The water was warm, the beaches welcoming and the barbecue sizzled. Grey clouds did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of more than 60 excited boaters when a fleet of 21 Riviera sport boats headed north from the Gold Coast for a weekend of fun recently.
Rod and Donna Anderson joined the flotilla in their Riviera M430 Sport Cruiser.
'It’s a great family,' said Rod of their first Riviera Experience. 'The highlight of the entire weekend was simply watching a great group of people enjoying the camaraderie and the environment. Everyone refused to let rain spoil their fun – our fun.'
The R Marine Sport Gold Coast Moreton Bay Experience in November began with a run from the Gold Coast Broadwater to Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island.
Everyone went ashore to the Little Ship game fish club at Dunwich for dinner on Friday evening.
'We could have taken our tenders into the island,' said Ron Manley, 'but the guys at R Marine Sport Queensland wouldn’t have it. They backed up their cruisers to every boat so we could step across under cover. After the party, they brought us all right back to our boats. It can be a little difficult finding your boat in the dark, but the team took all the hassle out of it.'
Bailey and Bev Hunter flew from their home in Melbourne especially for the event.
'Meeting new people is why we enjoy our boating,' said Bailey. 'This is our first Riviera Experience and it was excellent.
'The team from R Marine delivered buckets of prawns to every boat on Saturday afternoon while we were anchored at Myora. There were only me and my wife Bev on board and there were so many prawns we could easily have fed four people!'
Even more important for Bailey Hunter was a feeling of confidence in boating in the area.
'We followed Randall and his team throughout the weekend,' said Bailey. 'We could ask questions at any time. When they delivered the prawns, they came on board and went through the boat again, answering our questions. We learned a lot about our boat during the weekend. It has given us a lot more confidence in boating around the Gold Coast.'
Ron Manley turned the rain and strong winds to advantage.
'Experiencing the boat’s capabilities in wilder weather is important. You would not normally be out in winds up to 40 knots. I’ve owned boats since I was 18 but it is always important to gain more experience. Doing so with a qualified team around you makes all the difference.'