Dad hopes Jordan Mercer can follow in his footsteps
AS JORDAN Mercer is on the verge of winning her first Nutri-Grain IronWoman Series, dad Darren takes a look back on his own slice of history.
Darren grew up in the golden era of the sport, competing and often finishing second or third to surf lifesaving legends Grant Kenny and Trevor Hendy.
It wasn't until the tail end of their careers that Darren finally burst through to win the ironman series in 1996 before doubling up the following year.
Darren said he remembered thinking his window had closed before his maiden win.
"I'd beaten them (Hendy and Kenny) at different points in our careers, but I could never win the series," he said.
"I was getting towards the end of my career and I just thought I'm never going to get it.
"Me and Trevor (Hendy) grew up in the same age brackets and he's still a great mate so it was really special to get that one."
In the series' 50-year history there have only been 21 winners, a testament to the difficulty of the competition.
"The Aussie titles are the toughest national comp in the world," Darren said.
"It just goes to show how prestigious the series is."
Now after round four of the 2015/16 season,
Jordan leads the series thanks to Darren's tutelage as Noosa head coach.
Should she take out the ironwoman series,
Darren and Jordan would become the first father-daughter winners in its history.
"It's exciting, she's finally come into her own after many years of being known as my daughter," he said. "Hopefully what I'm passing on is working for her and that makes me feel proud."