New Zealand businessman receives global award for contribution to super yacht industry
New Zealand businessman, Neville Crichton, has been honoured in 2012 World Superyacht Awards for his contribution to the world super yacht industry and, in particular his ‘instrumental role in the establishment and growth of the New Zealand super yacht building industry’ as well as his world leading position in yacht racing and his inspiration to others in the industry.
In presenting the “Legacy Award”, which recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry over many years, to Neville Crichton at the 2012 Superyacht Awards in Istanbul, Turkey, at the weekend (5 May 2012) during what are described as the ‘Oscars’ for super yacht designers, builders, engineers and companies, the commendation for Neville Crichton said the award was presented:
“For his instrumental role in the establishment and growth of the New Zealand superyacht building industry, for his leading position in the world of sailboat racing, his generosity of spirit, and his inspiration to others in these fields.”
Introducing the award and welcoming Neville Crichton to the ceremony, Ed Dubois, one of the world’s leading yacht designers and founder of Dubois Naval Architects, told the audience:
“Without Neville Crichton, the enormous growth in the industry in New Zealand which followed Alloy Yachts and by other yards and which also fed the development in companies such as Southern Spars, would simply not have happened. I think it is also fair to say that with the rise of the New Zealand industry, its innovation and common sense understanding and engineering, other yards around the world have received motivation and ideas, and the industry as a whole has prospered.
“In short, I am not sure that we would be standing here today, looking at an extraordinary industry that employs so many people engaged in wonderfully innovative work, without Neville. I think it’s fair to say that I certainly would not be,” said Mr Dubois.
Neville Crichton started to export used steel yachts from New Zealand in the late 1970s and this demonstrated to him that there was a significant market around the world for high performance yachts with quality interiors. In 1982 he set up Alloy Yachts and, in doing so, started the super yacht industry in New Zealand which spurred the growth of boat and yacht building in New Zealand into a three billion dollar a year industry.
His innovations and firsts are many and include in 1990 the first carbon fibre rig, saving five tonnes in weight, and in 1992 he fitted the first furling boom to a super yacht.
Neville Crichton also has enjoyed a remarkable career as at the helm of racing super yachts, so much so that the Italian media, which followed him closely in three generations of super yachts sponsored by and named Alfa Romeo, the “Serial Winner”. In all, the three Alfa Romeo super yachts won 174 races including two Sydney to Hobart races, the TransPac and Fastnet Race, with record books littered with the names ‘Neville Crichton’ and ‘Alfa Romeo’.
At same time Neville Crichton has also built a highly successful automotive import and distribution business, the Ateco Group, on both sides of the Tasman and counts amongst its present responsibilities Ferrari, Maserati, Citroen and, with Great Wall and Chery, bringing the first Chinese automotive brands to New Zealand and Australia.
“I am deeply honoured to receive this award,” said Neville Crichton. “It is judged and presented by the experts in this industry, whose expertise and opinions I value and, therefore, there is no greater honour than to have my lifetime’s worked recognized by this award. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in creating the super yacht industry in New Zealand and that this is now a significant part of the New Zealand economy with a worldwide reputation for quality, innovation and producing yachts of the highest standard.”