Italian entrepreneur Paolo Vitelli, who founded Azimut Yachts as a student in Italy and who later acquired the venerable Benetti brand, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement at METS.
“People say that to succeed you need vision, you must suffer, and you need passion. In the marine industry you also have to be a little bit crazy,” said Vitelli in his acceptance speech. “ So to the young people entering the industry, the next generation, I say, take the lead, take risks, be brave, and be crazy – and you will succeed.”
The awards, designed to recognize and celebrate those individuals and companies excelling in the detail to push both their brands and the industry forward, were presented following the second day of METS during a gala dinner at the historic National Maritime Museum in the heart of Amsterdam. Boat builders shortlisted by the judges for awards included Brunswick, Jeanneau, Baltic, Monte Carlo Yachts, Azimut, Formula, Karnic, Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Scout, Dominator, Rayglass, Galeon, Riviera, Fairline, Sunreef and Axopar, along with equipment manufacturers Harken, Maxwell, Falcon and Mastervolt .
Joining Vitelli on the podium were the winners of five business achievement categories:
- Retail Marketing Award: Dominator Yachts (honorable mention, Boston Whaler)
- Boat Builder International Distributor/Dealer Development Award: Brunswick Marine
- Boat Builder and Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution Award: Jeanneau and Harken Inc.
- On-Board Design Solution Award: Galeon Yachts (honorable mention, Karnic Powerboats)
- Innovation In A Production Process Award: Monte Carlo Yachts (honorable mention, Karnic Powerboats)