Roger Drake’s genuine passion for putting the ‘customer first’ is no less than legendary in the extremely competitive world of Australian retailing.
But for more than 40 years, Roger has also advocated the importance of building relationships with Australian manufacturers and suppliers as his small family business has evolved into the country’s largest independent supermarket chain.
The man behind the mantra certainly walks his talk – the long-term Riviera owner’s ethos relates equally to his personal choices as it does to his professional dealings.
“The important things to me are service, quality of product and the fact I am absolutely committed to supporting Australian jobs,” says Roger, whose company Drakes Supermarkets today employs almost 6000 people throughout some 60 stores across South Australia and Queensland. “These are the fundamentals that have kept our business alive in Australia.”
The Adelaide-based businessman recently decided to share the purchase of his next Riviera – a new Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht – through the recently launched Boating Partnerships syndicated boat ownership service.
Having previously owned a 4700 Sport Yacht and then a share in a syndicate-owned 5800 Sport Yacht, Roger has developed a close relationship with Boating Partnerships managing director, Tom van Vliet.
“Tom is a good young man and his attention to detail is superb – you can give him a call any time of day or night and he’s happy to help. In as much as I desired to own a share in a Riviera 6000 for all the benefits it offers, in many respects I also wanted to support the individual because he has proven his commitment to customer service,” says Roger.
“I particularly like the fact that, through Boating Partnerships, the number of shares in each yacht is limited, in this case to four, and this really commits me to taking a break from business and using the boat to its full potential.
“There’s nothing better than relaxing on the water – it’s a great way to celebrate a successful week.”
Roger says his decision to move into a new 6000 Sport Yacht was also influenced by Riviera’s passion for excellence.
“It’s also very much a case of admiring the quality of Riviera and the way they have embraced new technology, like the maneuverability of the IPS2-950 pod package is a real asset and will enable me to easily dock the boat with my wife, Wendy … and without a cast of thousands or a skipper,” he says. “That’s a big plus for us.”
The stylish and sophisticated 6000 Sport Yacht features joysticks at the helm and in the cockpit, as well as the full suite of Volvo Penta’s glass bridge navigation features, including Dynamic Positioning System for station-holding, Active Corrosion Protection and Auto-Pilot, as well as full joystick steering whilst underway.
“The new technology simplifies everything and also makes managing the boat so much easier too – systems like CZone mean you no longer have to worry about a whole range of circuits, just one or two touch-screen buttons.
“And if you do run into trouble, or temporarily forget how to operate the systems, you can always call Tom who is always on deck to assist with briefing and training.”
Roger committed to his share in the 6000 at Sydney International Boat Show in August, and its delivery date is mid-2016. He says he’s looking forward to coming to the world-class Riviera factory at Coomera on Australia’s Gold Coast several times throughout its build to get to know the yacht – acclaimed as ‘the ultimate entertainer’ – quite intimately.
Tom van Vliet was clearly humbled when Roger’s comments were relayed to him. He says they reinforce his commitment to Riviera’s own culture of excellence, integrity and unrivalled customer care.
“The Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht is a high-performance vessel akin to a six-star luxury resort – she has clever alfresco lifestyle design, ultramodern technology and palatial appointments,” says Tom. “There is one final share in this particular yacht and it is available to be purchased now.”
Tom says it is very reassuring that Riviera is now introducing a fifth production line to cater for the growing demand for the impressive range of models available across our five distinctive luxury motor yacht collections.
“This confirms that the 480-strong team of designers, engineers and master craftsmen at Riviera, together with the Boating Partnerships crew, remains totally committed on creating for all Riviera and Belize owners: ‘the ultimate boating experience’.
- Boating Partnerships shares the purchase and monthly maintenance of a brand-new Riviera or Belize motor yacht with up to six like-minded partners. It is the only syndication service with the official endorsement and support of Australia’s favourite and most-awarded luxury yacht manufacturer, Riviera.
- An impressive range of new Riviera and Belize yachts are now available through Boating Partnerships and will be based on Sydney Harbour, at Pittwater, the Gold Coast, Whitsundays, Port Stephens and also cruising between Sydney and Hamilton Island.
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