But it was River Canal Rescue who went on to be named the eventual winner.
The breakdown and emergency services company, based in Stafford, boasts a workforce of more than 30 and covers a network of around 3,600 miles to provide emergency assistance, rescue and recovery services for up to 150 call-outs a week.
It is the UK’s largest national breakdown service provider for boaters using the inland waterway system.
Managing director Stephanie Horton said: “It feels wonderful. It’s a very good achievement because we’ve been doing this for a very long time. We’ve invested a huge amount in people and a huge amount in our technology and it’s really nice to be recognised for that.