Judging Panel

The Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition is an opportunity for young British Designers to be recognised by the Industry and gain invaluable work experience and contacts.

This year, the annual Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition heads to an exciting new location, The Superyacht Design Forum in London’s Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Taking place between 25 & 26 June 2019, the celebrated competition returns for its fifth edition.

The judges for the 2019 competition include:

Jeff Houlgrave – Superyacht UK Chairman and Marina Projects

Jeff Houlgrave

Jeff has over 30 years’ experience working within the marine industry and has an international reputation in the marina sector, particularly in the field of superyachts and he is a regular speaker at international marina and superyacht conferences.
Jeff has been involved in the development of some of the major international superyacht marinas around the world including Porto Montenegro. He is a Senior Associate with Marina Projects Ltd. and a Director of James Watt Dock Marina, Greenock. Jeff is the current Chairman of Superyacht UK an association of British Marina, SYUK has nearly 300 members and represents the superyacht sector at international events.




James Ward – Marine Resources

James Ward

James Ward is the Owner and Managing Director of International Marine Recruitment Company Marine Resources. 
Since the company was formed in 2003 James and the Marine Resources team have become the leaders in design recruitment within the Superyacht Industry and today work closely with many of the worlds most renowned Superyacht builders and Design houses recruiting at all levels. Marine Resources has one of the best networks of candidates in the world when it comes to Superyacht Design, Engineering and Build.

Marine Resources believe in promoting and opening doors to the next generation of talent within all the sectors it works within, including design, and for this reason are also the proud sponsors of the Superyacht UK Young Designer of the Year Completion.

James said: “It’s fantastic to be involved and to be able to support such an important and prestigious event, which highlights the huge design talent pool we have in the UK. To be invited to join the incredible panel of judges made up of true industry legends is a real honour. I’m looking forward to learning a little myself from both the judges and competitors and also experiencing first-hand what the young designers are going to produce over the two days. “
Stephen Hills – Pendennis Shipyard

Stephen Hills


Stephen is a Chartered Naval Architect (Master’s Degree from University of Southampton) and member of the SYUK committee. Prior to taking his leadership position at Pendennis Stephen worked for nearly 20 years at Devonport Royal Dockyard where he established the Devonport Yachts brand.

Stephen has been key to the successful expansion of Pendennis’ business into the very large yacht sector epitomized most recently by the award-winning refit of the 86m Aquila. In the last 30 years Pendennis has completed 30 custom new builds and over 250 superyacht refits/restoration.

Stephen commented: “Pendennis is once again delighted to be providing a four week internship to the winner of this year’s Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition. We are committed to the development of our people, not least through our award winning apprenticeship scheme, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. This competition mirrors our own dedication to nurturing young talent and having already witnessed impressive aptitude for design amongst previous competition winners, we are very excited to see what this year will bring.”



Justin Olesinski – Olesinski Ltd

Justin Olesinski



Over the last 25 years Justin has been actively involved within the marine industry. From designer to yacht broker, journalist, boat tester and back to boat design he understands the industry, the clients and what it takes to design the best.

Justin stated: “Now in my fourth year of judging I aim to inspire, mentor and enthuse young designers in our industry. Our industry and business being very commercialised means as a whole takes a lot and this is one way we can give back By guiding and helping students to develop their drawing and designing skills.”



Dimitris Hadjidimos - D-iD

Dimitris HadjidimosDimitris Hadjidimos trained as a carpenter in Germany, before studying design in England. He won the Royal Society of Art competition for his first yacht interior before graduating.

Designing production boats before moving into super yachts, Dimitris has designed and project managed several super yachts in the last 17 years ranging from 34m to 155m.

He commented: “Supporting the next generation of super yacht designers is vital for the industry. I was thrilled to be asked to take part again this year and can’t wait to see what the participants produce.”


Tony Dixon – RWD

Tony DixonTony Dixon graduated in Yacht and Small Craft Design at Southampton Institute in 1977 and began his career working for a small yacht builder. After a few years’ experience he started his own company building GRP day boats in the early 1980s.

More recently Tony was a partner at RWD for over 17 years and continues to collaborate with RWD on projects to this day. After joining RWD in 2001, Tony saw the business grow from 4 to 35 employees and helped the company win many accolades in the Superyacht awards. Through RWD Tony has produced many highly bespoke individual sail and motor yachts for a global range of clients in a varied range of styles from classical to modern and has collaborated with shipyards around the world.

Tony commented: “I am very excited to be a judge in this design drawing competition that encourages new talent into the Superyacht industry. I am also keen to encourage one of the oldest forms of expression and communication through drawing.

"This competition is a great showcase for the students to develop their design skills in a real life environment, helping them to prepare for an exciting career in yacht design.”