Every year Sailing World magazine editors and a panel of experts put the best new sailboat designs to the test and pick a winner in seemingly always changing categories. While its great to see the winners I often wonder about all those categories. They seem to be making some of these up to appease manufacturers. For example, a few years back the J Boats J/46 won "Best Offshore Racer". Were there even any other offshore racers in the competition? I think its just a fun way to say "this is one of the coolest boats of the field". Regardless, it makes for some anticipation for boat lovers and arm chair critics like me.
Check out the 2012 winners here: http://www.sailingworld.com/sailboats/boat-of-the-year/announcing-sws-2012-boty-winners
I like their choice of the VX One as Overall Winner. The boat is an evolution of the popular Viper 640. Boats of this size and shape are tons of fun. Easy to sail fast, easy to trailer, but very pricey. Ultimate 20's, Vipers and Melges 20's all sailaway for upwards of $35k. But awesome boats, all of them. I can't to see how the new J/70 stacks up on this crowded piece of the market.