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Gold Coast Marine Expo - Winner Trish enjoys ‘best holiday ever’ - Clipper's beautiful
Trish W recalls racing for the phone in Melbourne to register her details – not really expecting a result but thinking: “Well … you DO have to be in it to win it!”

Luckily she did – she now admits her Gold Coast Getaway was the ‘best holiday …ever’!

“I don’t usually enter competitions but I was watching the Today Show on Channel 9 and they were offering an awesome Gold Coast holiday as part of the Gold Coast International Marine Expo promotion,” said Trish.

“So I entered … and I won. I was ecstatic – it’s just something I thought never really happens – well, not to me anyway!”

Trish’s prize included three fantastic nights and four days aboard a Clipper Cordova 60 – a luxurious motor cruiser with timeless design and complete with all the trimmings – the trip hosted by Drift Boat Management in partnership with Gold Coast International Marine Expo.

“It was an awesome surprise to win,” said Trish. “And it really was the trip of a lifetime!”

Joining Trish for the Clipper cruise were her husband Sandy and friends Naomi, John and Rachel, with Melanie Smith the friendly host from DBM and Clipper’s Master Class 5 skipper Jeremy Cooper on-board to cater for their every need.

Even the legendary Queensland weather came to the party – with warm and sunny days making for memorable watersports adventures around the Gold Coast Broadwater, courtesy of Experience Oz.

“We had arrived on the Gold Coast early to have two nights in Broadbeach before getting a limousine up to the Gold Coast City Marina … it was a great start to a great holiday!”

Trish said there were many memorable moments throughout the Clipper cruise, not least of which was riding the Flyboard with Jetpack Adventures, an adrenalin-pumping personal watercraft accessory which made its Australian premiere at the 2014 Expo, and featured several times on national TV as part of the Expo marketing campaign.

“I was both anxious and scared to start with,” admits Trish. “I had initially decided not to do the Flyboard but then everyone else rode it so well that I had to try … and it was the most fun thing to do.

“John and Rachel are experienced snowboarders … so they found it very easy. I managed to stay up one time for about six seconds … and it was really awesome.”

Trish said none of the holiday-makers were ‘real boaties’, although Naomi’s brother had a trailer boat … so that made her the best qualified from everyone other than the hosts, Mel and Jeremy.

However, Trish said, everyone appreciated the fine workmanship that goes into every Clipper Motor Yachts Cordova 60.

“It really is a beautiful boat,” she said. “And it’s big … there’s plenty of room. My first impression was probably the one that sticks with me most – having lunch up on the flybridge with views of fantastic scenery.

“I was very impressed by the hydraulic swim platform too, and the luxurious accommodation – Sandy and I stayed in the master cabin amidships while John and Rachel stayed forward in the guest cabin and Naomi had the third cabin to herself.

“Mel and Jeremy also stayed aboard – Mel in the crew quarters and Jeremy on a guest bunk … and there was plenty of room for everyone.”

Trish said she really enjoyed the first day, when the Cordova 60 made its way to Bum’s Bay on the Gold Coast Broadwater, where calm weather set the scene for swimming before relaxing with some cocktails specially prepared by Mel from DBM.

But that was just the start of the fun.

“First thing every day we got up and were presented with a beautiful breakfast of tropical fresh fruit that Mel had created, and we enjoyed that up on the flybridge overlooking some fantastic scenery.

“We got to go Ocean Jet Boating and Parasailing thanks again to Experience Oz and one night we even moored outside five-star Palazzo Versace for a meal at the fantastic restaurant Vie, which was absolutely sensational.

“I’m a vegetarian so I really loved the Greek cheese salad and the

blue cheese gnocchi … while the others made the most of the fine dining, especially the wallaby tart.

“We had quite a few cocktails there as well … it was very special.”

Another highlight of the holiday was an enjoyable ocean cruise north to Moreton Island for lunch at the Tangalooma Resort, topped off with a dash of dolphin-feeding.

“That was really special too,” she said. “It was an amazing experience to hand-feed dolphins – they really are beautiful creatures.”

Trish said her last holiday to the Gold Coast was about 10 years ago, but this time she got to see an entirely different side to Australia’s domestic holiday playground.

“I will definitely go back,” she said. “In fact I have the Gold Coast International Marine Expo dates (21-14 May 2015) already penciled into my diary.”

And will she be bringing her friends?

“Well I guess they owe me a favour … it WAS the best holiday ever!”

Photo : GC Marine Expo
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