boat international magazine June 2015 issue
The first Boat International event I ever attended was the World Superyacht Awards. I went with high expectations but could never have predicted the excitement and adrenaline of the night, nor the sheer brilliance and nerve of both winners and nominees. I feel honoured to be part of its 10th-year celebrations, and I look forward to its 20th (though given the growth of the industry, and yachts, in the last decade, I fear we will have to produce an entire book to accommodate that event). Two people who are no strangers to nerve and brilliance are Dolce Domenico and Stefano Gabbana and I am equally honoured to feature them in this issue. They are well acquainted with the excitement of the open seas and the artisanship required to explore them and, as they tell Peter Howarth, this inspires nearly all of their work, not least their current collection. Now we just need a D&G Neptune for most stylish owner... Pencils out, judges, your work has just begun (again).
I’m in Trieste in northern Italy watching a debate rage over the merits of mullion thickness. Seconds ago the room got very animated when the subject of engine room access came up. I’m trying to remember everything, wishing I could just USB all this knowledge straight into my brain. There’s hundreds of years of superyachting experience around this conference table and everything – down to the tiniest finish – is being scrutinised by our World Superyacht Awards judges; they’re taking it very, very seriously. Ably chaired by Roger Lean-Vercoe, this is the final day of deliberations, the moment of truth for all the finalist boats, and I feel a genuine pang as one of my favourites gets passed over by our panel. Amplify this by about a thousand and that’s how designers, yards and owners must feel when they don’t make the cut. But the flip side is the genuine joy of the winners, made all the more profound because their boat passed the ultimate test: trial by owner!