Coomera, Gold Coast, Australia: There was just one thing on David Trask’s mind when he took delivery of his new Riviera 53 Enclosed Flybridge – stamping his name on the one fishing trophy that has eluded him for years.
So he immediately set out to get to better know his beautiful new boat, Big Business.
“We didn’t waste any time getting out on the water and we logged about 200 hours in six weeks,” he told Experience magazine.
The new-generation Big Business – David’s fourth Riviera – is the first Riviera with the powerful twin Volvo Penta IPS 1200 pod drives.
And she has certainly impressed.
“I’m totally happy with the package,” he said. “l can’t believe how nimble she is – she is more maneuverable and nimble than a 35-foot boat … coming home after one outing we even saw 37.2 knots.”
All the practice leading up to the Redcliffe Peninsula Game & Sportfish Club’s hotly contested 2015 Australia Day Tournament saw Big Business bring in 14 marlin, including one of about 180-pound in waters off Queensland’s Lady Musgrave Island.
“That’s where the joystick in the cockpit and Sport Fish mode comes in very handy,” said David.
And then came D-Day – the first competitive outing for the new Big Business – and the one tournament that David desperately wanted to mark off his hit-list.
“I fish a lot of billfish tournaments and have won quite a few but in 13 years I have never won this one,” he said. “But this year we did win … although we did run neck and neck with quite a few other boats for the whole weekend.”
For the three days of fishing in this tournament, Big Business tagged four black marlin and weighed two mahi mahi, securing the titles of Champion Boat over 7.5-metres as well as Champion Boat Overall and Champion Team Overall.
David’s son, Bryce, also won Champion Junior, receiving trophies, a new dinghy and a tender for his efforts.
David admits he spent two years “procrastinating on the 53” and looking at other designs of boats and had a mix of emotions when he listed his previous Riviera 51 Flybridge for sale at R Marine Jones at Coomera.
Of course he was sad to see her go – the 51 Open Flybridge has been an integral part of the Big Business team which has really stamped its authority on big game fishing tournaments throughout South East Queensland for the past eight years.
“But the stickers on the transom were starting to fade so it was time for her to go,” joked David.
He says the full-beam master stateroom was one of the biggest drawcards for the 53 Enclosed Flybridge
“Nobody else does a full beam stateroom unless (and until) you crack the 70-foot range,” he said. “Another thing I really like about the 53 is the fully enclosed bridge because that’s ideal for long-distance passage-making, especially in foul weather.
“And now that our kids are getting older and there’s only a little time before they leave the nest, I want to do some longer trips with them while we still have the opportunity … so the time was right to go Enclosed.
“The new galley layout in the 53 is also perfect for back-deck entertaining, with the large awning window meaning whoever is in the galley will not feel left out of the conversation if they have to prepare food while we are entertaining our friends.
“That’s the best thing about the Flybridge – you get the best of both worlds. They are great for fishing … and for family time – we’ve had some great trips and we are really comfortable when we finish for the day, start to relax and get ready for the next day.
“Where we live we also have a bridge to contend with so a boat any larger than the new 53-foot Riviera was going to be an issue – all in all, the 53 pretty much ticked every box!”
David’s love of boats was obvious from an early age. He applied for his boat licence the day he turned 16 and was soon racing across the water with his brother, Bob. Their success throughout Queensland led to them entering the Australian Formula One series in 1995 and they later stepped up to the world UIM Formula One circuit – Bob starting in 2003 and David in 2004 under the Trask Brothers Racing banner.
History records that David made quite an impact at the sport’s highest level. Against very well funded teams of mainly professional drivers and teams, David secured the Rookie of the Year crown in 2004 with 11th place, and in his best season, 2006, finished fifth before retiring from pro race driving to focus on property development in 2009.
“It’s like racing a Formula One car on a ploughed field,” says David of competing at the penultimate level of power boat racing, where the boats are no more than tiny carbon fibre capsules on two narrow hulls, propelled across the water by a 380 horsepower outboard.
“The objective is to keep the hull out of the water as much as possible – the boat simply skips across the surface.”
David is Managing Director of Trask Development Corporation – an award-winning residential property development business with a string of successful projects to its name, and many more ahead. Two of TDC’s current projects include Sanctuary on Alma on the site of Brisbane’s former Alma Park Zoo, and River Breeze, a limited release estate in Griffin with views to the Brisbane City, Moreton Bay and D’Aguilar Mountain Range.
The fact he’s no longer traversing around the globe on the Formula One circuit means he has more time for his other much-loved recreational pursuit: big game fishing and spending time with his family and friends.
In fact David, wife Kristen and children Breeanna and Bryce, spend as much time on the water as business and other commitments allow.
“Kristen and the kids all love fishing,” says David. “The kids have won several tournaments in their own right.”
Willing to share any secrets?
“I believe the key to success in game fishing is observation skills. You need to know the fish’s feeding habits. You need to know where the lures have to be and remember what works best. I remember a while ago we were fishing close to another boat with a big reputation. We got nine fish in one day – he got none. He couldn’t work out what we were doing. We were so close to them, yet we had all the action.”
David admits he was hooked on the big game fish-handling abilities of the Riviera Flybridge collection from the moment he stepped up from trailer boats and on to his Riviera 39, Obsession, in 2001.
“I remember when I was looking for my first big boat and I was looking around with my wife and, because I was pretty young at the time, people tended not to take me too seriously as someone who could afford a boat of that calibre,” he said.
“I was 31 years old when we called into R Marine at Coomera and we were finally treated like real buyers. I originally wanted a 43 Flybridge but I was convinced to start smaller with the 39 … and then step up. About 18 months to two years later I found out that 47/01 was coming up for sale at a good price, and she only had 160 hours on her – I was in.”
And so Big Business was born.
“The Big Business name came about because I figured if anyone rang my office looking for me while I was fishing, my PA could tell people that I was out on ‘Big Business’,” said David.
So what is it, for you, about fishing?
“I began fishing with my Dad when I was four years old,” says David. “He had a 14-foot Yaltacraft and we parked it at the 13th pylon from the mainland of the Bribie Island bridge; same place every time. It was a top fishing spot.
“We were just two pylons away from the main channel and one day I saw a big cruiser go past – I told Dad that one day I would own a boat like that.”
David’s Dad (Ed) still loves being on the water, although he prefers bottom fishing or simply cruising to joining David on his regular marlin missions.
David said the new New Zealand owners of his much-loved 51 Flybridge would be well-served of this proven fishing yacht, which has a long list of tournament wins associated with her.
So as David reminisces about his 51 Open Flybridge, we asked him what’s the most memorable moment she gave.
“It would have to be when Bryce drove all the way from Tangalooma back to Redcliffe and pulled in at the dock – he was only 10,” David replied proudly.
But even though he has many fond memories of the 51, he said the entire family is very much looking making many more memorable moments aboard the new yacht.
As David says: “It’s going to be even BIGGER BUSINESS!”