Spirits were sky high when the sun burst through the morning clouds as a group of Riviera owners, accompanied by their family and friends, rafted-up in calm waters near the Mornington Yacht Club in late March. Hosted by R Marine Jacksons, the Victorians made the most of the beautiful day of boating, socialising and relaxing on the water.
For Nigel and Jane Morrison, the organised get-together with other Riviera owners was their first aboard their luxury 5400 Sport Yacht. “It was a great event, and we look forward to doing more now. There’s always something to learn from more experienced people,” says Nigel. “We bought Lion Heart about 18 months ago and, shortly after, there was an organised trip to Tasmania. Being my first boat, I didn’t go, I’d do it now though.”
In the last year and a half, Nigel and Jane have made lasting friendships with Riviera owners at Martha Cove Marina, where they keep Lion Heart. “Most of us motored up from Martha Cove for the raft-up. There was a majestic Riviera 72 in the centre, and we cascaded out from there with Stuart Jackson and his team on hand to coordinate.
The IPS made it easy to come alongside the 72, and the guys were there to help with the ropes and tying up – there was plenty of support and advice for the process. We lined up the transoms together in a semi-circle, and basically just roamed across from Riviera to Riviera, enjoying champagne and hors d’oeuvres.” Entertainer Michelle Serrett-Cursio added to the afternoon’s merriment.
“It was fantastic! Very social, and just a great atmosphere. Stuart and the team had organised a Sirocco tender to ferry people from the pier to the event, so our daughter Emma, her husband, Will and their daughter Willow and son Louie, came out to join us for a few hours. It was a very friendly, and family-friendly, day.”
The owners of the aforementioned majestic Riviera 72 – Geoff and Christine Grenda – were lucky to make this year’s raft-up and were positioned front and centre. Although being long-time Riviera owners, this was their first raft-up.
“The timing has never worked before. At the end of summer, I’m normally away fishing somewhere,” clarifies Geoff, the proud owner of the Australian-built Thunderstruck. “We’d normally have the Riviera out at Bermagui [Ed: a town on the south coast of New South Wales] or up at Airlie Beach [Ed: located in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland] around this time of year.
However, we happened to be here and didn’t know what to expect but we had a great day, and we had the chance to welcome some friends who hadn’t been aboard before. We’d do it again if we were here with the boat. A lot of people came and had a look – it’s a lovely yacht, just so far ahead in terms of its comfort and finish. We’ve had it about 12 months now,” he adds.
Mark and Sue Hodgson, aboard their hilariously named 565 SUV, Job Keeper, haven’t missed an R Marine Jacksons event since they joined the Riviera family two years ago. “The raft-up was really well run, they did an amazing job of it, with live music and even a tender shuttle,” says Mark.
“The fellowship with like-minded owners is just so great. I loved getting up the tuna tower of the 72, I was ‘thunderstruck’. The superstructure is unbelievable. And it’s great talking to other Riviera owners, learning about how they use their boats for fishing, or afternoon drinks. There are so many different lifestyles to be enjoyed. Rivieras are designed for our blue waters and made to take on long stretches, putting up with the weather.”
The future looks rosy for Mark and Sue. Their sights are set on the next raft-up planned at the Gippsland Lakes, not to mention they have a new 585 SUV on order! As for the naming of Job Keeper, our readers will need to stay tuned for a future edition in our ‘What’s in a Name?’ series.
For more information visit www.rivieraaustralia.com
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