Photography by AIMEX-Superyacht Australia
Superyacht Australia, organisers of the 5th annual Australia Tahiti Superyacht Rendezvous and supporting member companies returned to Australia in high spirits following a very successful Captains lunch and Networking event at Marina Taina, Papeete. The events saw over 200 captains and crew from the superyachts cruising and chartering in the South Pacific region plus key industry stakeholders enjoy some world renowned Australian hospitality.
Captains and crew were thirsty for information about cruising in Australia and understanding the Australian Industry’s capability to service their vessels. The Captains lunch provided the perfect platform for the Australian companies present to promote their infrastructure, facilities, cruising itineraries plus the skills and experience of a very proactive Australian industry.
The Captains appreciated the efforts of the Australian industry to provide such a fantastic opportunity to learn about Australia first hand allowing them to make more informed decisions re their cruising plans for the next 12 to 24 months.
The Rendezvous kicked off 23 June with the VIP Captains lunch held at the Pink Coconut in Marina Taina Papeete.
The event hosted 23 guests, the highlight being the Captains in attendance who were eager to participate and receive updates on what is happening in the Australian superyacht industry. The networking in the room was highly regarded by all in attendance with the Australian companies present forming new alliances and in a lot of cases strengthening old ones.
Feedback suggests several Captains have strong interest in heading to Australia, with some already confirming Australia on their cruising itinerary in the next two years.
The lunch closed at 3pm, some Captains reluctant to leave the Australians and the hospitality this group is renowned for. Many stayed around and waited at the marina for the crew to arrive at 4.30pm for the annual crew cooking competition.
This year in Papeete four superyachts based in the Down Town Marina joined in for the event and Superyacht Australia put a bus on, transferring sixty two crew from the Down Town marina to Marina Taina to join in the marina cooking competition and party.
As always the crew involved in the annual cook off were not content to just rely on their cooking skills, the competition was fierce and highly contested among eight superyachts and their crew. Teams involved included MY La Familia, SY EOS, MY Ultimate Lady, SY Silvertip, MY Party Girl, MY Seawolf, MY Felix and SY Ethereal. Also in attendance at the cook off to cheer on their crew colleagues were MY Sirius and Levante.
Silvertip, keen participants and ambitious fancy dress enthusiasts, joined in for the 3rd year in a row and once again wowed judges with their innovative and creative costumes, Team Oracle AUS – a play on words that amused everyone in the marina, especially the Australians given some members of Silvertip’s crew are competitive Kiwis. Silvertip took away best team costume for the second year in a row.
The quality and the effort that went in to the team’s food and menus was beyond impressive and had the judges requesting recipes to take home. Standout dishes included Vegemite Aioli, Tim Tam based deserts and plenty of lethal cocktails, keeping the judges entertained well-watered and fed as they taste tested their way along the marina to determine the winner.
The teams were also judged on presentation of food, taste and quality of cooking, plus the innovative use of iconic Australian and local Tahitian ingredients. The main prize for the hotly contested competition was a trip for two to the 2018 Australian Superyacht Conference, courtesy of Superyacht Australia and valued at over $5,800. Other prizes included an array of vouchers for dinners at key restaurants on the island, local Tahitian rum and wine and a Safari thanks to the generosity of the local agents in Tahiti.
Taking out the top prize was MY Seawolf who presented a very impressive menu printed in the shape of Australia, with the taste and innovative use of the Australian ingredients stealing the show. The Chef on board wowed the crowd with his Tim Tam Marshmallow invention, putting a spin on the iconic camp food snack and using a Tim Tam in place, a delicious creation that saw the judges voting high.
Second prize went to MY Ultimate Lady, whose vegemite aioli garnish made a hard dish to beat.
Before prizes were announced, guests were privileged to witness a traditional Tahitian dance performance, a great addition to the event thanks to the support of Manoa Rey at Tahiti Tourism. The performance set the tone for the night, the marina was full and all crew spent the night dancing away to the incredibly talented band put on by Maikai Marina in Bora Bora. Crew and Captains in attendance were especially grateful for the hospitality of the Australians and will always remember the day they partied in true Australian style on Marina Taina in Papeete.
Steve Fisher Director of International Business at Rivergate Marina & Shipyard in Brisbane, Chief Judge and Primary Sponsor of the event said
“Seafarers are a hardy lot, but at Friday night’s Australian Tahiti 2017 Superyacht Rendezvous in Papeete, even the most resilient were tested by the conditions – local dancers, a Force Ten rock band, and a fierce competitive spirit in the BBQ cook off, meant that even though most of the 200 crew had quite a bit of pace on by the end of the night, they all literally danced till they dropped.
“The camaraderie amongst all the crew was so contagious, that at about 22.00 hours, a spontaneous clean up started and the crews left the Marina Taina Superyacht dock spotless.
“Rivergate Marina and Shipyard is proud to be associated with such a wonderful group of professional seafarers.”
Steve added “I look forward to seeing everyone again in Brisbane and of course at the 2018 Australian Tahiti Superyacht Rendezvous.”
Key sponsors of this event were the Australian International Marine Export Group, Superyacht Australia, Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, AwlGrip, Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard, Penske Power Systems (MTU), Pantaenius, Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef, The Yard Brisbane and the Australian Trade Commission. Superyacht Australia would not have been able to put this event on without the support of these key businesses in the superyacht industry.
The local superyacht industry in Tahiti also contribute significantly to the overall success of the event, in particular Tehani Fiedler-Valenta owner of Tahiti Crew, Maikai Marina, Tahiti Ocean, Tahiti Yacht Support and Seal Superyachts Tahiti.
Superyacht Australia advise the global superyacht fleet to keep an eye out in the forthcoming weeks for confirmation of next year’s dates.