2008 World Superyacht Award Winners Announced

San Maggiore Island, Venice, Italy. April 18th 2008.

Four hundred owners and leading members of the superyacht industry witnessed the presentation of the 2008 World Superyacht Awards during a glamourous gala evening in the magnificent Palladian buildings of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, during which a total of 18 highly coveted 'Neptunes' - the 'Oscars' of the Superyacht World - were presented.

This event is distinguished by the fact that the winners are selected by a 13 person jury of which 10 members are yacht owners and, as such, are uniquely qualified to pass judgement on these craft. In a further important distinction, World Superyacht Awards' jurors actually visit the competing yachts, all of which were delivered between the 1st January and the 31st December 2007, and also receive a highly detailed brief on each competing yacht written by its owner, builder and designers. Subsequently, jurors attended a two-day meeting in Paris during which every yacht was considered in detail and awarded marks under six distinct headings that, when totalled, determined the winners. For more details on the judging process please click here.

For the 18 awards, yachts were divided by size and type into seven distinct classes, while awards were also given for the best exterior and interior design in the sailing yacht and motor yacht categories, and for the Best Refitted Yacht, Best Newcomer Company of the Year and an award for the best new yacht-related Technology introduced in 2007. In addition, this year saw the presentation of a special Superyacht Legacy Award to the late Jim Moran - an enthusiastic American yachtsman and philanthropist who, during his long and distinguished life, owned a succession of yachts named Gallant Lady.

Another trophy awarded for the first time this year was the Young Designer of the Year Award, which was designed to encourage and recognise the talents of up and coming young designers. This was sponsored by Camper & Nicholsons International and co-organised by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. Out of forty submissions the judges, drawn from the ranks of pre-eminent naval architects, stylists and interior designers, selected five finalists of which the winner was lucky Fadi Pataq, a student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit USA for his designs for a 70.26m steel and aluminium motor yacht called Pelagia. The judges felt his design clearly brought together art and engineering to achieve the essential balance of form and function.

Among the motor yacht classes the 48.5m expedition yacht T6, designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder's PB Design, with interior design by Anthony Bedford Design, was awarded the prime accolade of Motor Yacht of the Year. Very unusually, this yacht was designed and constructed by a team assembled by her owner and the build, again with a team created by the owner, took place in a shed rented from a shipyard in Whangerai, New Zealand. The judges were not only impressed by the yachts good looks, impeccable design and the high quality of finish achieved, but also by the outstanding engineering which allowed a Eurocopter AS 350 helicopter plus a 9.8m tender, a day sailing boat and their launching facilities to be stowed beneath her aft deck and launched in incredibly short space of time.

In the sailing yacht division the top prize was won by the 51.6m 'Freedonia-type' schooner Meteor, designed by Dykstra & Partners with inspiration from JG Alden, and built in Holland by the Royal Huisman Shipyard. Meteor took home a hat-trick of awards including the Sailing Yacht of the Year, Best Sailing Yacht Exterior and Best Sailing Yacht in the 45m + size range. After lengthy deliberation the judges opted for Meteor's traditional lines rather than the modern designs of her three competitors. But while Meteor is classic in appearance, everything else about her is completely state-of-the-art, from her carbon fibre spars to her automated sail controls. The judges admired the perfection of her design, both interior and exterior, and the superlative quality of her construction.

This year the standard of entries stepped up a gear and for the first time the judges decided that one prize per category was not sufficient and also gave an award of HIGHLY COMMENDED in four categories.

For a full and detailed list of all of the winners please visit our website: www.worldsuperyachtawards.com

The spectacular evening was made possible by the generous support of Van Cleef & Arpels, The Golden Anchor and Marieux Interior Treasures.

Full coverage of the awards ceremony will feature in the July 2008 edition of Boat International, available on newsstands in mid June.

For more details please contact:

Kirsten Mackenzie: kirstenm@boatinternational.co.uk
Holly Lunn: Hollyl@boatinternational.co.uk