More than 80 new sailing yachts reach the market in Europe every year. However, only five shipyards could look forward to winning the prestigious ?European Yacht of the Year 2015? title. This is the first year that the jury has introduced the ?Bluewater Cruisers? category for boats designed and equipped for open sea journeys lasting several months. The jury from the eleven leading sailing magazines held two test sessions, the first in La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast and the second just two weeks later in the Italian harbour town of Santa Margherita, where all 25 nominated craft were put through their paces and evaluated. The eleven jury members are subject to strict rules that effectively preclude manipulation and outside influence. In the final analysis, all decisions are made by a majority vote, while a nationalities clause prevents jurors from casting their votes for candidates from their own country.