Please select your home edition

Nebuchadnezzar escapes The Matrix to win Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show

by Mark Jardine 25 Feb 17:52 GMT 25 February 2023
Pete & Joshua Jary's Shearater 'Nebuchadnezzar' wins the Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show 2023 © Paul Wyeth / RYA

For the judging of the Concours d'Elegance, Mark Jardine, Editor of, was joined this year by British Sailing Team ILCA 7 sailor Micky Beckett. The huge crowds made getting a close look at all the boats harder than ever, and the presentation of the boats made deciding on a winner very difficult.

In the end the judges chose the Shearwater catamaran 'Nebuchadnezzar', with its stunning Matrix-inspired graphics, innovative fittings and great finish which won it the trophy.

The winner Pete Jary said: "Fantastic! We were weren't planning on even remotely having a chance to win a prestigious prize, but it's great after all the hard work I've put in with my son making the boat; it's wonderful that it's come to this. It's brilliant! Thank you."

Pete's son, Joshua, added, "It's the fact that I didn't expect it to win it! I knew we had a good chance, but it looked like there were loads of other nicer boats."

Micky Beckett said on the winner: "I think it was the originality of the display of the boat, both the features on it, the graphics and the way it was presented to us by the guys on the stand; just awesome and really compelling!"

On his first time judging he added: "It's a lot to take on board; you're being impressed over and over again. Then you have to sit down and compare some wildly different things, and that's tricky. But it's an awesome challenge."

Mark Jardine, who has judged every year since the award's inception said: "I think this was the hardest winner to choose. With the range of dinghies being so diverse, it's tricky to compare like for like, so the emotional reaction you have to a boat, and its presentation, plays a huge part. So many different aspects caught our eyes, including the graphics, features, and sheer enthusiasm of the sailors, young and old."

Special mentions must also be made of the Merlin Rocket stand, with three stunning boats on display, and an incredible ropefest on Jon Turner's 'Ecstasy' that even had self-bailers controllable from the windward rail, the H2 'Alice' of Richard le Mare with a pearlescent purple hull and LED under-gunwale lighting, the stunning brand-new Scorpion, the innovative foiling Switch dinghy, a beautifully renovated 1955 Firefly, the Thames A Rater (with a borrowed RS21 mast as theirs wouldn't fit in the hall) and the always-brilliant Challenger stand.

The Concours d'Elegance has now been awarded for fifteen years and has recognised a diverse range of boats, from classics with impeccable varnish finishes, to the latest in high tech sailing. Take a look at all winners of the prestigious trophy below.

Previous Concours d'Elegance Winners:

Related Articles

Sydney Harbour Marathon - Reviving a classic
Long distance dinghy races have been popular for eons It can be said that sailing's diversity of classes is both a strength and a weakness. For some it means that whatever type of boat they want, there's going to a perfect match out there; for others, it dilutes one design fleets. Posted on 30 May
The Little Aussie Lap inspires the world over
We catch up with Xavier Doerr in his Mini Transat yacht off Broome during his voyage Xavier Doerr and his Mini Transat yacht are off Broome, and we speak with him about Cape York and the challenges of the top end before he gets set for the greatest challenge of all... the mighty Southern Ocean. Posted on 26 May
What boat do you sail on?
Place a couple of yachties at a bar/regatta/waterfront, and it will be asked It's a fairly common question. Place a couple of yachties together at a bar, regatta, or the waterfront, and soon enough it will get asked as they try to determine what kind of sailor they are spending time with. Posted on 21 May
The Next Generation
What's going to come out of a shed in Lorient? What's going to come out of a shed in Lorient? That's a question that's almost constantly being asked as the latest IMOCA builds are revealed. The class is always innovating, always changing, and always pushing the boundaries of what's possible. Posted on 17 May
Karen and Richard
How does, Only yesterday, apply to J/99s? Have to read on to find out. He is a gifted arranger, and she was a delightful songbird. So the brother and sister combo had the Surname, Carpenter, and one of their many hits was, Only Yesterday. Posted on 7 May
Anything but ordinary
235 days at sea is a long, long time on any boat 235 days at sea is a long, long time on any boat. Couple that with being alone, sailing non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes, without any outside assistance, and you have what has to be one of the greatest challenges available in sailing. Posted on 2 May
Going really, really, really deep
Now this is not exactly the kind of thing you want to do when sailing Now this is not exactly the kind of thing you want to do when sailing. Deep is best left to submersibles and miners. But, we are off to explore the new Team Australia Challenge for the 2024 Youth and Women's America's Cup. Posted on 23 Apr
Bar talk, comment, and discussion
Can we truly emulate club chat in the online world? A lot has changed in the online world in 20 years. Back then Friends Reunited was the go-to place for social media, Facebook was a year off from being founded, and Google was only five years old. Posted on 18 Apr
Searching for a Sixpence on a Chelsea Morning
Lowrider Moths at Nantwich & Borders SC epitomise individuality and enjoyment One of the exciting aspects of the UK dinghy scene is its diversity, yet the Moths seem to celebrate this with an even wider range of boats that spread from what are in effect 'little' versions of bigger classes. Posted on 18 Apr
THE boat park brand…
It's not a matter of just how cool it is (although it helps) but how well it works The brand is Vaikobi, and the big V just continues to be the darling of the OTB gang, and for very good reason. Posted on 12 Apr