Sunshine Coast Daily – Ominously for her rivals, newly crowned Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series champion Jordan Mercer believes she can only get better.
The 23-year-old from Noosa Heads yesterday followed in the footsteps of her father, Darren Mercer, to win the iconic summer competition.
“It’s such an incredible moment, a bit like a fairytale” she said.
“This is something pretty special. The series title is something nobody can ever take away from me.”
Mercer held the joint lead with club mate Kirsty Higgison coming into the sixth and final round at North Cronulla.
But she capped off her campaign in style by winning the eliminator event to finish ahead of Higgison and Brodie Moir in the overall standings.
“I had every opportunity (to win the series) and I really didn’t want to let this slip so the nerves were high, as you would expect,” she said.
“It meant so much to me.”
Mercer, whose nickname is “Magic”, also won round two at Coolum in November and was highly consistent across the rounds.
And the series triumph could be just the start of big things for her.
“I’m excited because this season I feel like I have really found some good form,” she said.
“I have been working out what works for me in preparation and training and that’s exciting because I know that I’m putting together a pretty awesome package
“I’m excited to use all of those tools in the future because I know that I’m only going to get better.”
Mercer burst on to the surf scene when she qualified for the series as a 16-year-old.
As the daughter of a six-time series champion who won the Coolangatta Gold and an Australian ironman title, she immediately attracted attention.
She has since won five Molokai to Oahu world paddleboard titles and has been competitive in ironwoman events under the coaching of her father.
But she didn’t win her first round of the series until two months ago.
Now, she’s the champion.
But Mercer admitted it had been difficult at times carrying the family name.
“Right from the start my dad was my first hero and I think being in the same sport and following the same sort of dreams and achievements was definitely tough at times,” she said.
“I feel like I never had an opportunity to escape under the radar.”
But she now feels like she is racing with more freedom than ever.
“I guess there was a perspective change,” she said.
“I am so lucky to be doing what I love. I’ve got opportunities to be out there and enjoying every aspect of the sport.”
Mercer lauded the performance of rookie Higgison.
“I’ve got so much respect for her,” she said.
ROUND SIX RESULTS: J Mercer, L Welborn, G Miller, K Nurthen, B Moir, K Smith, M Dunn, K Higgison, T Coleman, H brown, C Hancock, T Raymond, R Creedy, D McKenzie, A Nurthen, E Brown, E Smith
FINAL STANDINGS: J Mercer 109, K Higgison 98, B Moir 88, G Miller 87, M Dunn 85, L Welborn 83, H Brown 65, K Nurthen 79, C Hancock 70, E Brown 65, T Coleman 63, K Smith 60, D McKenzie 43, R Creedy 40, L Pluimers 35, T Raymond 33, E Smith 23, A Nurthen 18