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Young Designer of the Year Award winners – where are they now?

Young Designer of the Year Award winners – where are they now?

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Thibaud Le Merdy, 2017 winner (student category)

Design: Comète, 80m motor yacht with tenders

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Winning the student category in the 2017 Young Designer of the Year Awards provided an immediate boost to Le Merdy’s career as he was offered a role with Silver Arrows Marine less than 24 hours after the prize giving ceremony. This placement has seen him work on the Mercedes-Benz designed Arrow 460-GT speedboat.

Le Merdy (pictured above at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2017) is currently undertaking a three-month internship with Oceanco — part of his prize — after which he will return to Silver Arrows Marine and continue to develop personal projects. Summing up the past ten months, he told Boat International: “All the hard working that went into my entry for the Young Designer of the Year award was worth it.”

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Eric Laurent, 2017 winner (professional category)

Design: Hearsay, 80m motor yacht with tenders

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Since he won the professional category at the 2017 Young Designer of the Year Awards, Laurent (pictured above at the World Superyacht Awards 2017) has built new partnerships with architects, engineering firms, captains, designers and brokers. Mainly involved in new builds, his studio Elision Design has also been working on refits, tender designs and production yachts with a particular focus on the 60 to 100 metre market.

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Baoqi Xiao, 2016 winner

Design: Cerchio, 45m motor yacht

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Scooping the Young Designer of the Year award at the 2016 ShowBoats Design Awards kick-started a whirlwind year for Baoqi Xiao, who worked at De Voogt Naval Architects for six months, making several new proposals for Feadship clients with designers from the studio.

Due to graduate from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California later this year, Xiao is currently working on a follow-up to his winning design. Cerchio II is being developed in collaboration with 2010 winner Adam Vorhees with a particular focus on refining the onboard experience.

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