For the first time in the Asia Boating Awards’ six-year history, the lavish ceremony was held in Hong Kong, at the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club’s terrace on May 8. The event coincided with the Hong Kong Gold Coast Boat Show, and was one of the highlights of the three-day show.
The first award of the night, for Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder (81 feet and up), went to Hong Kong-based superyacht builder Kingship, whose production facilities are in Zhongshan. Kingship founder and CEO Roger Liang, a native Hong Kong yacht builder who made waves at the last Monaco Yacht Show with his 138-foot Green Voyager superyacht design, collected the award in person.
In later segments of the ceremony, which featured fashion and dance displays, dual recognitions went to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. The Club’s commodore, Mr. Warwick Downes, was on-hand to accept the award for Asian Yacht Club of the Year, and to accept honors on behalf of the Club for staging the 2010 Rolex China Sea Race, which was voted Asian Regatta of the Year by a panel of 19 judges. Many of the judges agreed that the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club had to be recognised for its prominent role in helping to bring the Louis Vuitton Trophy Series to Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour .
Mike Simpson, a long-time Hong Kong resident and one of the pioneers of yachting in Asia, made several trips to the awards stage. Simpson collected the award for Yacht Designer in Asia of the Year, which was bestowed to Bill Dixon, who has worked in Asia from his UK base for 25 years. Simpson, who once owned a Taiwanese-built, Dixon-designed sailing yacht, had been personally selected by Dixon to accept the award on his behalf. Simpson himself was given recognition for his life-long work in the region with a specially prepared Honorary Industry Achievement Award.
Other notable wins from around the region included Phuket, Thailand, which won the hotly contested Asian Maritime Capital of the Year. The Marina at Keppel Bay in Singapore was voted as Best Asian Marina of the Year, while Sunsail was again judged as Best Asian Charter Company. In new categories added to the event to reflect the growing size and complexity of superyachts, Oceanco’s Vibrant Curiousity was awarded Best Custom Built Yacht (150 feet and up) and Benetti’s Silver Angel was given Best Semi Custom Built Yacht.
Yacht designers, builders, brokers and industry experts were all at the event which capped a big year in Asian yachting. Numerous developments since the 2009 event included the formation of a superyacht association currently based in Singapore, the addition of Hong Kong to the list of cities worldwide hosting the Louis Vuitton Trophy Series, and the generally buoyant market for yachts in South China and Southeast Asia. Underlining the importance of the event and of the region in general, senior representatives from Princess Yachts, Leopard Catamarans, Azimut, Oyster Marine, Pershing, Oceanco and Marquis Yachts flew in just for the event and to collect awards.
“This sixth edition of the Asia Boating Awards has been a tremendous success, and I’m really pleased to see the way in which these awards have evolved, and how they’ve become an important touchstone for the growing community of yacht owners, operators and industry insiders in Hong Kong and throughout Asia,” said Mr. Olivier Burlot, managing director of Blu Inc Media, the organizer of the Asia Boating Awards and publisher of Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating magazines.
The Asia Boating Awards is widely known as the region’s premier event for recognizing the efforts of boat builders, marinas, clubs and individuals in creating a diverse and exciting boating community in the region. It has also become a must-attend event for Asia’s jet set. “This is the chance for Asia to celebrate its achievements, and a great opportunity for Asian-based yacht builders to be noticed worldwide,” said Ryan Swift, editor-in-chief of Asia-Pacific Boating. The Asia Boating Awards were the first event to recognise the efforts of quality yacht builders working in Asia.
Asia Boating Awards 2010 Winners’ List
Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder (81 feet and up)
Kingship (Hong Kong)
Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder (51 to 80 feet)
Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder (31 to 50 feet)
Best Custom Built Yacht (150 feet and up)
Oceanco M/Y Vibrant Curiosity (The Netherlands)
Best Semi Custom Built Yacht (100 feet and up)
Benetti M/Y Silver Angel (Italy)
Best Production Motor Yacht (81 to 120 feet)
Pershing 108 (Italy)
Best Production Motor Yacht (51 to 80 feet)
Sunseeker Predator 60 (United Kingdom)
Best Production Motor Yacht (31 to 50 feet)
Marquis 500 SB (USA)
Best Production Sailing Yacht (51 feet and up)
Oyster 575 (United Kingdom)
Best Production Sailing Yacht (Under 51 feet)
Bénéteau First 40 (France)
Best Production Multihull
Leopard 38 (South Africa / China)
Best Asian Marina of the Year
Marina at Keppel Bay (Singapore)
Best Asian Yacht Club of the Year
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (Hong Kong)
Best Asia-based Charter Company
Sunsail (United Kingdom)
Best Asian Maritime Capital
Personality of the Year
David Zhong (China)
Best Asian Regatta of the Year
Rolex China Sea Race (Hong Kong)
Best Print Ad of the Year
Meridian (Brunswick Boat Group, USA)
Best Brand Presence in Asia
Princess Yachts (United Kingdom)
Most Innovative Yacht Design of the Year
Azimut 74 Magellano (Italy)
Yacht Designer in Asia of the Year
Bill Dixon (United Kingdom)