The Australian Bridge Federation Youth Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of the major youth awards for 2012:
Andrew Reiner Trophy: Nabil Edgtton and Andy Hung
This recently established award is granted to the best performed pair in the primary target international event, taking account of performance in the event itself, commitment to preparation and contribution to team success.
Despite not coming home with a medal, Australia's U25 team did what no other Australian U25 team has done since 1991 in making it through to the Semi Finals. All three pairs played really well, but in singling out a pair for this award it's important to note that Nabil and Andy were an amazing +0.94 IMPs per board on datums, having played all of the Quarter Finalists and generally meeting the strongest pairs from our opposing countries.
Helman-Klinger Achievement Award: Andy Hung
This award, worth $400 annually and supplemented with a further $200 from the Friends of Youth Bridge Fund, is presented each year to the Australian Youth Bridge Player whose ability, achievements, sportsmanship, attitude, contribution and commitment during the calendar year are most deserving. In addition to several strong performances at the table in 2012 (including winning the Gold Coast Congress and coming 4th in the World Junior Championships), Andy has been the driving force behind the exceptionally high quality Australian Youth Bridge Bulletin (including the previous attempts of creating the Australian Youth Bridge website).
He has also spent countless hours mentoring pairs from the Australian U20 team for the past couple of years, and is also now a supporter and part of the admin for the QLD Youth Bridge Day which has been a recent success.
Helman-Klinger Masterpoint Award: Liam Milne
This award, worth $200 annually and supplemented with a further $100 from the Friends of Youth Bridge Fund, is awarded to the Australian Youth Player who earns the most masterpoints in the calendar year in question.
Liam earned 313.05 MPs in 2012 after winning the Youth Pairs and the Youth Teams in last year's Youth Week. He won the Gold Coast Teams, came second in the VCC, the ANZ Youth Teams and the ANC Butler Stage 1. Liam won the NZ Open Pairs and came second in the NZ Open Teams. He made the Semi-Final of the GNOT and the Open Teams Playoffs. His crowning glory was his total of 0.69 green points won at Ish's club in June, from the Kings and Queens Invitational.
Hills-Hurley Trophy: Ellena Moskovsky and Lauren Travis
This trophy, donated by Richard Hills and Steve Hurley, is intended to encourage talented young bridge players to form long-standing partnerships and reward a successful pair who has developed a well-organised partnership to harness their full potential.
Lauren and Ellena represented Australia in the World Championships in Taicang, anchoring the U20 team to the Quarter Finals playing every single qualifying match, and every stage of the Quarter Finals (losing to the eventual runners-up, USA). Lauren and Ellena were exceptionally well prepared and had put in a very large amount of work to their system and partnership. They attended both training weekends with Alex Smirnov in Sydney and practiced extensively on BBO. Their excellent results at the World Championships were closely linked to their excellent preparation. They also finished 3rd in the World Junior Transnational Teams on the ‘Down Under’ team.
Special mention is also made in this category for Michael Whibley and Liam Milne who had a successful year including 1st in the National Youth Teams, 2nd in the National Open Teams, 1st in the ANC Interstate Youth Teams and 1st in the APBF Open Pairs.