LA SAUZAIE, Brétignolles-sur-Mer – FRANCE (Saturday, April 21, 2012) ? Marlon Lipke (DEU) has won the 2012 ASP 3-Star Protest Vendee Pro in a close fought low scoring final in shifting 4-5Ft wind affected peaks progressing through the early rounds of competition to build momentum. Lipke eventually took out the Final heat of the day besting three hungry frenchman including 2011 ASP Europe Champion Romain Cloitre, powerhouse Joan Duru and the event overall standout Vincent Duvignac.
«The left here is so much fun, I remember surfing it like 10 years ago when I was staying at Gregory Pastusiak?s house and this whole event I?ve been surfing it despite everyone sticking to the right», Marlon said. «I guess it was kind of a risk for me but luckily it paid off ! The wind picked up again during the final and destroyed the waves, with very few offering a shoulder to work with, but I felt like when you put a lot of energy in and keep catching waves then eventually it pays off. I just blocked everything out, surfed my heat, tried my best and I?m very very happy to win here. It?s my sponsor?s event (Protest) so it?s even better !».
Lipke, who qualified and surfed on the World Championship Tour in 2009, rises back and takes an early lead on the ASP European rankings. The 28 year-old German based in Portugal has been remodelling his approach to surfing events and starts 2012 with a strong goal of building up on his result in Vendee.
«I?m not ready to give up competing yet, I still enjoy travelling so much with my friends and surfing events. Us European we?ve been pushing each others for the last few years a lot, and I think in this event it showed with Joan who was also a standout all week and I think with a little luck we?ll see one more european on the World Championship Tour. I?ll give it another go too for sure, I have to build it from scratch cause I?ve felt down the rankings, but I?ve been training a lot and it feels good.»
After a couple years of average results in competition, Marlon Lipke recently started taking up new training methods and feels his condition has improved. Taking nothing for granted the German competitor had the courage to go back to essentials and his win in Vendee attests of a new found form.
«I?ve actually been taking up trampoline training for example, and I think it opens your eyes on what?s possible. You have to always try something different to move forward with your surfing, if you just do the same over and over you get stuck I think that?s what happened to me in a way..»
Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 24, places second right behind Marlon Lipke needing only a small score to overtake his opponent but never found the wave that he needed. Duvignac has been on fire during the whole event netting the highest single wave score and heat total of the 2012 Protest Vendee Pro.
«It was frustrating because I had a good score and I just missed a second decent wave but I felt great and with a good board under my feet», Duvignac stated. «It?s been a really hard contest with difficult waves breaking everywhere and the luckiest guys got two good waves in the previous heats. I?m a little disappointed because I was that close to winning my first Star event. But a second place is a great way to start the year, winning ranking points and a little prizemoney to allow me to travel to future events, which is becoming hard since I?ve lost my main sponsor.»
With an excellent first result this season, Duvignac hopes to capitalize on his ranking which will help him demonstrate his talent and open doors to new sponsorship opportunities. The young natural footer displayed a fantastic flawless style in Vendee this week and will soon export his abilities to compete against the World?s best in California for an ASP Prime event.
«My next event is in Trestles soon where I?m going to try and keep my seeding with a good result there, and then I?ll focus on the European Tour and make a run for the Title that?s one of my main goals.»
Joan Duru (FRA) 23, completes the podium today in Brétignolles. The South-West France resident was consistant during the whole event imposing his unmatched power carves but was unable to find the right waves in the final to claim his third Protest Vendee Pro event win.
«It was a really hard final in tough conditions,» Joan said. «I had two opportunities but I fell on both waves, I think I tried to push it too hard when really I had the chance to get the score quite easily. My goal coming here was to win heats and go as far as possible in the event so I?m super happy with this result. The final was really cool, all those guys are my friends, and I?m happy for Duvi (Vincent Duvignac) to place second, Marlon was impressive and deserved the win, and Romain I think he didn?t get any waves so it?s very unlucky for him !».
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The Protest Vendee Pro is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Brétignolles-sur-Mer, Région Pays de la Loire, Protest, Conseil Général de Vendée, Unbottle Yourself, Virgin Radio, Dynamips, Sport+, Super U, Bodard Construction Modulaire, Red Bull.
PROTEST VENDEE PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.20 2: Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 9.97 3: Joan Duru (FRA) 9.34 4: Romain Cloitre (FRA) 8.20