• Justine’s Back!!!

Endless days of rehab and training have paid off for Justine Dupont, a victory in the ASP 6-Star Women's EDP Surf Pro Estoril 2012 presented by Billabong, a reward for her natural talent and dedication.

I’m just so happy," Dupont said after the win in the three feet punchy Portugal beachbreaks. "It's the first time I've won a 6-star event and I think it's the first time a European has won such a big event, so I'm just over the moon right now."

The stylish natural footer's first year amongst the ASP top 17 had been difficult and this win was a reward for all her hard work overcoming a serious elbow injury suffered at the very start of the year. The injury and a loss of confidence had affected her performances and results, but following a ninth in the Pantin the week before and this win, Justine is now, most definitely, back where she belongs.

"After my injury I had a hard time getting back in the game, and even though it’s a bit late, we'll see if I can make it back into the qualification zone," Justine said. "There's one more event, and I'm not a quitter. Last year I qualified super late, so I still believe and we'll see what happens in Azores."

That's a reference to the final 6-star event to be held this weekend where Justine is hoping another win could see her qualify in the top 17 for the 2013 ASP Women World Championship Tour. A longshot maybe, but with Justine's confidence back, her injury fading away and her powerful and smooth surfing back on form, you can never count out the 21-year-old from Lacanau.

Pictures © Carlos Pintu