The seventh annual Riviera Festival of Boating concluded on Sunday after four days of boating educational workshops and social functions for more than 1,200 Riviera and Belize owners and their families.
A strong focus on education over the four days saw guests attend 40 individual seminars and workshops, ranging from weather forecasting and voyage planning to radar systems, maintenance and 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 fully-guided 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 the automated timber varnish facility, through hull lamination, engineering where engines and electrical and plumbing systems are installed, and on to the stainless steel fabricating facility and cabinetry assembly. Each tour concluded at the final fit out area where boats are prepared for delivery to their new owners.
Robin and Jeff Lyall, visiting from the 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.”
Many owners took advantage of the on-water workshops to learn more about their engine and drive systems particularly the refined and fuel-efficient Volvo Penta IPS pod drive system. In this same workshop techniques were demonstrated and practiced to build on their skills in skippering their motor yacht.
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 new techniques home to Western Australia and my new Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge.”
Guests also took advantage of Riviera’s many expert supplier partners who provided information and demonstrations at the Festival Village near the waterfront.
Another popular gathering place was the waterfront Riviera Cafe which served a variety cuisines and drinks throughout the four days overlooking a grand showcase of eight motor yachts.
The Riviera VIP on-water transfer was kept busy over all four days taking registered guests between Riviera and Sanctuary Cove.
Heralding a return to the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, a spectacular on-water red-carpet showcase gave visitors the opportunity to inspect seven of the very latest Riviera and Belize motor yachts – 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.
Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst was indeed humbled by the show feedback: “Consistent comments from visitors to the Riviera display at Sanctuary Cove was overwhelming.
“Our team was repeatedly told that Riviera was declared the significantly finest motor yachts at the show. The superior finish, exceptional design and advanced technology they said are all truly world-class. As a result, we were honored at the show by the confidence of more than 17 new boating aficionados who desired to join our global family of boat owners.”
Ladies Luncheon on Friday was attended by 80 Riviera owners enjoyed a presentation by famed jewellers Hardy Bros with a display of the rare and precious Argyle pink diamonds. The afternoon also featured a salon 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.
The Festival reached a pinnacle on Saturday evening with a spectacular Gala celebration of the Riviera Family.
More than 600 guests were treated to the sights, rhythms and music of the Caribbean in a theatrical production that was filled with a wide genre of music and dance, vibrant costumes and theming.
The evening’s entertainment included fire dancers, battling pirates stunning choreography and the band that channeled the Cuban ensemble the Buena Vista Social Club.
Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst told the Saturday evening enthusiasts: “Every day at Riviera our global family and their boating needs are top of mind. That includes everyone here tonight, our worldwide Dealer network, 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 single venue for Riviera and Belize owners to gain greater knowledge and confidence in their motor yachts and themselves.
“We continue to refine our seminars and workshops to provide the very best education, reflecting the changing requirements and technologies for our owners. Its what we call the Riviera ultimate boating experience,” he said.