WHILE one Sunshine Coast contender showed she is the future of the sport at Noosa on Sunday, another Sunshine Coast competitor called time on a first-class career.
Teenager Jordan Mercer claimed third place on her home beach and fourth overall in this summer's Ironwoman series.
It's been a rapid rise through the ranks of surf lifesaving for the 18-year-old, who finished 16th in her maiden campaign last season.
"I think last season was a massive learning curve. I guess I didn't have the mentality to win. I was just rolling around with my idols. This year I had some fire in my tummy, set my standards higher and achieved them," she said.
Mercer's breakthrough performance was at Perth last month, where she snared second place.
She followed that up with a fourth at Coolum before cementing her standing as the sport's biggest rising talent yesterday.
The daughter of ironman icon Darren Mercer yesterday left for Peru to contest the world paddleboard championships.
Meanwhile, Rhys Drury called it quits after finishing 14th in the race and 14th overall.
"It's been a great journey and I've had a great ball doing it but the time is right," he said.
"I'm pushing 35 and I have family and my body is not letting me do what I want it to do."
The 2007 Coolangatta Gold champion, who also won a medal at the Australian Championships as a 15-year-old, will join Kawana Waters product Kirsty Holmes on the sidelines after she also decided to hang up the ski.
She finished 14th in this series.
The women's series was taken out by Elizabeth Pluimers, of Northcliffe, while an emotional Caine Eckstein took a thrilling men's ironman eliminator race at the series to prove he is more than just a distance champion.
Eckstein has produced one of the most dominant performances in history to win all five elimination races after entering the final round five points behind leader Ali Day.
Ali faded to eighth place as the younger Eckstein broke the 13-year stranglehold on the professional series held by older brother Shannon, Zane Holmes and Ky Hurst.
Hurst finished with a withering last swim to grab second from Shannon Eckstein and Hugh Dougherty.
Hurst was left lamenting a round-three disqualification in Newcastle after Sunday's result left him fourth overall in the point score, 17 points behind the winner, 10 points shy of runner-up Day.
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