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International Concept Boat of the Year Winners

Free Spirit

Free Spirit

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Concept Boat is an annual boat design competition run by the British Marine Federation and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects which challenges 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.

Concept Boat 2003 was judged yesterday at the Schroders London Boat Show and first prize was awarded to a concept entitled "Sport Submarine", a sports boat capable of transforming from a high speed sports boat into an open submarine for two divers.

Designed by Ray Harvey, a professional naval architect from Hampshire (UK), "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 GBP5,000.

A second prize of GBP3,000 was presented to David Duncan for his "Twin-surfer" concept, which was described by the judges as offering "exciting high speed sailing with low stress and little effort."

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 (UK) received the third prize of GBP2000 for her design, the "Bentley Luxury Day Boat." A power boat 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."

Some of the ingenious concepts from the 2003 Concept Boat Show were, LEFT: Andy Gosling's "Surf Spyder" is a vessel is aimed at those in search of versatility and a comfortable, fun ride. The vessel is easy to disassemble foldable and transportable. MIDDLE: Thomas Gmeinder's "Two in One No. 5" is a "two in one" gliding boat made for two people and to be used with a free flying kite. RIGHT: Dima Ivanov's "Sharx" is a towed submersible designed for tourist and recreational activities. The idea is to introduce a range of people to underwater activities, who would otherwise could not have this experience.

More of the ingenious concepts from the 2003 Concept Boat Show were, LEFT: Simon Clegg's "Miss Conduct", designed for the in-land waterways of Europe, Simon designed the boat as a mobile home, moving him "from pub to town, to city and back to pub." MIDDLE: Martin Bishop's "Lily Pad" is another living concept, designed as a self-sufficient floating studio apartment enabling the inhabitants to "wallow in the wilderness. " RIGHT: A clever design which will almost certainly become very popular is Charles Magnan's "Free Spirit", a fast amphibious open daysailer capable of being launched, sailed and recovered by a disabled sailor without assistance. Line up for this one!!!!

Still more of the ingenious concepts from the 2003 Concept Boat Show were, LEFT: Paul Bury's "Variable displacement" is a small, flexible, efficient multi-role workboat for coastal and harbour waters. Intended uses include fast worker transportation, load transportation and a stable onsite work platform. MIDDLE: Salvatore Sorrentino's "Suite Mouse" is unique in its market segment enabling two people to go very fast without getting wet while sampling the comforts of a luxury suite. RIGHT: Bill Roberts' "Wave Attack" combines the latest in engineering to create a vessel which handles shallow river entrances and the most adverse sea conditions. It's the ultimate in search and rescue craft as it is self-righting and has exceptional manoeuvrability.

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\'d5s winning entries on the Concept Boat Stand E3083.

For more information and details of how to enter please visit www.conceptboat.com

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