19 World Superyacht Awards 2015 winners

Semi-displacement or Planing Three-deck Motor Yacht of Above 40m: Polaris

Award sponsored by Esenyacht

This class, made up of large, fast semi-displacement yachts, was contested by five famous, well respected yards known for their semi-custom, series-production designs. While each yacht displayed a selection of excellent features and facilities, an overwhelming proportion of the jury homed in on 49 metre  Polaris, the second vessel in the new and exciting Prince Shark 49 design for Rossinavi by Enrico Gobbi’s talented Team for Design.

With her gross tonnage optimised at just below 500GT this militarily styled yacht delivers a top speed of 24 knots despite the nine tonnes of marble that adorn her, while she can cross oceans at 9.5 knots with her 3,800 nautical mile range at this speed. The judges were particularly impressed by her spacious, fully featured deck areas and a well laid out interior that meets all the needs of the owner and his guests as well as the comfort and working requirements of the crew.

Builder: Rossinavi
Naval Architect: Arrabito Naval Architects
Exterior Design:  Team for Design – Enrico Gobbi
Interior Design:  Team For Design - Enrico Gobbi

Semi-displacement or Planing Three-deck Motor Yacht of 30m to 40m: So'Mar

Award sponsored by Maybach Icons of Luxury

Four finalists, three built from FRP and one from wood-epoxy, evenly spaced across the size category competed for a Neptune in this class. All had been visited by one or more judges, who briefed the remainder of the jury on those elements which could not be determined from the written text and photographs contained in the Judges’ Dossier, prior to a lively discussion concerning their relative merits.

It was not an easy choice as each yacht excelled in some area, but when the ballot was counted 37.9 metre  So’Mar was a clear winner. Some judges had selected her on the grounds of her clean, modern lines and efficient long-range performance, while others liked her practical interior layout with its enviable master suite on the upper deck. Clearly this yacht is a winner when it comes to satisfying a wide range of tastes.

Builder: Tansu
Naval Architect: Diana Yacht Design
Exterior Design: Tansu
Interior Design: Tansu

Sailing Yacht of 45m and Above: Wisp

Award sponsored by Heesen Yachts

It was clear from the round-table discussion that every yacht in this class had its particular admirers among the jury, but following the secret ballot it was 47.6 metre Wisp that topped the points, closely followed by Elfje, another modern classic from the same stable of Royal Huisman and Hoek Design. The jury considered the sloop-rigged Wisp to be the epitome of the modern classic sailing yacht, with gorgeous lines, a beautiful exterior enhanced by perfectly proportioned deckhouses and an interior to match from the UK designer Rhoades Young.

In the judges’ view this yacht perfectly fitted the owner’s requirement for a world-cruising yacht that would be his family’s “home away from home with a decent turn of speed without sailing on the edge”, while being capable of some “gentleman’s Corinthian racing”, her ability at which was demonstrated with a podium finish in this year’s  Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous.

Builder: Royal Huisman
Naval Architect:  Hoek Design Naval Architects
Exterior Design:  Hoek Design Naval Architects
Interior Design: Rhoades Young Design

Sailing Yacht of 30m to 44.99m: WinWin

This class, which featured a mix of fast cruisers and cruiser/racers, included one yacht built from aluminium and three from advanced composites. While the 228-tonne displacement yacht Escapade was admired by the judges as a well-specified bluewater cruiser, their attention was drawn to the lighter, higher-performance craft for which this class is a natural home. Among these it was the 33 metre WinWin designed by Spanish race-boat designer Javier Jaudenes and built by Baltic Yachts that gained the judges’ admiration.

Built from pre-preg carbon fibre and boasting a remarkably light displacement of 77 tonnes, this lifting-keel yacht combines an attractive appearance with efficient yet extremely stylish on-deck working areas, a particularly agile performance, and a level of technology that allows the yacht to be readily manageable by a crew of four. In addition, she features super-comfortable living spaces styled in the modern idiom and a superb build quality.

Builder: Baltic Yachts
Naval Architect: Javier Jaudenes Exterior Design Javier Jaudenes
Interior Design: Design Unlimited

Refitted Yacht (tie for first place): Amore Mio 2

Award sponsored by Amels

Four yachts were considered by the jury in the Refit Class, a category that is defined by the judges as one in which the work carried out is largely cosmetic but nevertheless represents a notable upgrade to the vessel and her amenities. The amount and quality of the work carried out, the resulting improvement, and the time in which these were achieved, are all factors considered by the jury. When the results of the ballot were announced, Alumercia and Amore Mio 2 had scored exactly the same total.

Along with other much needed work Amore Mio 2, the 52 metre Abeking & Rasmussen yacht launched in 1997 as Sea Jewel, received a very thorough interior refit that transformed her dated interior into a comfortable modern environment, again in a three-month period.

Original Builder: Abeking & Rasmussen
Refit Yard: CPN
Naval Architect: Espen Øino International
Exterior Design: Espen Øino International
Interior Design: FM Architettura d’Interni

Refitted Yacht (tie for first place): Alumercia

Tied for first place in the Refitted Yacht award category, 37.9 metre  Alumercia, a 14-year-old Heesen expedition yacht, had, in the judges’ opinion, been transformed into an attractively decorated young person’s Mediterranean family cruiser, with disco sound and light on three decks, and a very practical dual purpose beach area/garage in the stern – all in three months.

Original Builder: Heesen Yachts
Refit Yard: Borancili Marine/Istanbul Tuzla Shipyards Area
Naval Architect: Vripack
Exterior Design: Vripack
Interior Design: B.M.L

Rebuilt Yacht: Ancallia

Award sponsored by Sabrina Monte-Carlo

The Rebuilt Yacht Class considers substantially rebuilt yachts that have been subject to extensive structural metalwork, machinery replacement and significant changes to the former general arrangement and decorative scheme. Once again, the extent and quality of the work and the degree of transformation are major factors considered by the jury.

Three worthy yachts were entered in this class and the subject of considerable debate by the judges. Following the ballot, it was clear that the works to 45.8 metre  Ancallia, originally launched by Feadship in 1984 as Bridlewood, had impressed slightly more than the works carried out to MySeannaAncallia, which is now available for charter, had been entirely gutted and stripped to bare metal, before receiving new machinery and a totally new interior by Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Interior Design, to make her almost indistinguishable from a new Feadship of her period – a magnificent and worthwhile achievement in the judges’ view.

Original Builder: C. Van Lent & Zonen/Feadship
Refit Yard: Atlas Shipyards
Refit Naval Architect: Navinco/George Tsokris
Exterior Design: Michael Kirschstein/Dominic Skinner
Interior Design: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Interior Design

Charter superyacht Ancallia

Judges' Special Award: Shemara

A Judges' Special Award went to 64.5 metre Shemara. The judges were impressed by the dedication shown by the owner of Shemara in restoring the yacht to her former glory and saving an excellent example of a 1930s period yacht for posterity. The 1938 boat was relaunched after a three-year, one million man-hour rebuild project. The result retains Shemara’s original character but with far superior spaces both on deck and within, and with all mod cons added – including a Rolls-Royce diesel-electric drive train with twin azimuthing pods aft instead of conventional shafts.

Quality & Value: Farfalla

Award sponsored by Gassan

Presented to a yacht entered for these awards which, in the opinion of the jury, best represents the elusive combination of high quality and good value, this year’s prize was awarded to the 31.78 metre sloop Farfalla, built by Southern Wind in South Africa to drawings by Farr Yacht Design.

In the jury’s view, this attractively priced yacht will provide her owner with the ability to cruise the oceans in comfort and safety, as well as providing him with the option of keenly contested racing. Fully tested before delivery on a 7,000 mile maiden voyage to Europe under sail, Farfalla offers performance, comfort and reliability at an exceptional price.

Builder: Southern Wind Shipyard
Naval Architect: Farr Yacht Design
Exterior Design: Nauta Yachts
Interior Design: Nauta Yachts

Voyager's Award: Arctic P

Award sponsored by Feadship

This year saw two entries to the Voyager’s Award. One was a lengthy action-packed cruise on a roundabout route from New Zealand to New Orleans by the sport fisherman Mea Culpa, sailing via French Polynesia, Hawaii and Alaska. In most years this would have been enough to secure the trophy, but not this year, as the cruise from the second entry, the converted tug Arctic P, was as daring as it was adventurous.

Having visited the Antarctic Peninsula the previous year, the owners of Arctic P yearned to go back for an even more audacious cruise. Headed for the inhospitable Ross Sea, they first called in on Macquarie Island, and the Balleny Islands, where they crossed into the Antarctic Circle.

Their course, often in extremely rough seas, took them onwards to Victoria Land on the Antarctic mainland, skirting the ice-covered shore southwards to Ross Island. Here they visited Scott’s base for his tragic polar expedition and Shackleton’s Hut, preserved as a monument to this intrepid Antarctic explorer, before going on to the USA’s vast McMurdo Research Station. Thereafter, they skirted the 400-mile long, 50 metre-high Ross Ice Shelf heading eastwards and further south towards Roosevelt Island.

The highlight of their voyage came at this point when they took Arctic P to the most southerly location reached by any vessel, be it commercial, military or a yacht – a remarkable achievement now logged in Guinness World Records. On the voyage they observed the Antarctic sea life, both above and below the surface, and they were educated in the local history and biology by embarked lecturers. This was not a spur-of-the-moment cruise, but an immaculately planned expedition in every respect, equipped with all the gear possible, and safety and exit plans to cover every contingency.

This incredible record-breaking voyage is a most worthy winner of this year’s Voyager’s Award.

Builder: Schichau Unterwesser, 1969
Interior Design: Owner’s family
Fuel Capacity: 1.4 million litres
Range: 17,000 miles

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