Following an excellent second place at the SATA Airlines Azores Pro pres. by Sumol, Duru maintained a good rhythm to attain the fifth round at the O'Neill SP Prime in Maresias, Brazil. The young Frenchman, hailing from Boucau in South-West France, now sits in 13th position on the QS rankings and eyes a potential maiden qualification for the coveted Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour next year.
With only two events remaining in the prestigious qualification race, we've caught up with Joan on his season so far and his hopes for the final stages.
ASP: First of all, congratulations on the European title, your second after 2009 !
Joan Duru: Thank's I'm stoked ! I love competing in Europe, but it's been a while since I've done well. I really wanted to win this title again, and with the current level that's super high I'm very happy I was able to.
ASP: You've just placed 9th in Maresias, tell us about your week in Brazil.
JD: I went to the 6-star in Floripa first where I got through a couple of rounds. Then there was like 10 days off and I decided to stay in Brazil and head to Maresias right away so I could prepare. I ended up missing a lot of pumping surf at home but it was definitely worth it ! I just wanted to get a head start and acclimate there. I found a nice place to stay and met a lot of cool people, and I surfed the event peak a lot prior to the event start. It's a really tricky wave with strong rips, but it looked a lot like home actually !
ASP: Coming into the last two Primes, you're 13th and could potentially qualify, how do you feel right now ?
JD: I feel great but Hawaii is super tricky and you never know what's going to happen there. I'm well prepared and motivated and we'll see how I go.
ASP: The powerful surf of Hawaii could suit your style perfectly, are you confident ?
JD: Yes like I said I'm well prepared, but you know you can always break a board or take a huge set on the head and ruin it all. I'm just going to give it my best shot and stay focused until the end of Sunset.
ASP: Is joining Michel (Bourez), Jeremy (Flores), Tiago (Pires) and Aritz (Aranburu) on the CT a dream of yours ?
JD: For sure, I've dreamt about this my whole life as a surfer. The runner-up spot in Azores this season came at the right time and really boosted my confidence levels for the back-half of the year. I came super close to making the cut five years ago and I know the mistakes I need to avoid, now I just hope the Hawaiian waters will help me a little bit !
ASP: Thank's a lot for your time Joan, and good luck !
Joan Duru will start his Hawaiian campaign in Heat 2 Round 2 of the Reef Hawaiian Pro when the event recommences.