Friday night at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale was marked by the prominent Active Interest Media Marine Group Editor’s Choice Awards. Madame Annette Beneteau-Roux took home the Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert C. Arzbaecher, CEO of Actuant Corp., received the Good Samaritan Award, while the spectacular motor yacht Ocean Alexander 120 by Christensen Shipyards was honoured with the ‘Best Overall Boat of the Year’ award.
The event, which had been scheduled for Nova Southeastern University’s Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Research but was moved because of the weather, was pulled off without a hitch as AIM honored the marine industry’s best of 2012.
“We came to the people at the W Hotel 24 hours ago and said, ‘Hey, we need to have an event 24 hours from now,’ and they made it all fine. They did an amazing job,” Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, chief executive of Active Interest Media, told a crowd of about 300 at the dinner.
Zimbalist joked while presenting Beneteau-Roux her award that once in a while a resume takes 45 minutes to read, but that amount of time wouldn’t approach the icon’s influence on the industry.
Beneteau-Roux highlighted to guests the many positive changes that have occurred in the business of boating. “The boating industry has come a long way since the 1960s,” she said. Arzbaecher’s award was for a rescue he and his crew made during the Chicago to Mackinac race in 2011.
A video of Nova Southeastern’s research and work was shown to help the audience better understand the coral reef research center’s mission.
The center has created 22 new academic jobs and 300 construction jobs and will employ 50 graduate students, as well as preserving 22 existing academic jobs. Nova Southeastern received a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce (using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) to build the center, and the university funded the rest of the project.
Celebrity chef Steve Martorano catered the Editor’s Choice Awards and judged Galley Wars, a competition at the show that featured yacht chefs facing off against one another.
The AIM Marine Group Editor’s Choice Awards recipients were:
Lifetime Achievement Award: Annette Beneteau-Roux
Good Samaritan Award: Robert C. Arzbaecher, CEO, Actuant Corp.
Best Overall Boat of the Year: Ocean Alexander 120 yacht
Most Innovative New Design: Wider 44
Best New Builder: Belize Yachts by Riviera
Most Innovative New Sailboat: Sig 45 catamaran
Most Innovative New technology: Twin Disc Express Joystick
AIM Green Award: Greenline 40
Best Center Console
• Less than 30 feet: Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
• 30-40 feet: Contender 30 ST
• 40-plus feet: Intrepid 400
Best Down East
• 25-35 feet: Hinckley T34
• 35-45 feet: Hunt 44
• 45-55 feet: Sabre 48
• 55-65 feet: Grand Banks 55 Eastbay
• 65-plus feet: Palm Beach 65
• 30-40 feet: Beneteau Swift Trawler 34
• 40-50 feet: Magellano 43
• 50-60 feet: Krogen 52
• 60-70 feet: Nordhavn 63
• 70-80 feet: Outer Reef 70 yacht
• 80-100 feet: motor yacht Marlow 97
• Under 20 feet: Rendova XT 15
• Over 20 feet: Protector 30
• 40-49 feet: Cabo 44
• 50-59 feet: Viking 55
• 60-plus feet: Viking 66
Best Import Motoryacht
• 20-30 feet: Riva 27 Iseo
• 30-40 feet: Princess V39
• 40-50 feet: Sealine SC42
• 50-60 feet: Maritimo M58
• 60-70 feet: Fairline 60 Squadron
• 70-80 feet: Monte Carlo 70 yacht
• 80-90 feet: Luxury yacht Ferretti 870
• 90-100 feet: Superyacht Sanlorenzo 94
• 100-110 feet: Horizon CC105 yacht Starlight
Best Domestic Motoryacht
• 20-30 feet: Cutwater 28
• 30-40: Christ-Craft 36 yacht tender
• 40-50: Cruisers 45 Cantius
• 50-60 feet: Sea Ray 510
• 60-70 feet: Marquis 630
• 80-100 feet: Pacific Mariner 85