The evening treated guests to luxury exhibits, a little Mischief and plenty of opportunity to network. As we have previously reported, the new legislation on charter in Australia has led to an outpouring of optimism, and the Soirée displayed the very best of this. Ambitions are undoubtedly high, but it is the cohesive attitude within the industry here that sets it apart. A willingness to pull together to ensure Australia is deservedly recognised as a prime superyacht destination.
The Grand Soirée began with a “yacht hop” across the fourteen magnificent vessels lining Jones Bay Wharf. In a comprehensive display of the finest jewels in Australia’s charter fleet, yacht managers and Captains were on hand to provide guests with personal tours through their yachts. Amongst them were 52.4m Baglietto yacht Mischief, as well as Benetti’s 44.2m The Star and Mondomarine’s 40.2m Infinity Pacific.
In keeping with the nature of the superyacht display, the evening entertainment provided a similar ode to local luxury. From the award-winning Scotchmans Hill wine on offer and the Manly Spirits Co dedicated gin-tasting station, to the authentic aboriginal fashions on display by Mainie Australia, there was plenty for the two hundred guests to indulge in. For those wanting another taste of yachting excitement, a foiling showcase was also included with Flite Board displaying the world’s premium electric foiling surfboard.
Many in attendance spoke highly of the great work being done by all members of Superyacht Australia, with special commendation directed towards Chief Executive Officer, David Good. Addressing guests prior to the start of the event, David Good cut a sanguine figure that perfectly represented the atmosphere. “The reason we are here is that superyachts are the ultimate toy, the peak of the industry,” said Good. “Australia certainly does more than compete, we excel in this industry.”
“We’ve got the best captains, the best crew, the best tradesmen, the best cruising grounds, and some of the best refit facilities that are anywhere in the world.”
A great step has been taken towards establishing Australia as a superyacht hub for the South Pacific, and much more still needs to be done to ensure this potential becomes reality. “We are here to celebrate the industry,” continued Good. “The fact that we’ve just had the laws changed to be able to charter vessels from overseas, those large vessels with large marketing budgets can advertise itineraries in Australia and advertise for people to come down here to charter vessels.”
The presence of M/Y Deniki at the show provided evidence of progress already being made. The 52m Amels superyacht became the second ever vessel to obtain a charter license under the new laws, and even attended the event with the blessing of the charter clients onboard. With upcoming major events in the region including the Tokyo Olympics and Americas Cup, we should expect to see an influx of superyachts drawn the unparalleled natural wonders found in Australia.
The success of the inaugural Soirée has already generated interest in next year’s event. After attending the show, Captain Graham Tindall of 60m Ramble on Rose declared his desire to participate in the future. “This is a fantastic event and needs the recognition it deserves,” said Tindall. “I will certainly try to include the yacht next year with the owner’s permission and suggest they would like to attend. I think all owners would love what Superyacht Australia are working so hard to achieve here, well done.”
The Superyacht Australia team has held a series of world-class events that have boosted Australia’s profile as a superyacht destination, attracting more yachts to continue their journey down to Australia. Benetti returned as major event sponsor, having recently supported Superyacht Australia’s highly successful Thailand Rendezvous. “Our ongoing investment for the future of the industry down under saw Benetti join Superyacht Australia and we were delighted to be the Major Partner of the inaugural Superyacht Australia Grand Soiree,” stated Peter Mahony, General Manager of Benetti Asia.
Superyacht Australia and event coordinator Maddie Spencer are already busy preparing for another run of events, including the MYBA Barcelona Charter Show, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show as well as the Tahiti Superyacht Rendezvous.
Immediate triumphs should be celebrated, but far greater are the slow-burning benefits that the industry will see in the long term. The supply chain will see much wider impacts from longer charters and refit projects, however this needs time to settle and be measured. With the great work being done to capitalise on the law changes, this is a question of ‘when’, not ‘if’, the industry sees the return. With a perfect balance of undisturbed natural beauty and state-of-the-art marine facilities, Australia offers as holistic a superyacht destination as can be found around the world.