May 30 - June 5, 2021: Issue 496


Marina of the Year Award Winners Announced: Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay named 'club of the Year'

The 2021 Club Marine Marina of the Year Awards were held Wednesday May 26th at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia which provided a stunning and very appropriate backdrop for the events. A COVID capped, sell-out crowd of over 120 of the industry’s most prominent people enjoyed the event with dozens watching the live feed remotely.  Finalists who couldn’t make the trip from Western Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Cairns and Airlie Beach all joined from their own satellite events via Zoom, with drinks in hand.

18 finalists were in the running for nine hotly contested awards and the recurring theme throughout the acceptance speeches was that the accolades are the result of teams, not assets or individuals.   As Phil McGowen CMM and Marina Manager so eloquently put it when accepting the Marina of the Year Award over 140 berths, for his 5 Gold Anchor Platinum accredited Birkenhead Point Marina, “this is not about the marina, it can’t win it, it is about the people who set this facility apart……it is the best marina in the world, we set the benchmark for Platinum Marinas”.   It was indeed a proud and emotional win for the entire team. 

One of the most celebrated wins of the night went to the Club of the Year winner Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay (RMYC BB).  In accepting the award, Commodore Chris Lee acknowledged that the RMYC BB has undergone a transformation in recent years to create what is now a vibrant, world-class boating lifestyle destination that caters to the needs of all boaters.  He again gave the credit to CEO Jayson McDonald who in true style, passed it on to his team who were all on stage sharing the moment.

In the other big awards, the bespoke Koolewong Marina on the Brisbane Water took out the Marina of the Year under 140 berths.   Owner Les Binkin, recognised the 16-year journey he had been on with his business partner Symantha Suprain when they first bought Marmong Point together before embarking on the development of Koolewong Marina from a greenfield site.  He too gave the credit to the team running the marina and caring for his customers. Les then announced to those present that he had sold the marina to Toby and Ned O’Neill, also in attendance, owners of the Point Piper and Rose Bay Marinas encouraging them to remain close to the MIA and benefit from the leadership and services offered by the peak body. 

Andrew Fenwick, of Fenwicks Marina in Brooklyn NSW dedicated his Best Boatyard under 20 Boats to his father who passed away very recently.  Having developed the site with his father from a greenfield site in the 1970s, Andrew proudly shared the stage with his son Tim who joined the business seven years ago.  Andrew’s acceptance speech was a moving tribute to a true family business.  

Sydney Harbour Boat Storage at White Bay 6 Marine Park on the shores of Balmain NSW, took out the Best Dry Stack Storage Facility award in recognition of its innovative customer service initiatives, ease of booking and exceptional culture around work health safety.  Lorraine Yates, General Manager sang the praises of the business benefits of going through the application process saying, “I would recommend to any marina to go through the Awards submission process as it is a great opportunity to really scrutinise your business performance against criteria and reflect on what is great about it and what can be improved.  We really enjoyed it.”

The coveted Marina World International Marina of the Year Award presented a difficult decision for the judges as the finalists, One15 Marina Sentosa Cove Singapore and Westhaven Marina in Auckland were both exceptional, but very different entries.  One15 Marina Sentosa Cove Singapore was announced as the winner and the very happy Marina Director James Roy was joined by Jonathan Sit Acting General Manager to accept the award, masked up and via Zoom. 

In recognition of successive wins in their categories three of Queensland’s finest marine facilities Coral Sea Marina, Rivergate Marina & Shipyard and Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina were inducted into the Hall of Fame for successive wins in their categories. 

The full list of Award winners and finalists for the Club Marine Marina of the Year Awards 2021 are:

  • Best Marina Restaurant: Waterside Bristro, Empire Marina Bobbin Head, NSW
  • Best Community Engagement: South of Perth Yacht Club, WA
  • Best Innovation by a Marina &/or Supplier: Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard, QLD; finalist – Westhaven Marina, NZ
  • Best International Marina: ONE15 Marina Sentosa Cove, Singapore; finalist - Westhaven Marina, NZ
  • Best Dry Stack Facility: Sydney Harbour Boat Storage, NSW; finalist – Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard, NSW
  • Best Boat Yard – Up to 20 Boats: Fenwicks Marina, NSW; finalists – White Bay 6 Marine Park, NSW and South of Perth Yacht Club, WA
  • Club of the Year - Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay, NSW; finalist – South of Perth Yacht Club, WA
  • Best Commercial Marina - Under 140 Boats: Koolewong Marina, NSW; finalist: Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, QLD 
  • Best Commercial Marina over 140 Boats: Birkenhead Point Marina, NSW; finalists – Sanctuary Cove Marina, QLD and Wyndham Harbour Marina, VIC

Hall of Fame Entries this year:

  • Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, QLD for the category Best Commercial Marina - Under 140 Boats
  • Coral Sea Marina Resort, QLD for the category Best Commercial Marina over 140 Boats
  • Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, QLD for the category Best Boat Yard over 20 Boats

About the Marina Industries Association (MIA)

The MIA is the peak body representing the interests of club, recreational and commercial marinas, boatyards and industry suppliers in Australia & the wider Asia-Pacific region.  Working closely with other marina associations around the world, the MIA works in support of developing sustainable marina industries through the delivery of strong leadership, industry guidance, education, accreditation and research.  The MIA has over 300 corporate members and connects over 2,000 industry leaders and decision makers.  75% of members are marinas, clubs and boatyards and over 80% of larger marinas (over 100 berths) in Australia are members of the MIA. 

About the Marina of the Year Awards

The Marina of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate excellence and leadership in the industry and provides important benchmarks for industry and the wider community.  This year there are 11 categories open for submissions with Award winners announced at Marinas21 International Conference & Trade Exhibition.  The Awards are highly sought after and provide finalists and winners great promotional and marketing opportunities.   Further information on the Awards and the categories can be found at

Global Gold Anchor

Gold Anchor is an international accreditation which requires a rigorous assessment of a marina’s services, procedures, and facilities.  It involves an independent audit of 86 criteria across all areas of the business including service, facilities and infrastructure and includes a customer survey.  The accreditation aims to inform consumers as to the level of services and facilities at marinas and to provide marinas with a set of benchmarks to maintain and a pathway for continual improvement.  

The international program has accredited over 200 marinas across 27 countries and is a joint venture initiative between the Marina Industries Association (MIA) and The Yacht Harbours Association (TYHA).  TYHA delivers the Program in the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.  The MIA delivers the Program in Australia, Asia-Pacific and in the USA in association with the Marine Recreation Association (MRA). A complete listing of all Gold Anchor marinas can be found at

International Clean Marina & Fish Friendly

The International Clean Marina Program is an international, voluntary accreditation system for marinas, boatyards, and associated industry operators.  The goal of the Clean Marina Program is to reduce ‘non-point source pollution' associated with boating/marina facilities, and to promote clean water, clean air and thriving marina industry businesses. The program assists operators to protect and enhance inland and coastal waterways by leading them through an independently assessed accreditation process. The program involves an easy-to-follow system to develop valuable environmental management practices and rewards accredited operators with valuable business benefits. 

Fish Friendly is an add on accreditation available to all certified Clean Marinas and has been developed to inform marina managers on how to maximise beneficial fish habitats.  Currently, there are over 60 accredited Clean Marinas and 35 Fish Friendly marinas in the country.  The program continues to grow as marinas realise the risk management benefits of the program and the goodwill it generates with all stakeholders.