Superyachts sail to Gold Coast for Games

(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 re