Photography by Ocean Creative House
07 December 2023
At the 2023 Horizon Rendezvous held at Coral Sea Marina Resort, Airlie Beach, Highfield Boats operated as support, chase and luxury tender vessels for the 100 Horizon owners and guests.
Towed behind the Horizon RP 100, the Highfield Sport 660 and Sport 700 handled the wake with ease as the convoy of eight Horizon superyachts headed to Whitehaven Beach on the third day of the Rendezvous.
The Highfield Sport 660 powered by a Yamaha 175 hp engine, and the Highfield Sport 700 with a 200 hp Yamaha engine were a vital part of the expedition equipment, and a whole lot of fun!
Following the tradition from the past four editions of the Horizon Rendezvous, the fleet lined up under dramatic skies with the idyllic backdrop of the dazzling white silica strip of Whitehaven Beach, and raced.
The two Highfield RIBs shadowed the fleet, ripping along at 40 knots, with the drones and helicopter for Riptide Creative hovering above, capturing the race and the incredible natural wonders of a truly special cruising ground.
Once the contest came to a conclusion – victory and bragging rights going to the 24.5-metre Horizon E84, Le Bateau – and the Horizon fleet was moored calmly in the crystalline lagoon, the Highfields really came into their own, transporting guest and their gear to shore.
Chris Steffens and Marie Northcott from Northside Marine, representatives from official Highfield dealers since March 2023, took the helm of the Highfield 700, ferrying guests to the dazzling white sand which earned Whitehaven the status of TripAdvisor’s “Travellers Choice Best Beach in the World 2021”.
The Highfield Sport 660 was charged with getting the Ocean Creative House photographers and their equipment safely on the sand. At the helm was Brad, who skippered the Horizon RP100 on the journey from Airlie Beach. “It’s a sensational ride,” he commented. “Dry, stable, fast, heaps of room on board.”
In October, Chris Steffens attended the 2023 Highfield Boats Asia-Pacific Dealers’ Conference at the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Weihai, China. “As a new dealer representative, it was fascinating to see the production facilities and meet the team,” he said.
“The factory is high-tech and they do not cut corners. Julien Carussi is a very switched-on CEO and has an impressive business model, as well as the plans in place to achieve it.”
Sharing duties with Chris was his partner, Marie Northcott, who works in Administration at Northside Marine and Brand Support for Highfield, especially at boat shows.
“The more we learn about Highfield Boats, the more we love them,” she said, adding that she and Chris take their family out on Moreton Bay, fishing, crabbing, swimming and camping overnight on Moreton Island.
As representatives for the dealer for Highfield Boats, Chris said events such as the Horizon Rendezvous are vital for brand building and demonstrating the brand’s attributes.
“Events like this are the opportunity to display Highfield RIBs, demonstrate them, show our support to the OEM market, and show that we are committed to servicing them.
“We’re proud of the brand and we want to show people that Highfield boats can cut it in any conditions, with their build quality, on-water performance, comfort and styling. Partnerships such as these allow us to put our best foot forward.”
Mark Western, Director at Horizon Yacht Australia, was impressed with the durability, versatility and performance of the Highfields. “We certainly put them through their paces,” he said.
“We towed the Highfield 700 behind the RP100 from the Gold Coast to Airlie Beach. Because their aluminium hulls make them lighter, you can upsize to a larger model, which actually rides better.
“Highfield boats are good value for money, full of features, the tubes are top quality and you can beach them because of their sturdy hull. It was amazing to see them out on the water with the Horizon fleet in their natural element.”
Northside Marine has recently received shipments of Highfield boats spanning the full range, from the Ultralite 220 to the Sport 660.