At an awards ceremony held yesterday at the Schroders London Boat Show, HRH The Princess Royal revealed the winners of the 2003 Concept Boat 2003

At an awards ceremony held yesterday at the Schroders London Boat Show, HRH The Princess Royal revealed the winners of the 2003 Concept Boat 2003, an annual boat design competition run by the British Marine Federation and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.

The competition challenged entrants from around the world to design a vessel that could take boating to new levels, either by encouraging new waterborne activities, by satisfying a previously unfulfilled need or by representing a significant advance on an existing craft designed for a similar use.

First prize was awarded to ‘Sport Submarine’, a sports boat capable of transforming from a high speed boat into an open submarine for two divers. Designed by Ray Harvey, a professional naval architect from Hampshire, ‘Sport Submarine’ impressed the judges on a number of counts including its innovative submersible design that allows the boat to operate both on and underneath water. Mr Harvey was awarded first prize of £5,000 by HRH Princess Royal.

A second prize of £3,000 was presented to David Duncan from Totnes, Devon. Described by the judges as offering “exciting high speed sailing with low stress and little effort” the ‘Twin-Surfer’ might be the answer to many a sailor’s dream. The twin-hulled sailboard is designed to give the excitement of kite-surfing, but without the physical effort associated with the sport.

Lisa Reeves, a 23-year-old budding designer from Chepstow received the third prize of £2,000 for her design ‘Bentley Luxury Day Boat’. A powerboat designed to be used during the day for leisure activities such as swimming, sunbathing, water sports and socialising, the judges liked the design on a number of fronts. Impressed at the research and presentation of the entry, the judges considered the boat to be “a stunning concept”.

Speaking about this year’s competition, James Gower, director of marketing at the British Marine Federation said: “With entries coming from as far away as Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand, Concept Boat 2003 as been a truly international competition. The overall standard of designs has been extremely high and everyone has shown great innovation, imagination and creativity – especially our three winners. The Concept Boat competition is going from strength to strength and is hopefully having a beneficial impact on the future of the marine industry.”

Sponsored for the first time by the Environment Agency, Concept Boat organisers are already looking for the winners of the 2004 competition. Judges will this year be looking for new designs for recreational or commercial craft up to 24m in length that either make increased use of renewable resources, are energy and resource efficient, are of low emission or non-polluting design or that minimise the effect of boating on the marine environment.

Visitors to the Schroders London Boat Show can view the prototypes of this year’s winning entries on the Concept Boat Stand E3083.