Last night in the magnificent surroundings of the Çırağan Palace Kempinski, overlooking Istanbul's historic Bosphorus waterway, the superyacht industry's finest gathered for the most anticipated event in the yachting calendar - the seventh annual World Superyacht Awards.
During a gala evening attended by a distinguished guest list of superyacht owners, their families, friends and members of the superyacht industry, news broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky presented the prized silver Neptune awards to the owners of the finest sail and motor yachts delivered in 2011.
Sixteen Neptunes and five Judges' Commendation prizes, custom-made for the occasion by Baccarat, were awarded to the winners on the night.
The winners of the 2012 World Superyachts Awards are as follows:
Motor yacht of the year sponsored by Camper & Nicholsons International
'Tango has taken the styling of large superyachts a step forward, combining this new and elegant appearance with supreme engineering and construction from Feadship, and a well-considered layout both on her exterior decks and in her distinguished yet comfortable interior that was created by Eidsgaard Design.' - The Judging Panel
Sailing yacht of the year sponsored by Proteksan Turquoise
Vertigo was selected on the basis of her 'extremely stylish exterior lines, combined with the extremely high build quality and the solutions to the engineering questions which this complex design from Philippe Briand had posed. Vertigo provides the optimum balance between performance sailing and world cruising, with neither compromising the other.' - The Judging Panel
Displacement motor yacht 3000GT and above sponsored by Advanced New Technologies
There was only one entry in this class, but it was not amalgamated with the next one down because comparisons would not have been fair to the yachts in the smaller class, such was the size disparity. Nevertheless the award was not presented to Serene lightly. Her high quality of construction combined with a stylish exterior from Espen Oeino and detailed interior design from Reymond Langton was deemed truly worthy of recognition.
Displacement motor yacht 1300GT to 2999GT sponsored by RMK Marine
'A bold new exterior style…superb quality of construction, a well-conceived layout, and stylish yet highly comfortable interior spaces.' - The Judging Panel
Judges Special Award: Interior design with the widest appeal sponsored by Baccarat
Displacement motor yacht 500GT to 1299GT sponsored by RMK Marine
An 'all-rounder' who did well in every aspect, Kaiser was built for a foreign admirer of German quality and technology with 'an interior with presence and solidity that made liberal use of panelling, but also exhibiting a bold use of colour and tasteful references to German decorative art', a 'most harmonious' exterior and highly rated engineering and technical aspects.
Judges' Commendation:Prima - ' for the high quality achieved for an extremely competitive price in the first superyacht to be launched from Italian yard Palumbo.'
Displacement motor yacht below 500GT sponsored by Porto Montenegro
In a tightly contested class, Helix 'represented a particularly well-constructed vessel with a wide range of facilities and an interior that appealed to a wide range of tastes'.
Judges' Commendation:E&E - 'a particularly high quality of design, interior layout and construction' from first-time superyacht builders CIZGI Yacht.
Judges' Commendation:Karia - 'honoured for her conception, attractive design and quality construction'.
Two-deck and open semi-displacement or planing motor yacht sponsored by Clyde & Co
'Her interior offers excellent exterior visibility and is particularly bright, especially when the deckhead of the main deck saloon is open to the sky. The yacht was also considered to be equitably divided between technical areas, crew spaces and living areas for the owner and his guests, to make a well-rounded performance craft with an attractive interior and high quality construction.' - The Judging Panel
Raised pilothouse semi-displacement or planing motor yacht sponsored by Tansu
'A winner does not necessarily have to be a new, cutting-edge design as long as it is well-conceived and superbly built. Aurelia fulfilled that description. Her unusual paint scheme gives a clue to her owner's love of automobile racing, while her name celebrates the very first Gran Turismo - the Lancia Aurelia. A highly detailed design from Bannenberg & Rowell carries this theme forward with custom design details from successive ages of motoring history.' - The Judging Panel
Three-deck semi-displacement or planing motor yacht
'A clear winner in this class…Satori is an attractive sub 500GT yacht built to very high standards in all areas, from mechanical, through technical to her space planning and interior decoration.' - The Judging Panel
Sailing yacht 40m+ size range sponsored by Proteksan Turquoise
Considered the 'most rounded' sailing yacht in her class, Vertigo combines an elegant exterior style with a highly practical interior layout, novel engineering solutions and an excellent quality of build'.
Judges' Commendation:Hemisphere 'honoured for her highly commendable interior layout and interior design for this type of vessel.'
Judges' Special Award: Notable contribution to the technical advancement of sailing superyachts sponsored by Terra Moretti
Sailing yacht 30m to 40m size range sponsored by Dream Ship Victory Limited
'Antares III provided everything that made cruising a pleasure for her owner, including good sailing performance, a calm, understated interior, an ability to manage the yacht with just three crew, and good interconnectivity between helm station, cockpit and pilothouse.' - The Judging Panel
Judges' Commendation:Sarafin - 'deemed worthy for its design, wide appeal and high quality of build.'
'Her cleverly conceived refit…not only brought her up to date but changed the whole aura of the yacht to create a relaxed, sophisticated and comfortable interior suited to the lifestyle of her new owners.' - The Judging Panel
Voyager's Award sponsored by Alloy Yachts
The Voyager's Award was presented to the owners of the 46m motor yacht Golden Compass, whose inspirational 30,000nm world cruise began in the USA and concluded in Papua New Guinea visiting over 45 countries along the way.
Legacy Award sponsored by Perini Navi
Winner: NEVILLE CRICHTON
The Legacy Award was presented to Neville Crichton, for his instrumental role in the establishment and growth of the New Zealand superyacht building industry, for his leading position in the world of sailboat racing, his generosity of spirit, and his inspiration to others in these fields.
'Without Neville Crichton the enormous growth in the superyacht industry in New Zealand…would simply not have happened' - Ed Dubois