26 October 2022
The much-anticipated Interior Motives lunch dedicated to interior crew was held at the private dining room at Chiswick Woollahra on 18 October 2022.
Spring was in the air, and the decor and views from the Matt Moran-owned restaurant situated on the edge of Chiswick Gardens offered a menu that was “ripe with elegant simplicity”, according to the chef.
Guests represented both private and charter yachts based in Sydney, bringing with them decades of expertise managing superyachts in Australia, the Mediterranean and the US.
This year’s event was generously hosted by the Sydney Superyacht Marina, Quality Marine Clothing, Superyacht Crew Academy and Boat Style.
“The strong theme of this year’s Interior Motives seemed to be the stabilisation of the industry, with restrictions over and the Asia-Pacific region now open for cruising,” said event founder, Sarah Egan, Director of Boat Style.
“This event is totally dedicated to crew to really relax and share their experiences, swap stories and learn from each other.”
As Sarah explained, “The Australian yachting industry is becoming sophisticated as a result of the mix of experienced crew returning to our shores and a new generation of crew keen to meet the changing expectations of charter guests and owners seeking adventure charter.
“Owners and clients want to try expanded itineraries, multigenerational charters and crew are eager to accommodate them.”
She continued, “From a COVID perspective, it was clear how lucky we are in this corner of the world. Yacht owners and charter guests are getting out to explore our own waters and we are welcoming more foreign-flagged superyachts again.”
Chiswick turned on a sumptuous spread that included delectable share platters, complemented by quality French and Australian wines – the ideal combination to get to know each other and savour being guests on this occasion.
The menu included morsels such as Kingfish crudo with cucumber, horseradish and fig leaf dressing, Bannockburn chicken with spring brassicas and mustard jus, Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with glazed beetroot and mint salsa, followed by a fruity profusion of spring berries, Eton mess and wattle seed chantilly cream for dessert.
Boat Style expertly decorated the room with wildflower posies and strewn blooms, and the signature jewel and floral garlands were a hit.
It was the first Interior Motives for Olivia Losurdo, Chief Stewardess aboard One-O-One, who said she enjoyed making new connections and hearing from the other guests about their forecasts for the summer charter season ahead.
“It was a great day and I appreciated meeting people who’ve worked in the Med and getting their insight,” she said.
With her 30-plus years of experience, Kate Falconer, owner and operator of the 20-metre charter catamaran Coast, was impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the next generation.
“It’s always nice to mingle and meet new people every year and this year was just amazing! It was a lovely group, excellent for networking in the true sense and learning something new.”
Kate has many years of experience working in Europe and said she still finds Australian charter guests “a breath of fresh air”.
“We host a lot of corporate charters and our guests are genuinely appreciative of our efforts. They enjoy the experience of being on the water and all the little details that go into making a charter exceptional.
“The Australian yachting industry is really evolving and it’s exciting to be in the thick of it.”
Debbie Leenderts heads up the charter and recruitment division of Chapman Yachting and has attended many of the industry events for captains, but this was her first time at an Interior Motives lunch.
“The venue was ideal for a superyacht crew lunch – the ambience was just perfect,” she said.
“It was great to speak with some of the newer crew about their expectations and the realities of the Australian industry. I spent the first 10 years of my career working as a chief stew in the Med, so I was happy to advise them on contracts and their career direction.”
The thorn among the roses this year was Duncan Curnow, Director at Quality Marine Clothing. “It was tough being among such a fantastic group of lovely women!” he said of the event.
“It’s an important opportunity to recognise the interior crew who run the show. As a sponsor, we feel it’s vital to give back to the industry and we hope in return they recognise us as one of the major suppliers of quality uniforms.”
Sponsor, Clemens Overdijk, Marina Manager at Sydney Superyacht Marina said “The Sydney Superyacht Marina recognises the unique role of Chief Stews onboard and values the opportunity to listen to feedback and emerging trends so that we can further enhance our services and the client experience.
“What better way to get to know the new crew, foster relationships and enjoy Matt Moran’s gastronomy!”
Greg Newby, Director of the Superyacht Crew Academy, based at Warriewood on Sydney’s Northern Beaches was pleased to come on as a sponsor of this year’s event.
“It’s a networking event we’ve wanted to be involved with for a long time,” he said. “It’s a very good fit for us. We offer introductory courses for the superyacht industry, including Interior Training at an entry-level. Our courses equip aspiring crew with the basic skills and knowledge. From there, the chief stew can work with them.
“It was great to meet experienced chief stewardesses and get their feedback and discuss what we do and how we can help them attract crew in the future.
“We were keen to hear what they thought about our courses in such a changing climate, with a lot more rotation happening these days. It was useful to put faces to names and be involved.”
Following this year’s Interior Motives luncheon, Sarah Egan is looking ahead to 2023 and working with industry colleagues to schedule more of these much-anticipated and appreciated collaborations.