|Take 70 entries, 13 classes, 10 judges, 3 halls and 1 venue, and what have you got? Stumped? The Caravan Club's prestigious 2011 Caravan Design and Lightweight Leisure Trailer Awards, that's what.
This annual competition, the only one of its kind, is held at February's NEC show and recognises excellence in caravan and lightweight leisure trailer design to provide a fair and objective assessment of those models submitted for scrutiny - allowing you to be better informed when making your next buying decision.
The competition covers all aspects of the caravanning art - from great big fifth wheelers and conventional caravans of a variety of berths, to folding caravans, folding campers and trailer tents of all shapes and sizes. Each model is rigorously assessed and examined, inside and out, by a panel of independent expert design judges and technical researchers. This comprehensive process means that each of the competition's 13 class winners can rightfully claim to be deserving of success.
So, who were this year's winners?
In the Caravan Design aspect of the awards, which attracted 41 entries, the big two - Swift and Bailey - took five of the seven gongs between them. Sterling Europa 520 ('Family Caravan £12,000-£16,000' class winner), Swift Charisma 550 ('Caravan with Dedicated Bed(s) £12,000-£16,000') and Swift Challenger 480 SR ('Any Caravan £16,000-£19,000') took gold for the Swift Group, while the innovative Orion 400-2 ('Any Caravan Under £12,000') and Pegasus Genoa ('2-Berth Caravan £12,000-£16,000') flew the Bailey flag.
Vanmaster's luxurious Occasion 640 TBEW took top honours in the keenly-contested 'Any Caravan £19,000 and Over' class, while Fifth Wheel Company's Celtic Rambler sealed yet another victory for this Welsh manufacturer in the 'Any Fifth Wheel Caravan' category.
Bailey's Orion 400-2 also featured on the winner's podium in the Lightweight Leisure Trailer part of the awards, by taking the 'Caravans between 701kg-1,110kg' class. The retro-chic Dub-Box sealed the other lightweight caravan class for those vans weighing less than 750kg. SunnCamp, Camp-Let, Conway and Gobur were those manufacturers popping the champagne corks in the trailer tent, folding camper and folding caravan categories.