Incat received the award for Most Significant New Build - Fast Ferry, at the biennial event for the ferry, fast ferry and cruise industry, The Cruise and Ferry Exhibition and Conference, held in London in mid-May.
The award was presented to builders Incat and owners Bollinger/Incat USA for the 322-ft. U.S. Army Theater Support Vessel TSV-1X Spearhead.
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 m 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 U.S. 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.
Today Spearhead is deployed within the Central Command Area of Responsibility in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The craft has carried troops and hauled over 1,500 pieces of military cargo.
Speaking of the award while en route back to Australia an elated Incat Chairman Robert Clifford said, "The U.S. Army is to be warmly congratulated for having the foresight and vision to acquire what leading professionals in the shipping industry recognise as a superior high speed ship."
"It is thanks to military visionaries such as the US Army's Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS &CSS), Col. Genaro Dellarocco, Project Manager - Force Projection, that Spearhead has been put into the fight as seen throughout the world following recent events in the Persian Gulf," Mr Clifford said.
Incat is currently constructing another 322-ft. craft, HSV 2 Swift, for the US Navy and is on target for a mid 2003 delivery.