news, local-news, millie chalker, bodyboarding, memorial triple crown, matt barron memorial, david ‘goose’ gosby memorial, jeff wilcox memorial, central coast, great lakes advocate
Tuncurry bodyboarder Millie Chalker has capped off a strong year competitively by winning the open women’s division of the inaugural Memorial Triple Crown. Chalker went into the last event of the three-leg championship – the Matt Barron Memorial on the Central Coast – ranked equal first, but when the girl she was tied with lost out in the opening round, it put her in a great position to take the win. “I knew I was in the running,” Chalker said. “I wasn’t overly confident. I just went in and thought I’d give it my best shot.” However, when Chalker was knocked out in the semi-finals and the girl who’d gone into the event ranked second progressed to the final, the standings once again became very close. Her opponent finished fourth in the final, leaving the pair tied on equal points. A countback followed, and luckily for Chalker, her highest result of a third place finish at the David ‘Goose’ Gosby Memorial at Port Macquarie saw her get the nod over her rival. You may also like: For 17-year-old Chalker, the win was particularly meaningful because of what it represented. “It’s not just winning it, it’s remembering the young lives that were lost,” she said. For the first time in 2019, the Memorial Triple Crown saw three long-running memorial bodyboarding contests combined into one overall championship. These included Forster Tuncurry’s own Jeff Wilcox Memorial in July, Port Macquarie’s David ‘Goose’ Gosby Memorial in October, and last weekend’s Matt Barron Memorial. With two fifths and a third across the three events, Chalker said it would have been nice to take a win along the way, but acknowledged the strong level of competition she was up against. However, she does have her eyes set on a win at the Jeff Wilcox Memorial in the future. “I’d love to win the Jeff Wilcox,” she said. “It’s the local one, it’s on home soil.” Millie wasn’t the only Chalker to score a big result in the Memorial Triple Crown, with father Shane finishing second overall in the Masters. Forster’s Thomas Donnelly also did well, finishing fourth in the DK. Local youngsters Gemma McEnalley and Jazmine Nielsen finished third and fourth overall in the Cadets, with 14-year-old McEnalley showing plenty of promise by also making the semi-finals of the open women’s at the Matt Barron Memorial. Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Great Lakes Advocate newsletter here.