CALYPSO BAY, QUEENSLAND – “I would give the evening a 12 out of 10 if I could,” said Greg Kohl, attempting to describe the R Marine Jones mega-raft-up at Calypso Bay at the northern end of the Gold Coast Broadwater in early December.
Greg, with his partner Robyn and their friend Gail, arrived aboard their Riviera 43 Flybridge Crescendo.
“The evening just got better and better!” said Greg.
The fun began before midday within the marina bay as the Rivieras assembled for the festivities, 31 to join the raft-up and a blue-hulled Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge in the centre as the stage for entertainers.
“The first surprise was the anchoring,” said Greg. “There were seven Mercedes utes placed strategically on the shore to be used as anchors! The R Marine Jones team carefully tied lines to them to secure the entire raft-up. It was a spectacular beginning.”
Randall Jones explained that the Mercedes utes are a new line for the German manufacturer.
“They were so new that only one of them was street registered,” said Randall. “The remaining six were brought in by truck from West-Star Motors – all the way from Toowoomba!”
Chris Haack said he was not expecting the raft-up to be so detailed.
“Yet when we saw 31 Rivieras and the work in securing them to one another and to the Mercedes utes around the shore, we could understand the care being taken,” he said.
Jeff and Chris Dart had taken delivery of their new Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge Dreamtime just two weeks earlier.
“The weekend was our first adventure on board,” said Jeff. “I had never been involved in a major raft-up before so it was a little daunting at first. The R Marine Jones team were great at helping everyone to join in.”
The revellers settled into the raft-up and moved between the motor yachts, catching up with long-time friends and meeting new people.
A golden sunset heralded the beginning of festivities as platters of food were delivered to every motor yacht.
A duo sang a range of bright music including carols from the cockpit of the Riviera 52 as darkness gathered.
“They were top quality vocalists,” said Greg Kohl.
Then the spectacle began with a laser light show.
“The visual effect was exceptional,” said Chris Haack.
“I have never seen anything like it,” said Greg Kohl.
“Then the light show stopped and we were all so impressed by what we had seen. But there was more to come.”
After a short break, smoke began to drift across the raft-up.
“At first I thought there was a grass fire,” said Greg. “Then I saw it was a smoke machine. The laser show began again and it was even better than the first display as it cut through the smoke. Incredible.”
For all the spectacle of the afternoon and evening, Jeff Dart said the highlight for both him and Chris was meeting all the Riviera family.
“We loved moving between the motor yachts and meeting new people,” said Jeff. “We were also able to catch up with a number of people we have known for some time. And I had an opportunity to talk with the owners of two 525 SUVs to discuss performance and motor yacht handling.
“The Riviera family is a fabulous group of people.”