Benetti Hosts Inaugural Australia-Thailand Rendezvous

By George Bains

Last week, the Phuket Yacht Haven Marina provided the stage for the first ever Australia Thailand Superyacht Rendezvous. Amid festivities that blended the two unique cultures of Australia and Thailand, the rendezvous provided a crucial platform to discuss the blossoming opportunities available for superyachts heading Down Under.

The inaugural event, sponsored by esteemed Italian shipyard Benetti, drew over 14 vessels along with their Captains and crew to engage with leading voices from the Australian superyacht industry. Run by Superyacht Australia, the peak body representing the industry Australia, the Rendezvous was modelled on previous events held in Fiji and Tahiti and is a statement of intent as Australia establishes itself as a leading superyacht hub internationally.

Crew members of visiting superyachts battled it out during a day of light-hearted activities, winning some revered prizes that will certainly live long in the memory. M/Y Diamonds Are Forever was crowned champion of their BBQ Cooking Competition with an innovative dish using the Australian ingredients provided, while M/Y BG won the Best Dressed competition as the crew channelled their inner Crocodile Dundee. A VIP Captain’s Lunch and Networking Party gave the opportunity to learn more about the advantages of visiting such a unique and varied country as Australia, as well as getting to grips with the promising new charter legislation.

Leaders of the superyacht industry and members of Superyacht Australia were on hand to provide informative talks, benefiting from doing so in a relaxed environment typical of life Down Under. The figure of an industry united by a common ambition to provide a complete experience for visiting superyachts, Superyacht Australia CEO David Good commended his partners and outlined his plans. “In addition to promoting Australia as a destination for all it has to offer,” said Good, “another key focus of Superyacht Australia is to encourage vessels to come to Australia for refit and maintenance.”

Some of those refit and maintenance facilities were represented at the Rendezvous, including the Gold Coast City Marina and Echo Yachts. Chris Blackwell, Sales & Marketing Manager of Perth-based Echo Yachts, described his shipyard as “the closest purpose-built superyacht manufacturing and refit shipyard supporting large superyachts that visit or operate in the region.” Blackwell went on to express his delight at the first Rendezvous in Thailand. “This year’s inaugural event was an immediate success,” stated Blackwell, “providing a great location and numerous networking opportunities for Australian superyacht businesses, many large superyacht captains, crew, superyacht agents and brokers from the region in a professional and relaxed setting. We would highly recommend the event to others.”

Such enthusiasm was shared by event sponsor Benetti Yachts. Peter Mahoney, General Manager of Benetti Yachts Asia, gave a presentation as the event’s main sponsor. Mahoney commemorated the success, offering congratulations to Superyacht Australia for “an enjoyable and well run 1st edition event.” He added that “The event flowed well combining a relaxed, casual atmosphere with respectful commercial undercurrent which ensured value for all attending. We met many new faces and made some very good new connections. A must attend event for 2021.”

We can therefore expect the Australia-Thailand Rendezvous to become an important annual occasion for superyachts in the South Pacific. Benetti’s involvement in supporting Australia does not end there, as they will again be the main sponsor later this month at the annual Superyacht Australia Grand Soirée, held at Jones Bay Marina in Sydney.

"In addition to promoting Australia as a destination for all it has to offer, another key focus of Superyacht Australia is to encourage vessels to come to Australia for refit and maintenance."

David Good, CEO Superyacht Australia

"In addition to promoting Australia as a destination for all it has to offer, another key focus of Superyacht Australia is to encourage vessels to come to Australia for refit and maintenance."

David Good, CEO Superyacht Australia
By George Bains
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