Leo Geary Memorial Trophy

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Leo face Leo supported the New Zealand Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (NZHGPA) and took part in the competitions. He would be exceedingly honored and proud that it established a trophy prize category in his name. See large pictures of the trophy. In 2003, Peter Groves sent email from New Zealand with recent news and support for the Leo Geary web pages. Peter is a paraglider who is also an organizer of the 2004 competition. The following information up to 2006 is from his emails. Since then Kris Ericksen sends reports each year.

The NZ Paragliding Competition manual outlines awards for 4 main prize categories. The fourth award is the Leo Geary Memorial Trophy. Here's what the manual says:

"Awarded to the most outstanding performance at the National Championships from an up and coming pilot. This award is generally given to pilots with three years flying experience or less, and is only given to NZHGPA member pilots.

The recipient of the Leo Geary Memorial Trophy is selected between the Paragliding Competition Committee and the current sponsor of the trophy."

Here is Peter Groves' description.

"The Leo Geary Trophy is a quite stunning - it is a carved Maori Mere (a short war club with sharpened edges), about 15 inches long, carved from a NZ native wood. We'll get a photo when the Trophy is presented to the next recipient at the January competition. The trophy is given to the Best Newcomer, and as an incentive to encouraging their development in the sport, it is generally accompanied by a prize of a substantial discount off the purchase of a new paraglider."
List of date, place and award winner:

For 2011 - 2016 and ongoing improvement of this site, thanks to Kris Ericksen for keeping in touch with info and photos. Here's his video that reminds me why, as he says "it really is a magical sport":

For 2010 updates to the list, thanks to Pamela Brown-Courtney, who contacted Kat West (in charge of the NZHGPA competition) and others, including Craig Collings, Glen Stevens, Jeff Ripley and Kris Ericksen. Thanks and credit for the photos in 2004 and 2005 to Roger North of New Zealand. Roger says,

"I would like to reinforce that the trophy is considered a great honour each year and also our continued respect for Leo."

The 2004 and 2005 competitions took place at Treble Cone, near Wanaka, a favorite destination for Leo Geary and friends. I sent Peter Grove Leo's notes from 1991. Here they are on a separate page, with Peter's reply as update and introduction.

Here is some background:

newsletterNewsletter cover for the 10th edition of Parapente. In an article about Leo, a magazine said, "Parapente..was personally written, edited, and published by Leo himself. It was the first publication of its kind, and Leo was the leader that made it all happen. He brought paragliding in New Zealand to the high profile sport it has become now. He created Parapente as a journalistic medium for all pilots to communicate with each other, learn the latest news, and have information which they can exchange. Leo put a lot of energy and effort into the magazine, purely for the benefit of his fellow pilots." (Quote from Airborn, New Zealand Hang Gliding & Paragliding Magazine, Issue 73, October 1992.)
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