Mercer fades in hunt for ironwoman series title
SURF LIFESAVING: Jordan Mercer's hopes of winning the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series were rocked at Surfers Paradise on Sunday when the Noosa Heads star suffered her worst result of the season.
The 24-year-old was 15th in round five of the six-round schedule, so slipped from third to fifth overall - essentially out of the race for this summer's title.
"Such a full-on weekend of racing," she said. "We had a wild ocean to contend with ... such big surf."
Mercer said the "unpredictable conditions" and a "cruel elimination format" ensured any small mistakes or bad luck proved costly.
"I can take away some positives, knowing I am in form, and if given the chance could have brought myself back into contention," she said.
"From here I just want to finish strong in North Cronulla. One round to go and an opportunity to make myself and my team proud."
Mercer initially went into the series largely under-done after a succession of serious injuries, telling the Daily then she did not know what to expect during the campaign.
She has since emerged as one of the strongest competitors, showing glimpses of the form which saw her win the title in 2015/2016.
And she has also enjoyed a remarkable run of success with the Noosa Heads women's taplin relay team - with Electra Outram and Lana Rogers - winning five straight events in the Ocean 6 series this summer.
But it was Courtney Hancock who won the ironwoman event on Sunday to move to third in the standings. Harriet Brown was seventh, nursing an ankle injury, to maintain her position atop the overall leaderboard.
Sunshine Coast's Tiarnee Massie had the best result of her summer, with an eighth placing in the gruelling eliminator format.
In the Ironman Series, Matt Bevilacqua claimed victory to move into second spot overall, behind Ali Day.
Alexandra Headland's Lana Pallister won the women's surf race to maintain that series lead while clubmate Cooper Williams won the men's surf race