This year’s Superyacht Design Symposium started in spectacular style at the beautiful Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt, positioned at the foot of Kitzbühel’s slopes. The sell-out event, supported by gold sponsor Swarovski, played a host to an outstanding international list of delegates from both yachting as well as luxury design fields. The Alpine locale provided a fresh and innovative setting for discussing the future of superyacht design and demonstrated to be an amazing backdrop for the Symposium.
The event featured a selection of informative plenary sessions presented by an esteemed panel of experts including yacht owners and the industry’s most influential figures. Thought-provoking presentations covered topics such as “Craft and craftsmanship: the building blocks of luxury at sea” and “Audio visual – a sensory experience: What is round the corner?”, whilst further discussion went ‘off-piste’ in search of the definition of luxury in 2015. The large, open style symposium, expertly led by Chairman Nigel Campbell, prompted lively discussion within the forum.
After last year’s success, the technical workshops ran parallel to the panel discussions over both days of the Symposium. These smaller groups provided the opportunity to discuss more specific topics in focused and highly interactive sessions. Topics ranged from “Custom vs Platform vs Semi-custom: An owner’s choice” to “Glass as a construction material” and such was the popularity, a number of the workshops were reduced to standing room only. This exclusive platform for sharing knowledge and generating ideas also provided the opportunity to network at a selection of sensational social events. The Symposium kicked off with a Welcome Cocktail at the Kitzbühel Country Club for all delegates, speakers and sponsors. The exquisite location proved to be the perfect setting for everyone to relax after their journeys and to prepare for the days ahead.
The highlight of the programme was the eagerly anticipated ShowBoats Design Awards. The prize giving ceremony was also held at the Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt and was attended by an esteemed audience including owners, designers and the creative teams behind the finalist yachts in the hope of winning the most coveted trophy: a Neptune.
The evening’s big winner was 73m mega yacht Grace E, which scooped the Environmental Protection Award, as well as prizes for her Naval Architecture, Exterior Design & Styling and Interior Design – a fantastic achievement for Picchiotti – Perini Navi Group and her designers Philippe Briand and Remi Tessier.
Feadship‘s 46.2m motor yacht Como picked up a trio of trophies for her Naval Architecture and Exterior Styling by Dubois Naval Architects and Interior Design by Redman Whiteley Dixon. Her thrilled owner Neville Crichton was present to collect the awards on stage along with his elated build and design team.
33m sailing yacht WinWin, styled by Javier Jaudenes with interior by Design Unlimited and the 48m Hoek-designed superyacht Wisp with interior styling by Rhoades Young both claimed trophies for Exterior and Interior Design in their sailing yacht categories.
The Young Designer of the Year was named as Timur Bozca, whose innovative design for a 55m sailing yacht secured him not only a Neptune but a cash prize of €5,000. In addition, the winner and five competition finalists will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to the shipyard of Young Designer Of The Year Award Sponsor, Oceanco.
A standing ovation followed an emotional speech from Lorenzo Argento as he awarded his friend Luca Brenta the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the yachting industry, referencing iconic yacht designs such as sailing yacht Nariida (ex Wallygator), luxury yacht Ghost, superyacht Logica and the B Yacht series to name a few.
Day two brought the opportunity to get out on the slopes with delegates competing in the Blohm+Voss Ski Cup, presented by Foil. The 76 brave entries had the challenge of flat light and snowy conditions to overcome whilst trying to get the fastest carve down the mountain. The race was watched by those who took the (perhaps) sensible option of a steaming mug of gluwein and rang their cow bells as each participant cruised over the finish line. Competition was made even fiercer after it was announced that the fastest skier would not only win the Blohm+Voss Ski Cup but a custom made pair of Foil skis.
Yacht designer Lorenzo Argento finished with the fastest overall time for the second consecutive year and joined Giovanna Cabbia, the fastest female, on the winner’s podium. Patrick Coote, Sales and Marketing Director of Blohm+Voss, presented the cup to Mr. Argento. Andreas Pichler and Erik Sorensen from Foil then awarded Mr. Argento a handmade pair of Foil skis. The Après Ski Party officially began with the now traditional spraying of bubbles over the winners and crowd. Tim Heywood of Tim Heywood Designs said, “What a great time was had by all – and what an enjoyable and informative Symposium and an entertaining ShowBoats Design Awards evening! You’ll have to go some to better that next year!” Jane Winch, of Andrew Winch Design, added: “We are so inspired by your fabulous new magazine, both in content and appearance, your new team and your vision. A huge thank you for the enormous effort that you made, to make our weekend so interesting and full of laughter.”
Boat International Media would like to thank their sponsors for helping to make the seventh edition of the Superyacht Design Symposium a great success. Special thanks go to gold sponsor Swarovski, silver sponsor Blohm+Voss, event associates Rina, Clyde & Co, MTN, Boutsen Design, Videoworks, Esenyacht, Foglizzo, JFA Yachts, Front Street Shipyard, Oceanco and event partner Foil.