Queensland’s largest superyacht organisation has assembled a new team to guide it through turbulent waters as it comes of age in 2021.
Longtime member of The Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef Kathleen Ferguson was voted in as chairwoman at the group’s recent annual general meeting, taking over from life member Carrie Carter.
“I am so pleased that my vice-chair for the last two years has been voted in,” said Ms Carter, from Carter Marine Agencies.
“Kathleen shares my passion for the superyacht industry and will continue to do an excellent job leading the group forward and supporting our group manager through the unchartered times ahead.”
Ms Carter said she would continue to support Ms Ferguson, the new executive committee and group manager Joanne Drake.
“This industry has been my life for the last 25 years,” Ms Carter said.
Ms Ferguson, Business and Administration Manager of Trinity Fire Services, said she was honoured to take over the role and looked forward to “harnessing economic growth opportunities for our members”.
Other new faces on the executive are Carol Harris of Super Yacht Logistics and James Blee of North Qld Superyacht Marine Tours, both former superyacht crew members with years of industry experience.
Ms Ferguson said 2020 had been one of the most unexpected years ever endured by the superyacht industry.
“We have been inspired by the remarkable efforts of our members to overcome the challenges of the last eight months. Their courage, determination and innovation in the midst of such turmoil and change has been admirable.
“Our Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef members have risen to the challenge of enduring Covid-19 restrictions in creative, interesting and sometimes unexpected ways — from manufacturing hand sanitiser to organising home deliveries of their best cuisine.
“This year history was rewritten. Accordingly, we rewrote our marketing strategies to target the current refit and maintenance market and safe homeporting aspects our region offers in such beautiful surroundings,” Ms Ferguson said.
“In doing so, we have held strong on all fronts and seen a remarkable uptake in our yards visitation. BSE Cairns Slipway lifted out three superyachts on the new 1120 t Mobile Boat Hoist and we are seeing many more inquiries.”
Another mariner to join Super Yacht Group GBR, Angela Pyatt, has filled the role of assistant to the manager after five years working on international yachts.
She is charged with enticing super yachts to the Great Barrier Reef and supporting the manager and membership.
“It's time for me to transition to shore based, and joining the Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef is a perfect fit for me as I continue to work within this dynamic industry, promoting my home to the world's elite,” Ms Pyatt said.
Manager Joanne Drake said it was an important transition for the group and industry as it negotiated the COVID crisis. “Collaborating with a team that has a background in this niche sector is crucial to our industry and we look forward, with renewed vigour, to 2021 and the opportunities that will become available within the current landscape”.