One of the things we had not foreseen when planning our judges’ lunch to choose the winners of our inaugural The Ocean Awards was just how heated the debates over winners would get. From the divemaster (Princess Zahra Aga Khan) to the entrepreneur (Sir Charles Dunstone), every one of our 10 expert judges, handpicked by ourselves or our partner, Blue Marine Foundation, was passionate, dedicated, and not afraid to ruffle feathers in order to get to the right winner. Which we did. Eventually.
One question that came up was: how can a magazine devoted to superyachts claim to care about the health of the oceans? It’s a fair question that we’re sure will be levied at us in the coming days, weeks and months. The answer is simple. Every superyacht owner, crew member, builder and designer we have met since taking the reins at Boat International spends an inordinate amount of their lives at sea. They are passionate about, and experts on, the ocean’s nature, its future and its wellbeing, not least because it is interlinked with their own.
They – you, our readers – travel to untouched areas of the planet, dive and snorkel remote reefs and seabeds, study weather patterns for hours on end and witness first hand the damage we are doing to the largest part of our planet. It was this interaction with those we know best, and hearing about the issue closest to your hearts, that led us to team up with Blue Marine Foundation, one of the UK’s foremost ocean conservation charities, and launch the first of our annual Ocean Awards. The Ocean Awards winners are as diverse and admirable as their projects are brilliant, and we hope you find their stories and life’s work as inspiring as we did.