Incat received the award for Most Significant New Build-Fast Ferry at The Cruise and Ferry Exhibition and Conference held in London.
The award was presented to builders Incat and owners Bollinger/Incat USA for the US Army Theater Support Vessel TSV-1X Spearhead at a gala dinner at the Hilton London Metropole.
Shipping professionals crowned the 98 metre Spearhead as the ship most deserving of the title amidst fierce competition from other nominees, including: Austal Ships and EuroFerrys for EuroFerrys Pacifica; HDW and Superfast Ferries for the medium speed ships Superfast IX + X and Austal Ships and New World Fast
Ferry for New Ferry LXXXI / LXXXII / LXXXIII.
Speaking from the shipyard in Hobart, Incat Australia Pty Ltd Managing Director Craig Clifford said “Incat to some extent were ‘reigning champions’ having also taken the Most Significant New Build – Fast Ferry award at the last Cruise & Ferry event in 2001 with the 96 metre Evolution 10 Benchijigua Express for Fred. Olsen Lines, so this year’s win was particularly pleasing.”
In November 2002, when Incat delivered Spearhead for service with the US Army, expectations were high. As the Army’s first Theater Support vessel the ship would be utilized on missions to maximize its speed and flexibility, being required for both sustainment deliveries and the movement of Army prepositioned stocks, and troop units.
Leaving Hobart soon after handover Spearhead headed directly to the Persian Gulf to be part of the major military build-up in the region.
Spearhead is currently deployed within the Central Command Area of Responsibility in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has sailed approximately 30,000 nautical miles and her operations to date have covered most of the western part of the CENTCOM Theater from Jordan to Kuwait. The craft has carried troops and hauled over 1500 pieces of military cargo, just about everything in the inventory except for tracked vehicles.