Boating and golf share many attributes. Aside from taking us into beautiful natural environments, they are both activities we can indulge alone; but they are usually far better when shared with family and friends. And how often, after a particularly magic day, do we say to ourselves “if only I had the time, I would be out here every day .
Sadly, there are a very few who are in that fortunate position.
Craig Parry is one of Australia’s best-known professional golfers, a man who has for 20 years been playing and winning tournaments around the world.
Craig is also the proud owner of a Riviera 40 Flybridge that he keeps near his home in Sydney. And he makes sure he takes time to enjoy boating.
“I’ve always loved everything about the water,” says Craig. “It must be in my genes. My great grandfather was a ship’s captain, sailing around Australia’s coasts for many years. Most famously, his ship, the ‘Riverina’ was wrecked and sank off Gabo Island in April 1927.
“My father was a very keen sailor, too. We lived in Melbourne and sailed together in a little Gwen sailboat on Port Phillip Bay.”
But, as he grew, golf took precedence and Craig turned professional, winning his first tournament, the 1987 New South Wales Open, just a year later.
Since then, he has amassed victories across Australia, Europe, the United States and Asia.
But boating was never far away from Craig’s thoughts. He moved to Sydney with wife Jenny and young children April and Ryan and found a home overlooking the Parramatta River. The river flows into Sydney Harbour, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Inevitably, Craig bought a boat, a Riviera 32. He upgraded to a Riviera 39 after the birth of his third child, Brendan, and finally to a Riviera 40 four years ago.
“There’s so much room in the 40,” says Craig. “With three children growing fast, we need it!”
A career is a top-flight sportsman can be arduous. Aeroplanes, hotel rooms and golf courses, week after week, alone across the world from home.
“So when I get home, I value time with the family and we get away on the boat as often as we can,” says Craig.
When they can take more than a day, they usually head away from the crowds in Sydney Harbour to the waterways of Broken Bay, about 14 nautical miles north. “I really love Refuge Bay,” says Craig. “It’s right in the middle of a national park. We explore in the tender and play football on the beaches.”
Craig has even managed to find the time for extended voyaging on his Riviera.
“I took it up to Queensland’s Whitsundays with a skipper and a friend,” he says. “It was a five-day trip and it was brilliant. My family flew up and we took the boat out to Whitehaven, an extraordinarily beautiful beach west of Hamilton Island. We all love snorkelling but we’re not into catching fish. We like to watch them.”
Boating and golf; for many people, these are the activities that offer relaxation away from work. For Craig Parry, they are his life.