European Yacht if the Year test sailing, Barcelona


Every year for three days after the Barcelona Boat Show senior journalists from Europe’s leading yachting magazines meet to test sail the boats shortlisted for the prestigious European Yacht of the Year Award. This is the second part of this process, the first being staged after the HISWA in water show in the Netherlands in September.

Up to five yachts in five different categories are shortlisted and the winner chosen in each after some long and late meetings of the International Jury. Just to reach the shortlist is honour enough but for the winners it is an accolade of excellence of design, build, sailing qualities and value for money. In all it makes for a very exhaustive – not to say exhausting – process.

But it’s not just about sailing the boats. It’s also meeting their designers and builders to discuss the boats and their rationale and the chance some quality time to talk to them about market trends and any interesting new boats in the pipeline.

In this picture YW’s Matthew Sheahan (left) talks to (from left to right) Shaun Carkeek, a partner in the successful Botin Carkeek design house and responsible for the latest Grand Soleil 40, one of the shortlisted boats, Alex Simonis and Maarten Voogd of Simonis Voogd partnership with designs as varied as the Leopard/Moorings catamaran range and now the all new Dehler 44.

The final results of the European Yacht of the Year will be announced at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in January. In the meantime watch out for Matthew’s podcasts with these designers here on