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Surf competition pays tribute to legend and culture

IN RESPECT: Brandon Mercy shreds it up ahead of the Naru Surf Gathering this weekend, a tribute to Eric Mercy who died 20 years ago.
IN RESPECT: Brandon Mercy shreds it up ahead of the Naru Surf Gathering this weekend, a tribute to Eric Mercy who died 20 years ago. Judd Finlay/Facebook

THE legacy of Coffs Harbour surfer Eric Mercy will live on as the Naru Surf Gathering readies to carve up at the weekend.

Eric's family organised the weekend surf competition as a tribute to the former Australian indigenous surf team coach and the rich indigenous surfing history of the Coffs Coast.

Eric showed great passion when he coached and managed the first Australian indigenous surf team to compete in the Oceania titles.

"It's the (20th) anniversary of my dad's passing,” Amber Mercy said.

"He was an avid surfer. We thought he was quite influential and he's also competed nationally and internationally.”

Eric lost his life as a result of depression. Amber said one of the aims of the event was to raise awareness about mental health and raise funds for support.

"All that (entry) money goes to the Black Dog Institute,” she said.

Amber said there would also be language workshops to launch NAIDOC Week, which start on Sunday.

The Naru Surf Gathering will be held at either Park Beach, Diggers Beach or Macauleys dependent on the surf conditions.

Categories include masters, open mens, open womens and juniors.

A final decision will be made tomorrow and will be posted on the Naru Surf Gathering Facebook page.

For more information, visit narusurfgathering.eventbrite.com.au.

Topics:  coffs coast beaches eric mercy naidoc week 2017 naru surf gathering surfing competitions whatson



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