Florida’s Broward Center for Performing Arts played host to this year’s glittering annual Design and Leadership Awards at the Florida International Boat Show. The awards ceremony was celebrating its impressive 29th event, where the industry’s most celebrated crew, leaders, innovators and business people are honoured for their contributions to the industry as voted for by their peers.
The International Superyacht Society’s Design and Leadership Awards is a highly anticipated event which opens Florida’s world leading boat show. The focus is on newly launched, larger, custom-built yachts of 24 metres and above, whose forward-thinking designs and innovative constructions shape the industry’s future. Individuals too are honoured, their personal contributions nominated by the industry itself.
Charter Yacht O’PTASIA Takes Home Design Award
It was golden night for Golden Yachts and their 85 metre charter yacht O’PTASIA as they scooped one of the most coveted design prizes of the night. In the Power 65+ category O’PTASIA, who was launched in 2018, was honoured for her elegant exteriors by Studio Vafiadis as well as her outstanding engineering.
Honoured alongside O’PTASIA was the crème de la crème of superyachts, with six winners in each of seven categories. In the Power 24-40 metre category, Ferretti’s 38 metre Custom Line 120 Vista Blue took home the prize, while Utopia IV, a fully custom Rossi Navi was crowned winner in the 40-64 metre category. In the 40 metre + category, Royal Huisman’s beautiful sailing yacht Aquarius, which launched in 2018 to much fanfare, was awarded the coveted title, as well as the prize for Best Interior by Mark Whiteley Design. In the sail 24 to 40 metres category Seatius¸ a Southern Wind SW96 scooped the top award. Lastly came G2 by Vitters, who was awarded the prize for the Best Refit by Pendennis.
Captain Paul Clarke and his Crew Awarded for their Rescue Efforts following Hurricane Dorian
The Design and Leadership Awards are more than just honouring the final products, and this peer-to-peer nominated and voted awards ceremony honours those who have made a significant positive impact on the superyacht industry. All eyes this year were on Captain Paul Clarke and his crew from 47 metre charter yacht Loon who received the Distinguished Crew award. Following the devastation caused to the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian, Clarke, his crew and a 28-person disaster aid team were the first to arrive on scene and deliver humanitarian aid.
Loon was the first to enter Marsh Harbor following the summer’s hurricane and, with the guidance of non-profit organisation YachtAid Global, they conducted 1,100 medical interventions, assisted with hundreds of airlifts and ferried doctors, paramedics and medical supplies to the islands – up to 300 miles in a tender each day The crew also worked tirelessly to remove debris from the water which was hindering rescue efforts.
Other individual awards on the night included the Leadership Award which was granted to yacht designer John Munford of John Munford Designs in Southampton, England, and the technology Award which was given to Voith Linera Jet for its first application in a yacht. Business Person of the Year went to Joe Farrell, founder of Fort Lauderdale-based marine salvage company Resolve Marine Group. Alongside design and innovation, the awards honour those whos artistry, skill and dedication create these extraordinary yachts. This year Marco Moeller of Abeking & Rasmussen took home the award. Lastly, the Fabien Cousteau Blue Award goes to an organisation who has made significant impact on the environment. This year 4Ocean, a Florida-based organisation dedicated to remove plastic waste from the oceans.