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2001 Helman Klinger Award & Hills Hurley Trophy Winners

Rabbi Leonard Helman donated the funds for this award to honour the contribution of Ron Klinger to Youth Bridge. The main award of $400 is for the under 26 year old (born on or after 1/1/76 for the year 2001) whose ability, achievements, sportsmanship, attitude, contribution and commitment during the calendar year stand out, as determined by a panel. The inaugural winner for 1999 was Mark Abraham from Tasmania, followed by Kylie Robb of NSW.

The Helman-Klinger Award comprises two parts. For the first time ever, both awards have been won by the same person - Paul Brayshaw.

In the "most masterpoints" section of the Award, Paul won from Kylie Robb and Jillian Hay. The previous winners were ineligible. Paul receives $200 for this award.

The main Helman-Klinger Award of $400 also goes to Paul Brayshaw for his massive contribution to youth bridge in 2001.

Paul set up and organised weekly Youth Bridge Games in Perth. He edited, produced and to a large degree wrote several issues of the youth bridge magazine YOBO, which is regarded by some people as the best youth bridge magazine in the world. It is certainly one of the most daring. The highly accurate card play analysis by Paul is appreciated by the readers almost as much as the large slabs of youthful humour.

Paul is a product of the school bridge system. He led his high school to victory in the early 1990s in Western Australia's ground-breaking interschool bridge competition. His Kelm Scott Senior High Team then came 2nd in the 1992 National Interschool Team Championships.

On the playing side, in 2001 Paul as always set the highest standards of demeanour and ethics at the table, while maintaining the friendly style of a player who truly appreciates the beauty of the game of bridge. His results were equally impressive. Australia's first victory in the PABF Youth Championships since 1992 was the highlight. On home soil, coming from behind to defeat the Victorians in the two biggest youth events of the year (in Canberra in January and in July) showed that his approach to bridge is conducive to playing one's best when under pressure.

The Hills-Hurley Trophy for the Best Partnership of the year goes to cousins Paul Brayshaw and Simon Brayshaw. This Western Australian pair's results have totally dominated Australian youth bridge in 2001:

  • 1st place in the Playoff for the Australian Youth Team in January,
  • 1st place in PABF Youth Teams Championship in Singapore in June,
  • 1st place in the Interstate Youth Teams Championship in July, and
  • Midfield in the World Youth Teams Championship in Brazil in August, a reasonable showing against the best in the world.
In an interview in YOBO magazine in 2001, Simon revealed that working hard to develop detailed understandings within their Kaplan-Sheinwold bidding system has given Paul and Simon (and their WA teammates) a huge bidding edge over the rest of the youth field in Australia.

One purpose of the Hills-Hurley Trophy is to convince youths that such partnership work contributes heavily to bridge success. By developing a sound partnership and putting the work in to make their bidding system a highly effective tool, Richard Hills and Steve Hurley in the 1980s won five national youth titles. The Brayshaws have followed a similar approach and are worthy winners of the Hills-Hurley Trophy for 2001.

Peter Gill for the ABF Youth Committee, 10 January 2002.