Ocean VIP experience

Two very different days on the harbour for Ocean Club guests aboard the luxury charter yacht Caviar featured fine food, free-flowing champagne and cocktails, and ideal racing conditions.

Photography by Roman Liebich

23 February 2023


Ocean Media was proudly the Official Adrenaline Yachts and Charter Program Partner for KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney Season 3, which returned to Sydney Harbour 18 and 19 February 2023.

Thousands of fans lined the waterfront, islands and SailGP Village at Barangaroo, while dozens of private and charter vessels took up positions on the racetrack as part of the Adrenaline program.

Ocean Club hosted their VIP guests on board the immaculately restored 34.4-metre classic motor yacht Caviar to enjoy the on-water action up close and in the lap of comfort.

“It’s impossible to describe the thrill of being so close to the incredible F50 foiling catamarans as they cut through the water at close to 100 kilometres an hour,” said Ocean Media Managing Director, Hillary Buckman. “You just have to experience it for yourself!”

Day 1 commenced under clear blue skies but with the ominous forecast of a notorious Sydney southerly late in the day.


Guests were treated to the scintillating combination of gourmet canapes from PUBLIC Hospitality and SKYY Vodka cocktails, or Lallier Champagne – or both! With the magical backdrop of harbourfront homes and picturesque coves, guests were invited to admire and try on a selection of timepieces from Grand Seiko. By the time racing kicked off at 4 pm, guests were well acquainted and eager to enjoy the spectacle.

From their front-row vantage point, the racing was breathtaking as it was intense – close enough to hear the wind hot the sails of these wave-riding foiling cats and the sailors call out instructions as their yachts passed within centimetres of each other.

Heightening breezes during the afternoon produced brilliant conditions for racing, and rising to the challenge, France SailGP Team scored a clean sweep over three races.

As Caviar made its way back to Pier 2 via the scenic western route, skies darkened and winds up to 93 km/h were reported in the Sydney CBD, leaving vast tracts of the city without power.

While the F50s were being hauled out at their Barangaroo base, a sudden gust hit Canada SailGP Team’s yacht, catching the sail and slamming it into surrounding marquees. Thankfully, nobody was injured. Once conditions allowed, event organisers moved in to assess the impact and made the decision to cancel Day 2 racing.

Come Sunday morning, clear skies and forecasts of mild conditions made for a sublime day on the water for Ocean Club sponsors and guests, who enjoyed a scenic sojourn on Sydney Harbour – minus the racing, but with top-shelf socialising.

Hillary Buckman, Managing Director at Ocean Media, said that even though cancelling the Finals was disappointing for fans and heartbreaking for SailGP, “Sydney put on a stunning day for our sponsors and their guests to enjoy canapés and cocktails on one of the best harbours in the world.

“Without the racing, we had more opportunity to mix and mingle with our guests, speak with them about their yachting experiences, interests and aspirations, and sample incredible caviar from Beluga Farm Caviar, complemented by refreshing SKYY Vodka and Lallier Champagne.

“Our sponsors and guests enjoyed both days, each with a different perspective of the harbour. They told us they enjoyed relaxing, the great ambience on board Caviar, and meeting representatives from other high-end brands with the same ethos of quality, craftsmanship and excellence.”

Greg Haines, Dealer Principal for Princess Yachts Australia was enthusiastic about the racing on Day 1 and just as keen on the harbour cruise on Day 2. “With SailGP, we saw the opportunity to do something special for our clients. Not being into sailing as much as powerboating, it was certainly a new experience for all of us,” he said.

“As the F50s sped past us at 90km per hour up on foils, it was exhilarating. On Day 2, it was great to catch up with colleagues and meet some new people, enjoy beautiful food on a magnificent harbour and watch the Princesses go past!

“We saw the new Y72 we delivered at Christmas and the V55 around Rose Bay, which was an excellent promotion for our brand. They looked at home on Sydney Harbour.”

Head of Grand Seiko in Australia, Vincent Cuche was awe-struck at the speed and close quarters of the racing on Day 1.

“Nothing can prepare you for the speed and agility of the yachts,” he said. “Everybody I spoke to was blown away with the excitement and how close we were to the action.”

Vincent said he was thrilled with the response to Grand Seiko and the collection he presented on both days. “Our watches are simply beautiful and their quality is fantastic to appreciate in natural light. People were really excited to discover the brand and we’re pleased to have a strong interest in many of our models.”

Chris Santon, Head of Burgess Australia, who marvelled at how close they were to the action aboard charter yacht Caviar as part of the Adrenaline program, said “Our clients enjoyed both days on the water, the sailing and the socialising”.

“My guests had never been that close to the racing before. It’s genuinely the Formula One of sailing. The wind was brilliant for really getting the best out of those foiling cats. On both days, there was an eclectic group of people and we all enjoyed each other’s company.

“On the Sunday, we had a really great day getting to know each other. The catering was fantastic and the bar staff really knew what they were doing.  It all flowed, which is to be expected of Ocean Club events, which are always top-notch.”

Hillary Buckman echoed their sentiments, saying, “We are extremely grateful to our suppliers and sponsors for contributing to what has become the ultimate way to experience SailGP on Sydney Harbour.

“It’s such an exceptional, truly global event and we are proud to partner with SailGP through the Adrenaline program, now for the fourth year running. I just can’t wait to watch the next round in Christchurch next month and, of course, the finals in San Francisco in May.”



Ocean Media is grateful for the support of our Ocean Club Elite Sponsors and Ocean Partners.


Elite Sponsors

Aston Martin
CMC Markets
Grand Seiko

Ocean Partners

Princess Yachts
Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard
Pirelli Tecnorib


SKYY Vodka
Caviar Cruises
Beluga Caviar
Public Hospitality

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