Who will be crowned winner of the Superyacht UK Young Designer competition 2023?

Published on: 11 September 2023

SYUK Young designer

Introducing this year’s designers and the judging panel


This year marks the welcome return of the Superyacht UK Young Designer competition, sponsored by Marine Resources, at the Southampton International Boat Show.


Bringing together design students from across the country, the competitors will be given a day and a half to produce a profile illustration/drawing of the vessel, a block General Arrangement (GA) drawing defining the general space allocation and detailed sketch developments (including 3D illustrations as appropriate) illustrating at least three unique selling points of their proposal, from a brief created by the judging panel.


Entrants have been shortlisted to eight exciting and dynamic designers, ready to show off their design flair and bring their ideas to life, as they vie for the winner’s crown and the choice of either an internship with Olesinski or Sunseeker.  Once the winner has chosen which they prefer the other will be offered to the runner-up.

The designers:

  • Oliver Rommelrath – Staffordshire University
  • Taylor McGraw – Staffordshire University
  • Sebastian Horbacz – Staffordshire University
  • Jonathan Stock – Staffordshire University
  • Raghav Sharma – Coventry University
  • Dhruv Raajput – Coventry University
  • Matthew Harman – University of Portsmouth
  • Ben Kenward – Coventry University

Competition winner from 2019, James Shakespeare, who this year joins the judging panel commented: “Winning the competition in 2019 opened the door to some great opportunities after I finished my degree. The placements I was offered with Olesinski and Pendennis gave me the invaluable experience of working in the industry. Following my placements, I wanted to pursue a career in yacht design, and started working at Princess Yachts in 2020. I’d like to wish all of this year’s competitors the best of luck.”


James joins a panel of six judges with the unenviable task of judging the designs. With decades of industry success between them, the panel brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the competition.


The judges:

  • Stephen Hills – Commercial Director, Pendennis Shipyard and chairman of Superyacht UK 
  • Justin Olesinski – Managing Director, Olesinski
  • Douglas Hynd – Senior Project Manager, RWD
  • Jeff Houlgrave – Senior Associate, Marina Projects
  • James Shakespeare – Graduate Designer, Princess Yachts and 2019 Superyacht UK Young Designer competition winner
  • Stephanie Olliff – Recruitment Consultant, Marine Resources

“This competition provides a unique and wonderful opportunity for the many talented young designers we have in this country to showcase their skills and vision and may even provide the first steps into a future career in the industry, and I am extremely excited to see what these young designers come up with,” commented Stephen Hills.

The competition will get underway at midday on Tuesday 19 September and run until 18.00 on Wednesday 20 September. On the morning of Thursday 21 September each of the entrants will have 20 minutes to present their designs to the judging panel, before the winner and runner up are announced at the prize giving ceremony at 14.00, on stand J407.

Drop by the stand to show your support for these talented young designers.

For more information visit https://www.southamptonboatshow.com/young-designer-competition-2023/

About the show

The Southampton International Boat Show is the biggest UK marine festival and one of Europe’s largest on-water events. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, the show boasts some 600+ exhibitors, hundreds of boats, plus an array of attractions and exclusive show features.  

From tall ships to dinghies, paddleboards to fliteboards, kayaks to catamarans, SUPs to superyachts there’s a boat for everyone at the Southampton International Boat Show which runs over 10 days from 15-24 September, and with your Quayside Club VIP ticket you will bring a luxury to your visit, for a totally unique boat show experience.

Get your ticket

Tickets for the Boat Show can be purchased online at www.southamptonboatshow.com/visitor-information/tickets/

Upgrade your visit and check out our exclusive VIP packages – https://www.southamptonboatshow.com/vip/

The show is open from 10am – 6pm daily except the final Sunday when the show will close at 5pm. 

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