It was a full house for the world’s most prestigious awards of their kind. About 400 guests, a Who's Who of the watersports industry, attended this traditional industry ceremony, hosted by Delius Klasing (publisher of YACHT and BOOTE magazines, among others) and boot Düsseldorf, to bear witness the festivities. Also aboard was Jimmy Spithill, the youngest winning skipper in the history of the America’s Cup. Spithill, the personable and successful Aussie with Oracle Racing, read the names of the winners at the European Yacht of the Year Award. He joined YACHT editor Jochen Rieker, who headed the international jury, in congratulating the celebrated winners, who are:

Oceanis 45 - Family Cruiser

Designed by Pascal Conq, this Oceanis 45 persuaded the jury with her concept and a combination of innovative details such as a well-balanced sail plan, a rig that’s stepped farther aft, a Targa bar above the companionway that keeps the clutter out of the cockpit and improves the sheeting angle of the main, wide and gently descending companionway steps, a large and well-organized cockpit, and a stern hatch that doubles as a swim platform when lowered, among others.

LOA: 13.50 m; Beam: 4.49 m, Sail Area: 100 sq.m.; DSPL: 9.6 t; Price: 203.370 euros.

Beneteau's Oceanis 45

The Oceanis 45, winner of the Family Cruiser award.

Pogo 12.50 – Performance Cruiser

The Pogo 12.50 was the second winning entry from Finot/Conq. The light and sparsely appointed Pogo surprisingly won out over more established competitors. Even though it’s not a boat for the masses, she impressed the jury with her concept and fantastic performance potential. Reaching in a 25-knot breeze under jib and a double reef in the main, the boat surpassed 17 knots of top speed while remaining safely under control at all times. There’s plenty of space below with all the necessities for a family cruise, so she’s quite the long-distance flyer.

LOA: 12.50 m; Beam: 4.50 m; Sail Area: 107 sq.m.; , DSPL: 5.5 t; Price: 221.410 euros.

The Pogo 12.50, winner of the Performance Cruiser category.

The Pogo 12.50, winner of the Performance Cruiser category.

Oyster 625 – Luxury Cruiser

This 19-meter Oyster 625, a luxury yacht designed by Rob Humphreys, had to fend off very tough competition in very difficult conditions. During the test in the North Sea it was howling with 50 knots and more, but it was no problem for the Oyster 625, which stayed comparatively dry and under control. Bright, posh, and spacious belowdecks, there was no creaking noise to notice, not even in four-meter waves. It was downright difficult to find flaws. Although the realm of “mega” really starts above 80 feet, the Oyster, in many ways, resembles a super yacht.

LOA: 19.37 m;  Beam: 5.44 m;  Sail Area: 236 sq.m.;  DSPL: 33.5 t; Draft: 2.80 m (alt. 2.15 m); Price: 3,070,200 euros.

The Oyster 625, winner of the Luxury Cruiser award.

The Oyster 625, winner of the Luxury Cruiser award.

Esse 750 – Special Yachts

Small but completely carbon, the Esse 750 has a hull, rig, and bowsprit all made from the magic fiber. The expensive construction material drives up the price of the Esse, but it also makes her light, strong, and fast. Designed by Umberto Felci, the boat, which is built in Switzerland near Lake Zurich, delighted with precision and speed. The 750’s helm is perfectly balanced, she can be easily handled by a crew of one or two, and going to weather is a thrill. It’s the perfect fit for connoisseurs and experts who are looking for something special. A one-design for going full tilt.

LOA: 7.50 m; Beam: 2.05 m; Sail Area: 35 sq.m; DSPL: 960 kg; Price: 63,070 euros.

The all-carbon Esse 750 won the Special Yachts award.

The all-carbon Esse 750 won the Special Yachts award.

yacht-logoweb4This article is republished here with kind permission of YACHT, Europe’s largest sailing magazine.

deboatscom-logo-150Translated by Dieter Loibner,

For coverage of  the powerboat side of the event, see European Powerboat of the Year Awards 2012 at