Qingdao has been named Asia's Maritime Capital at the fourth edition of the Christofle Asia Boating Awards, held at Le Royal Meridien in Shanghai. This is the first time a Chinese city has been awarded such a sought-after accolade. It recognises the tremendous effort that has been put into turning that city into a sailing hub in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games. The city is now widely acknowledged as China's City of Sailing, and boasts some of the finest boating facilities, many of which are meant to draw everyday people onto the water and learn boating.
This year's event was a big one for China. The newly created China Cup International Regatta was named Yachting Event of the Year, and for good reason. The China Cup, which runs from Hong Kong to Daya Bay, on the Shenzhen coast, is already one of Asia's biggest events. With the recent purchase of 20 new boats for the one-design class, the China Cup promises to be the biggest yachting event in Asia in only its second year. The creator of the event, Wei Di, was named Personality of the Year for his efforts.
"Tonight's awards event shows the enormous strides that China has made, not just in terms of having a successful boat building industry, but in developing a long-lasting culture of boating," said Olivier Burlot, Managing Director of Blu Inc Media, publisher of Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating magazines.
Other notable wins included the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, which was awarded Best Asian Marine/Yacht Club of the Year. Best New Asian Marine/Yacht Club went to the Marina at Keppel Bay, which has already staged a number of flagship events and will host the upcoming Boat Asia show.
The annual Christofle Asia Boating Awards show is widely known as the region's premier event for recognising the efforts of boat builders, marinas, clubs and individuals in creating a diverse and exciting boating community. It has also become a must-attend event for Asia's jet set. "This is the chance for Asia to celebrate its achievement as a growing centre of luxury boating that will rival places like the Caribbean and the Mediterranean in the near future," Burlot added.
Christofle Asia Boating Awards 2008 Winners' List
Best Asian Mega Yacht Builder (over 100ft)
Cheoy Lee (China)
Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder (70-100ft)
Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder (40-70ft)
Grand Banks (Singapore/Malaysia)
Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder (under 40ft)
Best Megayacht (over 100ft)
Amels (Holland) – MY Deniki
Best Motor Yacht (70-100ft)
Ferretti Yachts (Italy) – Ferretti 881 RPH
Best Motor Yacht (40-70ft)
Azimut (Italy) – Azimut 58
Best Motor Yacht (under 40ft)
Sea Ray (United States) – 310DA Sundancer
Best Sailing Yacht (50-100ft)
Nautor's Swan (Finland) – Swan 100S
Best Sailing Yacht (under 50ft)
Beneteau (France) – First 40.7
Best Asian Marine/Yacht Club of the Year
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (Malaysia)
Best New Asian Marine/Yacht Club of the Year
Marina at Keppel Bay (Singapore)
Best Asia-based Charter Company
Simpson Marine (Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand)
Best Asian Maritime Capital
Best Yacht Management Services
Seal Superyachts (Thailand)
Personality of the Year
Wei Di (Creator of the China Cup International Regatta (CCIR))
Yachting Event of the Year
China Cup International Regatta (China)
Best Print Creative of the Year
Baglietto (Italy) – "Latitude: Anywhere, Longitude: Anyway"
Best Asian Brand Presence
Sunseeker (United Kingdom)
Most Innovative Interior Yacht Design of the Year
Most Innovative Exterior Yacht Design of the Year
Oceanco (Monaco) – MY Alfa Nero