ELAN 350 WINS EUROPEAN YACHT OF THE YEAR 2011- Performance Cruiser Category
Once again, Elan has taken the top prize winning the 2011 European Yacht of the Year – Class Performance Cruiser with their sensational Elan 350 , the bold step- outside- the- square and revolutionary production yacht design by the celebrated Rob Humphreys.
Each year, the finest names in Europe’s boat industry are honored with the ‘Water Sports Oscars’, the international European Yacht of the Year 2011 , a title that is awarded in four categories and announced at the Düsseldorf Boat Show.
The Awards follow exhaustive testing over many months by a jury of editors-in-chief and test managers from eleven leading yachting magazines in Europe; first selecting the Nominations then Winners within the categories. The showpiece 350 model with her twin rudder, twin wheel, predominate chined hull was one of five nominations for this prestigious award.
The panel of judges assessed performance, comfort, construction quality, price -performance ratio, design and the unique selling criteria of each candidate. “Performance levels were incredibly high this year. This made our decision very difficult in some cases,” said YACHT editor-in-chief Jochen Rieker, summarizing the current results. “We were also impressed with the level of innovation shown by the boat builders and by their readiness to adapt elements from the regatta scene, for example,” added the yachting expert.
In fact several jury members voiced that the 350 is the production sailing yacht they would have chosen if they were buying their boat today. Judges Toby Hodges and Matthew Sheahan from Yachting World's review also had much praise and not at all surprising when Hodges has extolled, “I can’t remember when I’ve had this much fun afloat before! …… Talk about a boat coming alive on the water. Perhaps a close second would have been the 350’s smaller sister, the Elan 310!”
They found the 350 steering direct and responsive and the boat a pleasure to sail, pushed hard the boat can do much more than what most people would dare to - just like a sports car. This boat is easy to handle, even under tough conditions.
It was agreed that the Elan 350 is the right boat if you are looking for a boat that balances between good sailing characteristics and covers the practical considerations for cruising, stating that there are a number of manufacturers that claim to offer this, but few deliver.
While the Dutch judge, Briek Waterkampioen, also writes he would like to own an Elan 350 – “The boat combines the properties and what you need for cruising in a perfect way, "says Briek. Interior design style does not appeal to everyone; light wood, dark floorboards and sharp corners provides a modern atmosphere, but also there are conservatives in the mix that miss Elan’s old mahogany furniture, "says Curt Gélinas from Båtnytt.
Since the model’s launch, the Elan 350 is a boat that has caused such a buzz around the international sailing fraternity; much has been written about this boat and much video footage has been watched and re-watched. In fact as the statistics of the well informed sailing Norwegian website, Seilas’, show that in the top 10 most searched items, the Elan 350 has rated 3rd - with no other sailing boat appearing in the top 10.
Whilst taking out one of this year’s ‘Water Oscars’, Elan also caught attention diving in yet another direction with the premiere display of their new petite model, Elan 210 with lifting keel and, as you would expect, excellent performance characteristics. (more on that can be followed up later)
Australian Importer Navsail have experienced much the same high level of interest and sales all round Australia throughout the year and also look forward to the Special 350 Regatta version with carbon Rig that will arrive for Sydney later in the year.
Navsail also look forward to opening a new path with Elan’s new model Elan 210.