The Panerai Challenger Trophy initiative, now in its third year, is an award presented by Panerai and the Royal Yachting Association in honour of the sailing achievements of those aged between eight and 18.

Pinch London and Simon Hasan were the first two recipients of the Panerai trophy design commission, awarded to British designers working primarily with natural and reusable materials. Menswear designer Bethany Williams, who has championed positive change within fashion, was a natural choice for 2020.

Panerai was drawn by her ‘energy as a designer, together with her persuasive voice to affect change for future generations’, says the brand. ‘But even more compelling was her idea for the trophy, which is immensely thoughtful – and as such, entirely appropriate for 2020.’

This year’s trophy takes its most personal iteration yet, reflecting the emotions and motivations of the young finalists. To create the trophy – which takes the form of a pair of gloves, displayed in a hanging box frame by fine-art framer Darbyshire – Williams spoke to the finalists about their favourite clothes to wear when they go sailing, embroidering the gloves with the different ways the sport makes them feel empowered.

‘The work we do is about the personal, and about storytelling. Linking all three finalists together with a common thread felt like a natural direction in which to take this year’s trophy,’ says Williams. ‘After asking the nominees a few questions about their sailing gear and their most valued items of clothing, it became clear that their sailing gloves are such an essential part of the kit for these young sailors, giving protection and comfort to the wearer. It’s really amazing to be a part of the award and the journey; to hear the incredible stories and the strength of the young people.’

Sixteen year old Ben Tylecote from Rutland sailing club has been declared the winner of the trophy and is set to receive a grant of £5,000 to continue his development in the marine industry, with his club receiving a grant of up to £10,000 for new equipment. Runners up Nieve Ball from Burton sailing club and George Ford from Walton and Frinton yachting club - who along with the winner, overcame physical, economic or social challenges to reach their personal milestones – will each receive £2,500, and their clubs £5,000 each. §