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Superyacht Australia returned to Tahiti for the 4th consecutive year to host a series of networking events which gave cruising vessels and superyachts in Marina Taina the opportunity for an update on Australia’s capabilities, facilities, amazing tourism experiences and safe cruising grounds. The event saw captains, crew and industry stakeholders turn up to network with a strong contingent of the Australian superyacht industry who were in attendance to respond to questions and showcase the best of what Australia has to offer.
With the superyacht season commencing in Tahiti, the gateway to the South Pacific, this event was timed to coincide with vessels first arrival into the South Pacific region. The focus for the Superyacht Australia event is to create better awareness of Australia for yachts on their way west and over 50% of the yachts in Marina Taina participating in the function advised they had plans to cruise down to Australia in the next 12-24 months. Whilst the prime target was superyachts there was also considerable interest in coming to Australia by the smaller yachts which is another significant market for the Australian industry.
The day was focused on promoting Australia as a cruising destination and showcasing the significant infrastructure and capability of the Australian superyacht and marine sector, starting with the information showcase with visitor numbers exceeding expectations.
Following the information showcase Superyacht Australia hosted a Captain’s lunch including key stakeholders from the Tahitian superyacht industry and the Australian Deputy Consul to Noumea, Sandra Henderson. Captains who attended this event found this incredibly helpful being able to speak first hand in a relaxed environment with key businesses from the Australian industry who answered a number of queries regarding visiting Australia and the current charter regulations. Australian businesses were able to reassure Captains that whatever they needed when cruising in Australia was available, and to the highest standard with extremely professional agents available to respond to owners every need.
To ensure the smaller cruising vessels were also kept abreast of Australia’s capabilities in the marine sector this year participants had a presence at the annual Tahiti Moorea Sailing event. This is an annual three day event that aims to give a warm welcome to cruising sailors whilst celebrating their successful ocean crossing. This event attracted over 80 sailing boats and 180 participants including many future Australian marine services customers who were very interested in cruising in the Whitsundays. Superyacht Australia’s presence at the registration for this event provided a good platform for promoting the attractions of Australia as a sailing destination and the services that are offered to visiting boaters.
The Superyacht Australia event included a cooking competition between the superyacht crews. Superyachts were provided with Australian wagyu rib eye to marinate in Australian products and cook on coal fueled novelty barbeques. This event has become popular among the superyacht fleet and this year contestants once again ensured a great competition. The teams entered were Advantage, Vantage, Sarissa, Maya Ray and Team Tahiti. The judges this year were headed by Steve Fisher from Rivergate Marina and Shipyard and included Sarah Egan – Boat Style, James Gilchrist – Penske Power Systems and Trent Gay – Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard.
The judging panel realised the tough job ahead when the crew teams arrived dressed in Australian themed attire including a team of aboriginals and Steve Irwin and a fever of stingrays. Dressed as Aboriginals, the winning team “Vantage” presented the most outstanding dishes with their Australian Beef served in fine dining style with an elegant printed menu to match.
Winners of the cooking competition took home some fantastic prizes supplied by the Australian and Tahitian industry including free berthing at Maikai Marina, on board massages for crew, dining vouchers at the local restaurants along Marina Taina, clothing and accessories and the winner walked away with a cash voucher courtesy of Superyacht Australia.
The event concluded with the ever popular Aussie bbq and Australian wines on the marina where celebrations took off in true Australian style, including a didgeridoo performance from one of the guests. This was the fourth time Superyacht Australia have run this event which is now considered a permanent part of the Australian activity calendar. Adding to the atmosphere was a live band all the way from Maikai Marina in Bora Bora who had party goers demanding an encore once their performance was over.
Once again this event was a huge success and was well supported by industry in Tahiti who see great value in aligning with Australia to promote each regions capabilities in the Superyacht sector. Tehani Fiedler-Valenta of Tahiti Crew said “This event put on by Superyacht Australia is also a great opportunity for the Tahitian industry to get together. It is showcasing Tahitian hospitality and we all get behind the event. We want to see this as a regular activity we can promote to our superyacht clients. This is a great initiative and we appreciate superyacht Australia hosting this event”.
Supporting sponsors of the Superyacht Australia Tahiti networking event included Superyacht Australia, The Australian International Marine Export Group, Abell Point Marina, AWL Grip, Boat Style, BSE Maritime Solutions, Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard, Pantaenius Yacht Group, Penske Power Systems, Rivergate Marina & Shipyard who returned as major sponsors for the event and The Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef.
Superyacht Australia would also like to thank the key players in the Tahitian market for their continued support of this event – Etienne Boutin and Cindy Dittrich – Tahiti Ocean, Laurent –Patrick Cornu – Tahiti Superyacht Support, Tehani Fiedler-Valenta – Tahiti Crew, Pascal Bredin – Seal Superyachts Tahiti and Maikai Marina.