“Thank you for being with me Uncle Dean. I hope I made you proud.”
The niece of two-time Ironman champion Dean Mercer has paid an emotional tribute to her uncle after winning the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship in Denmark.
Jordan Mercer took to Facebook overnight to say the title win was “for my family”.
It comes less than a week after her uncle died suddenly when he suffered a heart attack while driving in Mermaid Beach.
“Dean was an amazing husband and loving father who loved nothing more than sharing his and (wife) Reen’s love of life and love of the surf,” the family said in a statement following his death on Monday.
Jordan is the daughter of Ironman champion Darren Mercer, and is part of the Sunshine Coast surf life saving scene.
The 23-year-old was in Australia at the time of her uncle’s death, but encouraged by her family to go to Denmark to compete.
“I greeted Copenhagen Denmark with a broken heart and a broken board,” she explained on Facebook while thanking her team for pulling an ‘all nighter’ repairing the board.
A special service to remember Dean will be held at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre in Carrara on Friday.
All surf lifesavers are being encouraged to wear their club caps and uniforms.