The Bob Irvine TrophyBob Irvine Trophy

 Greatest cross-country distance each
year after handicap

The Bob Irvine Trophy is to be awarded to the successful claimant for the greatest cross-country distance achieved in each calendar year after application of the appropriate handicap factor for the sailplane. Applications for the trophy are to be called for by the GFA Trophies Officer by advertisement in 'Australian Gliding' magazine early in each year, for distance flights achieved during the previous calendar year. Satisfactory verification details by an FAI Official Observer are to be provided by the applicant. The appropriate handicap factor is to be from the list currently used for the Decentralised Competitions

This trophy was inaugurated at the 1997 GFA Annual Council Meeting as a memorial to Dr. Robert D. Irvine Ph.D, widely known in the competition scene, and a former GFA Councillor for some years. Bob met his death whilst competing in the 35th FAI Nationals at Horsham on 24th January 1997 , in a mid-air collision between his Nimbus 2, VH-GWX and the well known ASW 22, VH-UKG. Bob had always seemed to fly a less than state-of-the art sailplane yet always did very well. He won the 'Austraglide' (Open Class, League 2) trophy posthumously on that occasion.

In view of Bob Irvine's predilection for less-than-top-class sailplanes it was felt appropriate to commemorate his achievements with a trophy for performance in such aircraft. During the previous year two wooden sailplanes, a Boomerang and a Ka6cr, flying in company from Gawler, Bob's home club, had achieved the outstanding distance of 654 km. Such flights suffered a major disadvantage under the Wally Wood Trophy rules, yet if the distance had been multiplied the by the appropriate handicap factor the points score would have compared more than favourably with the scores of top GRP sailplanes.

The Bob Irvine Trophy was originally known as 'The New Wally Wood Trophy" and was kindly donated by Peter Trotter who, with his wife Lisa, was currently joint RTO/Sports for VSA. (see under "Wally Wood Trophy" for the full circumstances of this donation).

Although applications may be made for both the Wally Wood Trophy (distance) and the Bob Irvine Trophy (handicap distance) both trophies shall not be awarded for the same flight.

Longest Distance Flight x Handicap Factor, Inaugurated 1997 
claimed in # calendar year
in ## transition 16 months 
then in GFA Financial Year May-April 

Season Pilot Sailplane Distance-km x Factor Points
1997 # Paul Mason Mosquito VH-GKV 821 km 0.98 = 804.58
1998 # Keith Willis PW5 VH-ZAW 513 km 1.16 = 595.08
1999 # Tom Claffey Discus B 1015.4 km 0.939 = 953.22
2000 # Chris Woolley LS4 601.7 0.94 = 565.60
2001/02 ## Michael O’Brien LS1f 753.43 km 1.10 = 828.773
2002/03 Kerrie Claffey ASW28 834.2 km 0.98 = 817.516
2003/04 Simon Holding Std Cirrus 761.7 km 1.10 = 837.87
2004/05 Ed Bishop Jantar 2b 623 km 1.06 = 660.38
2008/09 Terry Cubley