The clouds may be grey, the rain squalling and the wind pushing up a swell in the ocean, but nothing can dampen the enthusiasm of Riviera owners on a week-long Experience event.
R Marine Coomera in south-east Queensland recently took a group of owners to explore the waterways north of the Gold Coast Broadwater, through to Moreton Bay.
“The conditions didn’t make any difference,” said Noel and Judy Walker. “Poor visibility and up to 35 knots of wind just brought us together – literally. At one stage we were rafted up in a bay with very strong winds. But the cockpits of the boats made a great party platform.”
This was their first major trip on their Riviera 41 Open Flybridge, Tuscany II.
“Our first was a Riviera 3000,” Noel explained. “We named it after that beautiful region in Italy.”
The fleet headed north on the first day through narrow channels to Tiger Mullet Channel where they were protected from gale force winds.
For Pat Evans aboard his Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge Banshee, this was a chance to explore places he would never go on his own.
“Keith Hanson at R Marine Coomera really knows these waters,” he said. “It gave me a whole new perspective on Moreton Bay.”
Anchored safely, owners moved from boat to boat, sharing stories and discussing the features of the different models.
Next point of call was Canaipa Point where the first serious competition began: a special golfing challenging called “closest to the bin”. The target was a slightly overturned wheelie bin on the lawns.
Everyone agreed that the night moored at the Little Ship pontoon on North Stradbroke Island was the highlight of the week.
“My sound system speakers in the cockpit were not working properly,” said Pat Evans. “So Keith solved the problem by putting an entire band in there!”
The evening turned into a karaoke contest, with the singers and musicians donning special wigs. Trophies were awarded for the best performances, male and female as for the golfing tournament.
“It was a very – umm, different – evening!” said Noel Walker. “But the absolute highlight of the week. We all had our underwater lights on and the party went long into the night.
“When Riviera owners get together, it doesn’t matter where we come from or our business, we have so much in common. We all get on so well.”