We celebrate the well-deserved winners of the 2019 Motor Boat Awards, as chosen by our select group of judges
Judge’s Special Award
Winner: Fabio Buzzi
Fabio Buzzi isn’t just the most successful powerboat racer of our era (or possibly ever), he’s also a brilliant designer, engineer, boatbuilder and innovator.
He has won almost every major powerboat race on the planet from marathon events like the Round Britain Race, to the Class 1 Offshore World Championship and the terrifying Pavia to Venice river race, all in vastly different boats that he’s designed and built in his own factory. To put that in perspective it’s like Lewis Hamilton winning the F1 title, the World Rally Championship and the Le Mans 24 hour race, in cars that he’s personally created.
As if that weren’t enough, he’s still winning races and setting new records today. Last year, at the tender age of 75, he set a new world record for diesel powered boats of 277.5kmh in a Buzzi-built hydroplane, adding to a collection of speed records that includes the infamous New York to Bermuda challenge over 684nm.
Crucially, he has also translated that sporting success into the commercial boatbuilding world. In 1986 he designed the legendary Seatek high-speed diesel engine and his company, FB Design, goes from strength to strength having won 52 World Championships and set 40 world speed records.
Today, it is better known for building high-speed patrol boats and counts no fewer than 43 different police and military forces (including Britain’s SBS) among its customers. It also develops and builds the FPT range of light but powerful diesel engines and is responsible for the design and build of Sunseeker’s Hawk 38 hull.
It’s this remarkable breadth of talent combined with the longevity of his career and his continuing influence on fast boat design that make Fabio Buzzi this year’s winner of the Judges’ Special Award.