The origin of the Life Members Trophy Race goes back to the 1981-82 season.

Ivan Holm, the Club’s fifth Commodore (1955-1957) and again in 1961-62, was made a Life Member in 1964. After almost twenty years as a Life Member, he wrote to all sixteen Life Members then living. He proposed that since they enjoyed the benefits of membership without annual fees they could (should) make a contribution to the Club in some way to support and encourage the noble sport of yacht racing. He suggested the establishment of a significant trophy to match existing notable events such as the “Peg Barnett” and “Nora Barnett” trophies which were at that time the “sought after” local events.

His proposal was that they all contribute an amount equal to one year’s subscription to create a fund, the interest from which would provide a significant trophy for annual competition. Expressed in today’s dollars the suggested contributions would have generated a fund of about $6500 and provide an annual trophy value of $200 even at 2.5%.

Having gained virtually universal support the first event was planned for the1981-82 season.

A unique course was established to mark the event. Starting from the regular starting line off the Shorncliffe Pier, the course was directly to and around Mud Island returning to the pier head finish. Another unique feature of the event was that the rounding direction was optional.

Ivan constructed the perpetual trophy himself which continues to be presented to this day. He did however cause some embarrassment to himself by skippering his ketch Laurabada to win the inaugural event.

The event has continued to be held annually since. The course has been varied over time. First was the inclusion of the Fisheries Beacon to improve the line from the pier. Later the start was moved away from the pier to the present location part way to the Fisheries Beacon. More recently, due to the requirements of Brisbane Harbour, the crossing point of the shipping channel has been limited to near the Coffee Pots but the unique “choose your own way around” remains.

Pictured are the Perpetual Trophy and the trophy presented to Laurabada on winning the inaugural event.

Organised and Hosted by the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club