Rivergate Marina & Shipyard sponsored the recent Captains’ Lunch at the 10th Australia Tahiti Rendezvous, held at Marina Taina, Papeete, Friday 8 July 2022.
Among the 27 vessels that attended were 78-metre M/Y VENUS, 70-metre M/Y SAMAYA, 60-metre M/Y FORMOSA, 53-metre M/Y NIRVANA FORMENTERA, 52-metre M/Y LIND, 50-metre M/Y VALINOR, 50-metre M/Y KNIGHT, and 48-metre M/Y PALADIN.
“Numbers were up by a third on last year,” observes Steve Fisher, Director of International Business at Rivergate and Director on the Board of AIMEX-Superyacht Australia Board. Steve spent a month in Tahiti during which time he met with Captains and owners about scheduling maintenance and refit works at Rivergate.
“It was important to liaise with current and future customers to program the work with our Project Managers to accommodate the scope of works within their availability of time.
“The big advance on previous years is that they requested meetings with us,” he explains. “The message has reached international owners and Captains about Rivergate’s capabilities. Our reputation is very strong and there was a lot of interest in Rivergate’s development plans.
“We had four vessels commit to scheduled time at Rivergate and two that are likely to commit, which is a huge success from a single trip.”
Comments from owners and crew included praise for the relative affordability of visiting Australia.
“Boats and their crew were mostly international, with a few Aussies and Kiwis among them,” Steve continues.
“Australia is seen as much better value for crew – the best for R&R. Facilities such as the 163-metre Mega Yacht Berth at Southport Yacht Club make visiting south-east Queensland an appealing place for owners and crew to spend time, particularly given Australia’s change in charter regulations and the diversity of itineraries from the Kimberley Coast to Tasmania.”
Another observation, according to Steve is that owners and crew are younger than in prior years.
“The average age seemed to be around 45-years-old, compared to mid-60s. And younger owners generally select younger crew.”
The enthusiasm of youth was evident in the gusto with which crews embraced the culinary challenge, known as the Crew Barbecue Competition, during the Australia Tahiti Rendezvous.
As Steve explains, “The winning Chef on board M/Y LIND was British and had only arrived the day before, yet he managed to whip up a feast from Australian ingredients. It’s always fun and full of the camaraderie that makes the Rendezvous so special.”
The Captains’ Lunch was the largest in the 10-year history of the event.
“It was the best we’ve ever held, according to feedback,” says Steve. “A lot of Captains attended, along with the local agents, Australian suppliers, agents and shipyards, and Manoa Rey, Marketing Co-ordinator at Tahiti Tourism. He said they are very happy with the growing fleet numbers and the partnership formed between Superyacht Australia and Tahiti Tourism.
“Tahiti Tourism recognises Australia is a great partner for refit and maintenance. They have committed to work with AIMEX-Superyacht Australia in attending the Monaco Yacht Show in September and Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October, promoting the South Pacific as the ideal destination for superyachts cruising and maintenance.”
The next significant date on the calendar is the Australia Fiji Rendezvous, sponsored by Benetti Yachts, to be held Friday 25 August at Port Denarau Marina, which Andrew Cannon, Rivergate’s Marina Manager will attend. Following that, Steve Fisher will represent Rivergate at the Monaco Yacht Show, 27 to 30 September.