COOMERA, QUEENSLAND – The 600-strong team of craftspeople at Riviera is celebrating following the seventh annual four-day Riviera Festival of Boating in late May and Riviera’s staring role at the 30th Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show as one of the largest exhibitors.
Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst addressed the team following the Festival and Sanctuary Cove Boat Show to thank them for their tireless commitment to Riviera and to announce that we have welcomed 17 new motor yacht owners to the Riviera family from across the two events many of whom were current owners.
“The World Premieres of our magnificent new Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht and the sporty and adventurous new 395 SUV were part of our seven-model red carpet showcase at Sanctuary Cove that included the 52 Enclosed Flybridge, 6000, 5400 and 4800 Sport Yachts and the latest Belize 54 Sedan. Each of these fine yachts met with stunning compliments from hundreds of display visitors. We repeatedly heard from visitors at that display that our yachts were the best in show which is very gratifying to hear and a just reward for our teams phenomenal efforts.”
“It is particularly satisfying to note that we welcomed new owners from across Australia, New Zealand and south-east Asia and all four of Riviera’s collections: Sport Yachts, Flybridge models, SUVs and Sports Motor Yachts.”
View our highlights film from the 2018 Festival of Boating by clicking the arrow button above
Saturday celebration Caribbean-style
The four-day Festival reached a pinnacle with the Saturday evening spectacular Gala celebration of the Riviera Family and the luxury motor yachting lifestyle.
More than 600 guests were treated to the sights, rhythms and music of the Caribbean in a showcase that began perfectly with the hit Beach Boys song Kokomo.
The song may have stated: “We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow”. There was nothing slow about the evening’s entertainment that included dancers, fire artists, battling pirates and the band that channeled the Cuban ensemble the Buena Vista Social Club.
The evening of celebration began on the waterfront of the Riviera facility as guests enjoyed drinks, mingled and then watched in awe as a helicopter searchlight heralded the arrival of the World Premiere Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht that danced on the water for the crowd before heading back into the darkness. Then the second World Premiere Riviera 395 SUV arrived and led the guests to the Riviera Caribbean Club room for further festivities.
A delicious three-course dinner and matched fine wines was served and the entertainment ended with guests on their feet and dancing the night away.
Focus on education
A strong focus on education over the four days saw Riviera and Belize owners attend 40 individual seminars and workshops, ranging from weather forecasting and voyage planning to radar systems, maintenance and on-board meal preparation. Riviera owners Jason Squire and Colin Crisp impressed at seminars sharing their experiences of extended offshore cruising.
A particularly popular event was the driving and walking tours of the 14-hectare Riviera yard, with some of the company’s most experienced craftsmen as guides. The tour took guests from hull lamination, engineering where engines, generators and electrical and plumbing systems are installed and on to the automated timber and stainless steel fabricating facilities and cabinetry assembly. Each tour concluded at the final fitout area where boats are prepared for delivery to their new owners.
Robin and Jeff Lyall, visiting from their home in southern California, joined a tour and were particularly impressed by the attention to detail in every boat being built.
“The facility is amazing,” said Jeff. “The quality of the builds is extraordinary. Our guide did a great job in explaining every step of the process.”
Tracey Cain and Donna White agreed the factory tour was “absolutely amazing”.
Many owners took advantage of on-water workshops to learn more about Volvo Penta’s IPS pod drive systems and refinements to skippering their motor yacht.
West Australian Reg Toohey said: “After 30 years of owning Rivieras, I thought I knew everything about anchoring and towing. The on-water seminar was an eye-opener. I will take these techniques home to apply on board my new Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge.”
Reg’s 52 Enclosed Flybridge was a part of our red-carpet showcase at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. Thank you Reg.
David Middlebrook took a number of lessons from the very popular Tips and Tricks seminar.
“Most important, I learned the correct way to clean the teak on my 445 SUV,” he said.
Michelle attended the fire emergency workshop and was quick to step forward to test her skills.
“With the tips and support of the tutor, I was surprised how quickly a fire can be extinguished,” she said.
Guests took advantage of Riviera’s many expert business partners who provided information and demonstrations within the Festival Village near the waterfront.
Another popular gathering place was the waterfront Riviera Cafe which served a variety of mouth-watering dishes and drinks throughout the four days.
Guests enjoyed an on-water red-carpet display of eight of the very latest Riviera and Belize motor yachts. With so many new models, Riviera expanded its on-water display this year to a seven-model showcase at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, including two World Premieres, the magnificent 72 Sports Motor Yacht and the first under-forty-foot motor yacht from Riviera in a decade, the sporty and adventurous 395 SUV. A complimentary VIP on-water transfer was kept busy over all four days taking guests between the two venues.
Champagne and pink diamonds
A Ladies Luncheon on Friday was attended by 80 Riviera owners enjoying a presentation by famed jewellers Hardy Bros with a display of the rare and precious Argyle pink diamonds. The afternoon concluded with a salon-style parade of the latest fashions from Tracey Watkins, designer and founder of one of Australia’s most sought-after and loved fashion labels, White Label Noba.
Rodney Longhurst told the Saturday evening Riviera family gathering: “The most important thing we do every day is think about you, the Riviera Family. That includes everyone here tonight, our worldwide Dealer representatives, our business partners and all the wonderful people around the world who put their trust in us, the people who own Riviera and Belize motor yachts.”
He said the Festival had been established in 2011 to provide a social and educational environment for Riviera and Belize owners to gain greater knowledge and confidence in their motor yachts and in themselves.
“We continue to refine our seminars and workshops to provide the very best education, reflecting the changing requirements and technologies for our owners,” he said.