The next generation of yacht designers are once again affirmed by Superyacht UK

Christopher Karam, a student from Staffordshire University, scooped the top prize yesterday (Thursday 12 January 2017) in the Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition 2017, in partnership with Southampton Solent University. Held at the London Boat Show, the presentation was made by Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage.

The position of runner up went to Michael Hollier, also studying at Staffordshire University.

syukNine students from universities across the UK had 36 hours to sketch their design entries live on the Show floor. An expert judging panel, featuring Justin Olesinski of Olesinski, Tony Dixon of Redman Whitely Dixon, Bill Dixon of Dixon Yacht Design, Mark Tucker of Design Unlimited and Peter Brown, Chairman of Superyacht UK & Senior Sales Broker at Burgess, then met to critique the designs and determine this year’s Superyacht UK Young Designer.  

This annual competition helps raise the profile of the marine industry as a potential career option for young people in the UK. Setting many of the competing students on a successful design career path, it ensures the longevity of British talent in design houses around the world. Previous winners and runners up, such as 2012’s winner, Dan Humphreys, and 2015’s runner up, Guneet Sidhu, have gone on to secure successful careers and become established designers in their own right.

For scooping the top prize, Christopher will now go on to complete a four-week design internship at Pendennis Shipyard, a world-class and award-winning custom build and refit superyacht yard in Falmouth. For coming second, Michael receives the opportunity of a week’s work experience at Olesinski.

The winner, Christopher Karam, who is studying Transport Design at Staffordshire University, commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won this prestigious award and be crowned 2017’s Superyacht UK Young Designer. I am really proud of my design which incorporated all the elements of the brief including a heli-pad, a slider for two tenders and some cool activities to entertain children. My dream is to work in transport design when I complete my course and I feel sure my prize of a four-week internship at Pendennis Shipyard will provide me with some fantastic experience for my future.”

Commenting on Christopher’s design Peter Brown, Chairman of Superyacht UK, said: “Christopher’s design was fantastic and he really used some classic lines with a creative flair. I feel sure any client that he drew for would be truly impressed with his talent.”

Peter added: “The Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition is a fantastic showcase of the design talent that we have in this country. The UK is the hub of superyacht design globally and one of the first stops for a potential client. All of these nine students are incredibly talented and have taken their careers to the next level just by being here and taking part. It was very difficult to separate the entries as all were brilliant and unique in their own right.”

Giles Barkekley, Course Leader for Yacht Engineering at Southampton Solent University, the sponsor of the competition, says: “The University is committed to supporting young talent and this competition is a perfect opportunity for students to gain valuable experience and kick start their future careers.

For more information please contact Annabel Wildey at or 01784 223811.