Flagship Night, the traditional meeting of the industry hosted by Delius Klasing Verlag and boot Düsseldorf, was held on Saturday evening with the presentation of the awards for “European Yacht of the Year 2017” and “European Powerboat of the Year 2017.” This was the fifth time during the international maritime industry’s annual get-together that an expert jury presented the “SEAMASTER” Award to an individual who had made an exceptional contribution to water sports.
This was the fourteenth time the international “European Yacht of the Year” awards were presented and the eleventh time for the “European Powerboat of the Year” title. The jury comprises the test directors and editors-in-chief of Europe’s eleven leading yachting magazines and nine powerboat magazines.
This year publisher Konrad Delius and “Boot” project manager Petros Michelidakis welcomed more than 450 guests from the international maritime scene to the awards ceremony.
Around 70 new yachts reach the market in Europe every year. However, only five shipyards can win the “European Yacht of the Year 2017” title. The jury from the eleven leading sailing magazines from Norway, Sweden, the U.K., Netherlands, France, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Germany held the first tests off Cannes on the Côte d’Azur. In the autumn further tests were held in the Bay of Biscay from Port de Plaisance to La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast, where all 25 nominated vessels were tested and evaluated. The eleven jury members are subject to strict rules that effectively preclude manipulation and outside influence.
All decisions are made by a majority vote, while a nationalities clause prevents jurors from casting their votes for candidates from their own country. One of the notable things about this year’s competition was that many established shipyards, in particular market leaders Beneteau and Jeanneau from France, only presented new developments in the larger over 50 foot class. In contrast, niche providers dominated the high-volume segment between 30 and 40 feet. The selection for the Yacht of the Year reflects the events on the market as a whole, where on the one hand the trend is toward ever bigger yachts and to increasingly individual and more specialized types on the other.
- Family Cruiser– RM 970
- Performance Cruiser– Pogo 36
- Luxury Cruiser– Oceanis Yacht 62
- Special Yachts – Seascape 24
- Multihulls– Outremer 4X.
The jury for “European Powerboat of the Year” consists of the senior editors and testers of the nine leading European powerboat media from Norway, Italy (2), France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The jury first nominated the five most interesting innovations in each category at the Cannes Boat Show.
Each year, more than 250 new powerboat models reach the market. Powerboats are divided into five length classes: up to 25 feet, up to 35 feet, up to 45 feet, over 45 feet and a trawler class with no length restrictions. In addition to the usual quality features of a boat, such as the craftsmanship or handling, the use of space, overall concept and price/performance ratio also play key roles in the jurors’ decision.
- Up to 25 feet – Sting 610 BR
- Up to 35 feet – Marex 310 Sun Cruiser
- Up to 45 feet – Jetten Beach 45
- Over 45 feet – Absolute 50 Fly
- Trawler class – E 40
This year the 2017 prize for innovation as part of the “Powerboat of the Year” Awards went to Volvo Penta. In recent years, the boat drive specialist has focused a great deal of energy on the area of “Easy Boating.”
“As pioneers in drive technology, Volvo products, such as the IPS, the joystick control, the Easy Docking function or the new battery management system, have made life on-board more pleasant, more convenient and safer for many people,” said BOOTE editor-in-chief Torsten Moench, explaining the jury’s decision.
The Flagship Night 2017 was also marked by the fifth presentation of the SEAMASTER Award. This prize is presented by boot Düsseldorf and Delius Klasing Verlag in recognition of an individual who has made a special contribution to water sports.
The 2017 prize goes to Clarisse Crémer from France. The 27-year-old receives the joint award from publishers Delius Klasing and boot Düsseldorf for her effective promotion of water sports. The breezy clips from her multimedia campaign in the run-up to an imminent solo Atlantic crossing, she quickly reached many hundreds of thousands of people and has become a positive ambassador for sailing.
The SEAMASTER jury comprises the editors-in-chief of BOOTE, BOOTE EXCLUSIV, YACHT and SURF magazines. The jury is headed by Delius Klasing publisher Konrad Delius and Petros Michelidakis, director of boot Düsseldorf.
You will find detailed reports on the winning boats and the FLAGSHIP NIGHT 2017 in the forthcoming editions of YACHT 4/2017 (in stores Feb. 1), BOOTE 3/2017 (in stores Feb. 22) and online at yacht.de, boote-magazin.de and powerboat-award.com.