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(Australian Associated Press)
Luxury superyachts, complete with fish-friendly golf balls, could be the go-to accommodation for wealthy spectators at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next month.
A fleet of 40 mega yachts will descend on the Gold Coast, providing enthusiasts with the finest accommodation money can buy. Half are expected to be used as a home base throughout the April Games and the remainder for corporate and private entertaining.
Superyacht Queensland chair Cameron Bray says superyachts offer a level of sophistication most of us only dream about. And with a week’s rental ranging from $80,000 to $150,000, the floating palaces are the definition of luxe-living.
“They (superyachts) can be used for a whole range of different purposes. From lavish corporate events to private dining and, of course, accommodation – sleeping up to 12 and ranging from four or six bedrooms,” says Bray.
The 38-year-old manages Australia’s largest fleet of superyachts, and is the industry go-to operator for dignitaries, royalty, superstars and the uber wealthy. Superyachts are, by definition, yachts that are 24 metres or longer and sleep no more than 12 people – plenty of luxury for an elite group of guests.
The entrepreneur says his fleet includes smaller yachts (15m) through to superyachts that range from 24 to 45 metres in length and are built for small groups and living on board for extended periods.
“They’re fully equipped with commercial galleys and crewed to cater to every demand.”
Bray says each superyacht experience is customised, from the menu to the activities and locations demanded by their elite clientele.
Last year, he introduced a new experience to an already extensive catalogue of “big boys’ toys” to include eco-friendly luxury golf – off the back of the superyachts.
“We want to continually evolve and differentiate ourselves. After a while, champagne and oysters can tire – it’s something people have come to associate with yachting – but golf adds a new dimension and creates conversation.
“We imported the first ever ecological and biodegradable golf ball that contains fish food in its core, making it ideal for playing golf in a marine environment.
“They are safe and non-polluting and have also encouraged more business – we know the Chinese in particular have an aversion to water but they also love to play golf, and when paired with a luxury experience it’s exceptionally memorable,” he says.
“We have a high-density golf mat to tee off and an artificial green we hang off the back of the boat so you can do a bit of chipping practice.
“It’s a transferable experience that we can move from yacht to yacht. Even if you’re not a keen golfer it’s something people want to try – it’s an extra sensory and experiential element that appeals to all walks of life,” he says.
Beginning as a deckhand for a Saudi Arabian princess and becoming a seasoned captain and yacht broker; Bray saw an opportunity to modernise Australian superyachts by introducing an all-encompassing management service.
Northrop & Johnson, arguably the global leader of luxury superyachts, came knocking on Bray’s door in 2012. Four years after starting his business they convinced him to rebrand (from Bray Management) and head up their Australian arm.
Bray, a Gold Coast native, says the Commonwealth Games will serve as a prime opportunity to appeal to the yachting sector on global scale.
“The Gold Coast is the ideal base for superyachts in Australia and the Games will help elevate our appeal to international travellers who are more accustomed to sailing the Americas, French Rivera and the Mediterranean,” he says.
Bray says the Queensland superyacht industry, and in particular the Gold Coast, is set to boom post Games now that the city has been added as a clearance port for international vessels.
“Superyachts and vessels entering Australia can now sail directly to the Gold Coast to be cleared by Customs and Immigration, which is set to economically benefit the region,” he says.
Superyacht Australia estimates that by 2021 south-east Queensland will have the largest superyacht industry in Australia, worth $1.128 billion annually.
Tale of two superyachts
Features of the Sahana luxury motor yacht:
36 metre vessel boasts three decks
Black glass exterior mirrors;
Accommodates eight guests
Master cabin has a custom-made floating king-size bed, a black Minotti conversation chair with marble and chrome coffee table, and his-and-her walk-in wardrobes.
A salon with a $30,000 Minotti white range sofa
Imported platinum carpet from Norway
50-bottle Vintec red wine fridge
B&B Italia 2.2-metre round Calacatta marble-and-timber dining table.
Five separate entertaining areas along with outdoor lounges
A dive tank room with compressor, snorkelling equipment
A 6.5-meter Brig Eagle 650 with 225hp Yamaha outboard and an inflatable pool
Features of the Patriot
Traditional French and Versace inspired interior
32-metre vessel is decked out in Versace from dining wear, glassware and cutlery to bedspreads, cushions and even door handles
Accommodates eight overnight guests and up to 47 day guests
2 MTU (1,800HP) engine size
4m Inflatable Aquapro with 175 Mercury yet unit tenders
2x stand-up paddleboards and 8 sets of snorkel equipment
AAP, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Tourism, is publishing a range of newsworthy content in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.