22 million dollar Riviera Motor Yachts fleet heads for the Whitsundays
More than 100 luxury boat owners and their friends turned their backs on world economic news yesterday to set off on a 10-day boating adventure of more than 400 sea miles.
A flotilla of 23 Rivieras valued at over to $22 million cruised out of Mooloolaba this morning on a voyage that will take many of them from Queensland’s Gold Coast to the Whitsunday Islands.
The boats, ranging from 38 to 56 feet and including two Sport Yachts along with 21 Flybridge models, left on a 6am tide this morning on the second leg of a voyage to Lady Musgrave Island off the central Queensland coast. While many of the boats return to their Gold Coast homes, 10 of the boats will continue on to the Whitsunday Islands – a total of 600 nautical miles north.
Derek and Leone Harris are taking their new Riviera 4400 Sport Yacht Priority on the trip to the Whitsundays.
“We went on the R Marine Port Geographe adventure in Western Australia in a little Riviera M290 last year,” explained Derek. “So we thought the bigger 4400 Sport Yacht would be exactly right for us. And we are right. It has been a fantastic trip so far. We are running right up with all the big flybridge boats. We ran alongside the towering 56-foot Investigator IV for some time today!”
According to Graham Stevenson aboard his Riviera 51 Off The Hook, the second day which took the boats to Kingfisher Bay on the west of Fraser Island was ideal.
“It has been a beautiful day,” he said. “The water was really easy and the notorious Wide Bay Bar presented no problems for the boats.”
Mr Stevenson said the first day ended with a wonderful dinner at the Fish On Parkyn restaurant in Mooloolaba.
“Having to leave at 6 o’clock this morning was a bit difficult, but we are governed by the tides,” he said.
The Experience event has been organised by Riviera Dealer R Marine Coomera as part of the boat builder’s ongoing program of involving owners in events that provide boating and safety education as well as fun and excitement.
R Marine Coomera’s Keith Hanson said: “It gives many of our owners a chance to learn more about their boats and their own capabilities. Some of the more experienced hands will continue all the way through to the Whitsundays over two weeks.”
Keith said Riviera and R Marine Dealers around Australasia are holding similar events this year.
R Marine New Zealand recently completed a major fishing tournament that attracted 17 boats with 85 people participating.
At the same time, R Marine Perth took another 17 boats and 70 people on their annual Port Geographe Bay Experience over five days. The Dealer has already planned two more cruises, to Rottnest Island and Mindarie, later in the year.
R Marine Adelaide celebrated Easter with a five-day cruise involving 28 boats and 106 people to Kangaroo Island Experience. Seventeen boats went on to Port Lincoln the following weekend to participate in the annual Tuna Shootout.
Keith Hanson is travelling on the Whitsunday Experience with 80-year-old Ian Reynolds who late last year completed a circumnavigation of Australia in his Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge Investigator IV. Mr Reynolds will continue from the Whitsundays to Port Douglas on this trip.
“So far the weather has been ideal,” said Keith. “We were joined by a helicopter as we left Mooloolaba this morning. We arranged the fleet in a huge V shape for a few photographs. Everyone had great fun lining the boats up.”
Keith said the fleet planned to spend three days at Lady Musgrave Island and its protected atoll more than 20 miles out to sea.
“It is a stunning environment,” he said.
Visit the Riviera Motor Yachts Home Profile Page for more information.
Photo: The Riviera fleet heads north to Fraser Island