The Australian Bridge Federation Youth Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of the major youth awards for 2015:
Andrew Reiner Trophy: Shane Harrison and Max Henbest
This award is granted to the best performed pair in international competition taking account of performance in the events themselves, commitment to preparation and contribution to team success. Shane and Max anchored the Australian Under-25 team at the Asia Pacific Bridge Federation Youth Championships in Bangkok, where Australia rallied after a slow start in the event to claim bronze.
They then went on to perform a similar role in Croatia at the World Youth Open Championships with a stirring quarter-final victory over the fancied Italians, but bowing out in the semi-finals to the eventual winners "Zlatan" and narrowly losing the bronze medal match to "Greswe Axon".
Helman-Klinger Achievement Award: Max HenbestThis 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.
Max has been attending Youth Week for the past 8 years and has enjoyed consistent success representing Australia on multiple occasions. He has a positive impact on all his team mates in all events that he has played, especially on younger players for whom he is a great role model both at and away from the table. As noted above, 2015 saw Max representing Australia at the APBF in Bangkok and the World Youth Open Championships in Croatia. Domestically, Max won his first national open event in Adelaide at the Autumn National Open Teams and came second in the Dick Cummings Open Pairs at the Spring Nationals.
Both Helman-Klinger Awards exist due to the generosity of the late Rabbi Leonard Helman, an American lawyer, prominent bridge enthusiast and philanthropist, who made a substantial donation to establish the prizes to honour Ron and Suzie Klinger's outstanding contribution to bridge in Australia
Helman-Klinger Masterpoint Award: Jamie Thompson
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.
This year Jamie won with 203.15 just pipping Max Henbest with 196.20 (which would've won the award in most years).
Jamie's results in 2015 included winning the Youth Teams and Youth Butler, fourth in the Spring National Open Teams, eighth in the New Zealand Open Teams, winning the New Zealand Back-ToThe-Future Teams and winning the Victorian Open Teams and in doing so becoming the youngest ever player to achieve that feat at 19.
Hills-Hurley Trophy: Daniel Braun and Nabil EdgttonThis 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.
Great friends at and away from the table, Daniel and Nabil narrowly missed selection to the Australian Under-25 team at last year's Youth Week but have persevered and went on to perform very strongly in the Spring National Open Teams where they snuck into the fourth and final qualifying position by 0.01 of a VP and came a close second in the modified datum rankings from the qualifying phase.