Hallberg-Rassy 43 and Javelin 2 Take Overall Boat of the Year Honors

On Nov. 21, 2002, in a ceremony that capped the opening day of the Sail Expo St. Petersburg, Florida, boat show, Cruising World and Sailing World magazines presented the Hallberg-Rassy 43 and the Javelin 2 as overall winners of the prestigious 2003 Boat of the Year (BOTY) awards.

Members of the marine industry crowded under a boat show tent for the evening reception-emceed by world-class sailor and noted journalist Gary Jobson-to learn which boats would join the ranks of BOTY winners, an award series that has crowned top new designs for nearly two decades. Jobson and industry members raised glasses of Champagne Mumm tonight to toast the Hallberg-Rassy 43, which captured top honors in the cruising category, and the Javelin 2, the overall performance winner, and the 10 other category winners (see list below).

Cruising World editor Herb McCormick presented the Hallberg-Rassy 43 as the 2003 Cruising World Overall Cruising Boat of the Year. The boat is built by Hallberg-Rassy in Ellös, Sweden, and designed by renowned naval architect German Frers. McCormick made the award presentation in St. Petersburg, but the winner selection was made by an independent team of Cruising World judges who took 10 days to sea trial and deliberate the merits of 30 nominated cruising designs last month in Annapolis, Maryland.

Judges lauded individual features of many nominees, but they zeroed in on an overall winner that mastered a combination of features-including design, structure, rig, deck and cabin layout, systems, sailing performance, and price-to produce a fine and seaworthy cruising boat. Judge Carol Hasse, who has logged some 45,000 offshore miles, summed up a staunch confidence in the panel's selection. "If I were going to take a boat anywhere around the world, and I mean anywhere, for me it would be the Hallberg-Rassy," said Hasse. The Hallberg-Rassy 43 also won the Best Midsize Cruiser Under $400,000 category.

In addition to Hasse--a sailmaker, boatbuilder, and owner of Hasse & Company, Port Townsend Sails (Washington)?the Cruising World judge's panel included: Skip Moyer, former president of the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), the organization that sets the technical and engineering standards for how boats should be built and maintained; and Ralph Naranjo, a former round-the-world cruiser and boatyard manager who now oversees the sailing program at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Sailing World editor John Burnham presented the Javelin 2 as the 2003 Sailing World Overall Performance Boat of the Year. The Javelin 2, an 18-foot doublehanded catamaran, is built in Italy by Bimare and designed by Michelangelo Petrucci. Sailing World judges placed this beach cat at the cutting edge of high performance. Judge Meade Gougeon labeled the Javelin "a machine-an evolutionary advance in beach cat development." Judges applauded the boat's speed, clocked downwind at nearly 20 knots, in 8 to 10 knots of breeze; the 30-foot carbon-fiber rig; and the sheer excitement produced by this 285-pound boat. "It's really a gas to sail-but only for racers with experience who want a challenge," said judge Alan Andrews. The Javelin?which will be used in the 2003 Worrell 1000, a 1,000-mile beach cat marathon that travels along the East Coast each May?also won the High Performance Day Racer category.

Chuck Allen, a sailmaker with North Sails and world-class racer, joined Gougeon and Andrews on the Sailing World judge's panel. Gougeon is an avid racer, iceboater, and multihull pioneer who introduced, with his brother Jan, the WEST SYSTEM epoxy. West Coast yacht designer Andrews is noted for the winning ULDB 70 and Transpac 52 designs that have emerged from his Long Beach, California, firm, Alan Andrews Yacht Design. Sailing World judges developed a numeric formula that factored the individual features of each nominee to produce a "report card" on the contenders for BOTY honors.

The complete lineup of winners in the 2003 Boat of the Year awards follows:

SAILING WORLD WINNERS:
2003 Sailing World Overall Performance Boat of the Year - Javelin 2
Bimare (Bellaria, Italy) / Designed by Michelangelo Petrucci
(Distributed in the U.S. by Novacaines Mutiny, Virginia Beach, Virginia)

High-Performance Day Racer - Javelin 2
Bimare (Bellaria, Italy) / Designed by Michelangelo Petrucci
(Distributed in the U.S. by Novacaines Mutiny, Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Racer/Cruiser - Swan 45
Nautor AB, OY (Pietarsaari, Finland) / Designed by German Frers

Sportboat - Ultimate 24
Ultimate Sailboats (Santa Cruz, California) / Designed by Jim Antrim

Performance Dinghy - Fusion 15
Fusion Sailboats (Woodview, Ontario, Canada) / Designed by Steve Killing

Best Value - Precision 185
Precision Boat Works (Palmetto, Fla.) / Designed by Jim Taylor

CRUISING WORLD WINNERS:
2003 Cruising World Overall Cruising Boat of the Year - Hallberg-Rassy 43
Hallberg-Rassy (Ellös, Sweden) / Designed by German Frers

Best Production Cruiser Under $150,000 - Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 32
Jeanneau America (Annapolis, Maryland)

Best Midsize Cruiser Under $250,000 - Beneteau 423
Beneteau USA (Charleston, South Carolina)

Best Midsize Cruiser Under $400,000 - Hallberg-Rassy 43
Hallberg-Rassy (Ellös, Sweden) / Designed by German Frers

Best Full-Size Cruiser - Aerodyne 47
Aerodyne Yachts (Webster, Massachusetts) / Designed by Rodger Martin Yacht Design (Newport, Rhode Island)

Best Cruising Multihull - Voyage 580
Voyage Yachts (Cape Town, South Africa)
(Distributed in the U.S. by Voyage Charters, Annapolis, Maryland)

Best Value - Prestige 38
Broadblue Catamarans (Suffolk, U.K.)

Most Innovative - Etap 32
Etap Yachts (Malle, Belgium)

Judging for the 2003 BOTY Awards took place at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. The BOTY Awards in the performance category are presented by Sailing World magazine; the cruising awards are presented by Cruising World. This year, judges surveyed a group of some 50 boats ranging 10 to 58 feet in length. All nominees are new (or substantially redesigned) boats launched since October 2001.

The winners of the 2003 BOTY Awards will be featured in the December/January issue of Sailing World and the January issue of Cruising World. These leading sailing magazines are published in Newport, Rhode Island, by World Publications, a leading producer of special-interest media and entertainment. Among the 14 titles they publish are Saveur, Garden Design, Caribbean Travel & Life, and Boating Life.

The celebration for BOTY winners was also supported by Mount Gay Rum and Heineken.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
John Burnham (Sailing World), 401-845-5106
Tim Murphy (Cruising World), 401-845-5108
Cynthia Goss (public relations), 203-453-2731