By Dorie Cox
A tabletop setting designed by the interior crew of M/Y Sovereign, a 180-foot Newcastle, was named best overall in this year’s tabletop competition at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show yesterday. Eleven yachts competed in an interior and exterior setup for Aqualuxe’s Top Notch Tabletop Challenge and were judged by a panel of former crew and interior experts.
Sovereign’s team, Chief Stew Samantha Klepper, 2nd Stew Nikola Cowie and Stew Danielle Hadlington, were recognized for their creativity with the best overall design award, as well as top honors for their outdoor setting.
The Sovereign team figured that “The Hunger Games” trilogy would be a popular theme, according to 2nd Stew Nikola Cowie. To build enthusiasm, several members of the yacht crew in colorful costumes were on hand with accessories for the four judges to wear to get in the spirit. The aft deck was decorated with a jungle-like theme, which even included an archery target for guests to try their skills, just like the trilogy’s heroine, Katniss.
“People like to dress up and we like to go over the top for charters,” 2nd Stew Cowie said. “And now we can reuse this theme for trips.”
The other main award went to M/Y Rebel, a 157-foot Trinity. The interior crew was awarded top honor for the interior tabletop setting category. Chief Stew Brittny Otto and 2nd Stew Grace Gravett started with several pumpkin centerpieces and finished off the table with small hanging bats.
Several of the yacht’s crew previously created an ice room-themed table setting during a recent trip to Alaska, according to the yacht’s captain, Craig Coker. He commended his entire crew and the interior crew on their entry into the competition, as did the yacht’s engineer, William Panter.
“When they cut the top of the pumpkin and pulled the insides out onto the table, it didn’t look awesome, but now it looks great,” Panter said. “We work as a well-oiled machine.”
Other competitors in the event included M/Y Jedi, a 124-foot Admiral, with Chief Stew Jocelyn Piccinetti; M/Y Gene Machine, a 180-foot Amels, with rotational Chief Stew Chanel Marais, Chief Stew Emma McDonald, 2nd Stew Laura Makinson, 3rd Stew Gemma Wilis, 3rd Stew Annie Hang and 4th Stew Emma Roberts; M/Y Abbracci, a 180-foot Heesen, with Purser Melveen Malabanan; M/Y Angel Wings, a 130-foot Westport, with Deck/Stew Tanarae Hopkins; and M/Y Black Gold, a 125-foot Westport, with Chief Stew Linda Saylor and Brianna Eckel.
The Aqualuxe’s Top Notch Tabletop Challenge is scheduled for the Palm Beach International Boat Show next year.
To learn more, visit www.TopNotchTabletop.com. Scroll down to see all the winners.
Dorie Cox is editor of Triton Today. Comments are welcome below.
Best Overall Design and 1st Place Chic Outdoors
M/Y Sovereign, a 180-foot Newcastle
Chief Stew Samantha Klepper, 2nd Stew Nikola Cowie and Stew Danielle Hadlington
2nd Chic Outdoors
M/Y Maggie, a 112-foot Westport
Chief Stew Monica Bolet and Stew Ashley Coon
3rd Chic Outdoors
M/Y Ocean Club, a 120-foot Sovereign
Chief Stew CC Childers and Deckhand/Stew Anna Endler
Best Luxe Interior
M/Y Rebel, a 157-foot Trinity
Chief Stew Brittny Otto and 2nd Stew Grace Gravett
2nd Best Luxe Interior
M/Y I Love This Boat, a 145-foot Christensen
Chief Stew Carly Benjamin and 2nd Stew Katie Leetz
3rd Best Luxe Interior
M/Y MAG III, a 145-foot Benetti
Chief Stew Nico Van Der Westhuizen, 2nd Stew Chenelle Godfrey and 3rd Stew Kerry Langschmidt
Most Artistic Napkin Fold
Top Creative Centerpiece
M/Y Angel Wings
Best Beverage Presentation
M/Y Ocean Club
Stylish Menu Design
Tip of the Day
M/Y MAG III