The victorious winners of the World Superyacht Awards 2015 were announced tonight at the 10th edition in Amsterdam.
The host city, with its rich maritime history, provided a fitting backdrop as a distinguished audience of superyacht owners and industry specialists took their seats at the Westergasfabriek.
The ceremony, which celebrates excellence in superyacht build and design, is the most anticipated event in the superyacht calendar.
Throughout the evening, international broadcaster, Natasha Kaplinsky, presented a selection of prized awards to the owners of the finest sail and motor yachts delivered in 2014. A total of twenty-two coveted Neptunes and Judges' Commendation prizes, custom made for the occasion by Baccarat, were presented throughout the ceremony.
Motor Yacht of the Year was awarded to the 73m Grace E
The Motor Yacht of the Year Award honours the very best motor yacht delivered to its owners in 2014, chosen from amongst the winners of the motor yacht classes. Grace E, the Picchiotti branded motor yacht created by the Perini Navi Group with interiors designed by Remi Tessier - and the distinctive lines - born from Vitruvius Ltd and Philippe Briand was a clear winner to the judges.
A superb quality of structural build, the design and installation of the mechanical elements and systems, and the perfection of interior joinery and decoration was absolutely beyond reproach. Not least, the judges also noted that her miserly fuel consumption, long range and economy of operation made her a vessel that is ideally suited to the modern era. This resulted in a unanimous decision to name her as the highly deserved Motor Yacht of the Year.
Sailing Yacht of the Year was presented to the 33m WinWin
After much consideration between Wisp and WinWin - the judges voted almost unanimously to select WinWin, a 33-metre yacht built by Baltic Yachts in Finland, as the winner of this prestigious award. Built from pre-preg carbon fibre and boasting a remarkably light displacement of 77-tonnes, this lifting-keel yacht combines an attractive appearance with efficient yet extremely stylish on-deck working areas, a particularly agile performance, and a level of technology that allows the yacht to be readily manageable by a crew of four.
In addition, she features super-comfortable living spaces styled in the modern idiom and a superb build quality. With exterior design from Javier Jaudenes and interior from Design Unlimited the jury selected WinWin as the most significant sailing vessel that had been delivered to it’s owner in the year 2014.
The Voyager's Award credits superyacht owners who have undertaken a passage of an unusual or exploratory nature. One standout entry was a lengthy action-packed cruise on a roundabout route from New Zealand to New Orleans, USA by the sport fisherman Mea Culpa, sailing via French Polynesia, Hawaii and Alaska. In most years this would have been enough to secure the trophy, but not this year, due to strong competition from the converted tug, Arctic P, who’s cruise was as daring as it was adventurous.
Having visited the Antarctic Peninsula the previous year, the owners of Arctic P had caught the ‘Arctic Bug’ and yearned to go back for an even more audacious cruise. Headed for the inhospitable Ross Sea, they first called in on Macquarie Island, and the Balleny Islands, where they crossed into the Antarctic Circle.
Their course, often in extremely rough seas, took them onwards to Victoria Land on the Antarctic mainland, skirting the ice-covered shore southwards to Ross Island. Here they visited Scott’s base for his tragic polar expedition and Shackleton’s Hut, preserved as a monument to this intrepid Antarctic explorer, before going on to USA’s vast McMurdo Research Station. Thereafter, they skirted the 400-mile long, 50-metre high Ross Ice Shelf heading eastwards and further south towards Roosevelt Island.
The highlight of their voyage came at this point when they grabbed the opportunity to take Arctic P to the most southerly location ever reached by any vessel, be it commercial, military or a yacht - a remarkable achievement that is now logged in the Guinness Book of Records.
This was not a spur-of-the-moment cruise, but an immaculately planned expedition in every respect, equipped with the gear possible, with safety and exit plans to cover every contingency. This incredibly record-breaking voyage is a most worthy winner of this year’s Voyager’s Award.
There cannot be many yachtsmen out there who have achieved so much in the dual fields of sail-boat racing and motor yachting over the past 40 years as that of this year’s Legacy Award winner, Lord Irvine Laidlaw.
The winner of this year’s Legacy Award very nearly didn’t progress beyond his first taste of yachting, aboard a sailing school yacht in the English Channel in an Autumn gale. It was an experience that, in his own words was ‘Rough, cold and a bit scary!’ But it did show him that sailing was sufficiently demanding to be of interest and, at the same time, forced him to relax and take his mind away from business pressures. So he stuck with it. And just as he has done in business – he succeeded.
It wasn’t too long before he had caught the racing bug, and he progressed from a 27-foot Varne cruiser, through to two Westerly’s that became the first of the now internationally-famous series of Highland Flings. An entry into the One Ton Cup in 1985, a member of Singapore’s Admiral’s Cup team, and also being a member of the victorious British team in Sydney’s Southern Cross event created an impressive sailing CV for the dedicated yachtsman.
A passion for motoryachts saw Lord Laidlaw work his way through a series of increasingly large motor yachts named Lady Christine: a 23-metre Azimut, a 38-metre Heesen, and a 56-metre Oceanco, before he built his current Lady Christine, a truly magnificent 68-metre from Feadship-Van Lent. He has also owned the Sunseeker 34-metre, Frivolous, and still owns the 40-metre Seaflower, another Feadship. An impressive history and collection of sailing and motor yachts which made Lord Laidlaw a worthy winner of the Legacy Award 2015.
The 2015 edition of the awards took place once again in one of Europe’s foremost hubs of yacht design with the support of leading Dutch yacht builders; Amels, Feadship, Heesen Yachts, Holland Jachtbouw and Royal Huisman. Boat International Media would also like to thank Gold Sponsors, Embraer Executive Jets and Mercedes-Benz; Silver Sponsors, Esenyacht, Gassan and Admiral; Award Sponsors, Clyde&Co, Tansu, Baccarat and Sabrina Monte-Carlo and Contributing Sponsors, Think Yachts Think Holland, Maybach-Icons of Luxury, Silver Arrows Marine and Hugo Boss for helping to create a wonderful evening and for making the World Superyacht Awards a resounding success.
For more information about the winners of the World Superyacht Awards 2015, please visit boatinternational.com, the World Superyacht Awards website worldsuperyachtawards.com