When David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia – the leading body for the Australian superyacht industry – compliments a harbor, you know it’s truly earned it. “Sydney Harbour is the most stunning deep-water harbor in the world,” he says.
“It’s surrounded by national parks, private coves and beaches, acclaimed restaurants and casinos as well as the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It really has everything within enclosed, protected waters.”
The gorgeous harbor’s Jones Bay Marina will once again host the annual Superyacht Australia Soirée, returning for its fourth year on Saturday 11 March from 2–8pm.
Good anticipates this year’s event will be the most successful and highly attended to date. For the first time, the Soirée will partner with the International Superyacht Society to attract more international attendees now that borders have reopened and travel is relatively back on track.
Despite the recent challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Soirée has seen phenomenal growth over the past few years. “The Australian domestic fleet has grown from 59 to 120 vessels since 2019,” Good says. “The fleet’s largest vessel has increased from 44 meters to 74.5 meters – and now includes nine vessels reaching over 50 meters.”
Superyacht Australia: A taste of the superyacht luxury lifestyle
The highlight of the Soirée is undoubtedly the Yacht Hop. The 400+ invitation-only guests are encouraged to tour and lounge on the vessels, getting an idea of how each one might feel to charter. “It’s an enjoyable way to immerse yourself into the world of yachting,” Good says. He’s anticipating at least 15 participating yachts – possibly more if they’re not being chartered for the day.
“The Soirée also helps introduce newcomers to the industry.”
One of the event’s aims is to promote Australia as an internationally celebrated yachting destination, both for remote, as yet unexplored areas of the continent as well as long-sought-after destinations such as the Whitsundays, a constellation of 74 islands off the Queensland coast – and Australia’s jewel in the crown.
“The Soirée also helps introduce newcomers to the industry,” Good says. Long dedicated to exclusivity, the superyacht lifestyle’s draw is privacy and the ability to set the course and menu to perfectly cater to those aboard.
“The pathway to ownership is almost always through chartering. Most owners will have chartered extensively before making the jump to buying a yacht,” he says. “This event is designed to introduce new charterers into the industry and, in the long-term, they could become owners. There’s an old saying that goes, ‘Every vessel is for sale, for the right offer’.”
Supporting partners and sponsors
In addition to the Yacht Hop and impressive display of superyachts lined up along Jones Bay Marina, guests can peruse a trifecta of luxury cars, courtesy of Scuderia Graziani. They can sample gourmet canapés from Doltone House while sipping award-winning Tyrrell’s Wines, a range of gins from Adelaide-based Pennant Distillery and Glenfiddich whisky with The Whisky Ambassador.
“We enjoy everything the event has to offer – from the glitz and the glamour to the fine wines and, of course, the incredible fleet of yachts available for charter and sale.”
Another big draw is the water toys displayed by Platypus Mats and Water Sports Central. Good anticipates seeing not only ever larger vessels boasting longer range, but also a lot more toys onboard. Think waterbikes, kayaks, jet skis, submersibles and the hottest new must-have – Fliteboards, electric-powered hydrofoils that offer the wild sensation of flying as they skim along just above the waves.
First-time Soirée partner Shute Harbour Marina Resort will showcase a detailed 3D model of the North Queensland development in the event’s Benetti Lounge – the Soirée hospitality hub in recognition of long-term major partner Benetti Yachts. “Guests will be guided through the resort’s various berthing, residential and commercial opportunities,” the property’s Managing Director Sam Wade says. “We’re targeted to open in 2025.”
Soirée broker partner The Yacht Life is part of the event for the second year. For 2023, they’ll present two of the newest charter yachts available in Australia, including what Managing Director Sam Dunleavy calls a stunning 105-foot Monte Carlo vessel – available for chartering in both Sydney and the Whitsundays.
“We love meeting future clients here. The connections we made at last year’s event were invaluable,” he says. “We enjoy everything the event has to offer – from the glitz and the glamour to the fine wines and, of course, the incredible fleet of yachts available for charter and sale.”