and confident and after winning the event in France and getting a 9th in the Estoril Quiksilver Pro in Portugal, I've done what I wanted to during that first big leg."

Duru's next test will be at the coveted ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Sri Lankan Airlines Pro where he will be much expected for another performance as the talented goofy-footer will be surfing with his frontside attack, definitely a significant difference for his progressive flying surfing potential.

Other European surfers to shine last month were current ASP World Tour rookies Tim Boal (FRA) and Marlon Lipke (DEU), as well as former ASP European Junior junior champion Romain Cloitre (REU), the three men nailing solid performances with a Semifinal finish for Lipke and Cloitre at the Estoril Quiksilver Pro in Portugal while the 25-year-old Boal was getting an equal 5th in Portugal and an equal 3rd at the first ever 6.0 Lowers Pro in California.

Cloitre, 20, who has been on the Grind for a year only, had yet to confirm his stellar Junior career where he rose from unknown to No. 1 in a couple of years only, the Reunion born surfer posting several major wins including an impressive ASP Grade-3 Rip Curl Pro Junior Hossegor victory over runner-up and world famous surfer Julian Wilson (AUS). Cloitre eventually got into the spotlights last month making the Semifinals of the ASP WQS 6-Star Estoril Quiksilver Pro, a deserved reward after years of training and improvement.

Apart from the men's action took place the opening competition of this year's ASP European Junior Tour with the ASP Grade-2 B! Pro Junior event at Carcavelos in Portugal. From top seeds to outsiders, the new generation of surfing talents came up with exciting action, Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), 18, taking top honours against rising surfer Joachim Guichard (DNK) who had to stop his twin brother Luka from making the final in the Semifinals of the event. Lacomare, whose recent results on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) stage have rocketed him to No. 2 on the ASP European Tour, leads the under-21 regional division for another couple of months before proceedings restart in South Portugal in July.

Girls were not left apart during this six-week period of intense surfing, and the ASP WQS 6-Star Estoril Billabong Girls Pro, the only women's event in Europe this year, reached expectations as most of this year's ASP Women's World Tour members had made their way to Portugal's central coast. If no European female surfer was able to make the One-on-one battles, the ASP Women's European title was still awarded to Lee-Ann Curren (Anglet, FRA), 20, the French girl nailing her second regional crown ahead of defending champion Justine Dupont (Lacanau, FRA), 17, and Amandine Sanchez (Anglet, FRA), 24. With Sally Fitzgibbons (New South Wales, AUS), 18, delivering exceptional surfing throughout the 3-day contest, the event is en route to becoming a major stop for the world's best female surfers.

As the Billabong Pro Tahiti still awaits its second swell to resume and some major ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events coming-up in a couple of weeks, we will bring you latest updates as soon as things get back on.

C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, was a standout in Round 2 action. The former ASP World Champion will face Jay Thompson (AUS), 25, in Round 3 when the Billabong Pro Tahiti recommences.  Copyright: ASP/ CI/ ROBERTSON via GETTY IMAGES
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