AN­CHORS AWAY

Abell Point Ma­rina re­ceives world-class award sta­tus

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Rory Sheavils Rory.Sheavils@apn.com.au

ABELL Point Ma­rina is mov­ing into its golden years – quite lit­er­ally.

The ma­rina is the first in the world to be awarded five gold an­chors, the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dard un­der the Ma­rine In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion’s new ac­cred­i­ta­tion scheme.

Ma­rina owner Paul Dar­rouzet said they had worked hard to make the ma­rina what it was to­day, say­ing they had started with one an­chor.

“It was a big, fat, old, rusty plow an­chor and it was around our neck,” he said at the pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mony.

“And what it had done was drowned this busi­ness twice.”

Mr Dar­rouzet said he had re­fused to visit the ma­rina after a stay in 2008.

“And a num­ber of my friends had been here in 2013,” he said.

“They said the whole ex­pe­ri­ence was about as much fun as hav­ing a colonoscopy dur­ing our re­cent earth­quake.”

To­day, the ma­rina is highly re­garded both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“There’s 99% leave with a good vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence and the other 1%, well, you can’t please all of the peo­ple all of the time,” Mr Dar­rouzet said.

Ma­rine In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion CEO Colin Brans­grove said the scheme had a rig­or­ous cri­te­ria, fea­tur­ing 101 as­sess­ment items.

“We phys­i­cally speak to peo­ple that have brought boats here and had that first hand ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

With Abell Point Ma­rina be­ing the first five gold an­chor ac­cred­ited in the world, Mr Brans­grove said it was fit­ting. “It’s fan­tas­tic,” he said. “It’s also very sig­nif­i­cant re­gion­ally in terms of it’s con­tri­bu­tion to the re­gional econ­omy.

“It’s a des­ti­na­tion in it’s own right.

“What they’ve cre­ated here re­ally op­ti­mises the fu­ture of mari­nas.”

Mr Dar­rouzet said their staff had played a big part in mak­ing the ma­rina so suc­cess­ful.

“We’ve got a great bunch here,” he said.

“They ar­rive early and they leave late.

“They un­der­take work way out­side their pay grade.”

Man­ager Luke McCaul said when he brought up the ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­gram un­der the pre­vi­ous own­ers, staff had laughed it off as a joke.

“And that was the prob­lem with the pre­vi­ous own­ers, they didn’t have vi­sion,” he said.

“And I must say, our fo­cus wasn’t to achieve the five gold an­chor award, it was to de­velop a prof­itable and sus­tain­able busi­ness.

“What drives our busi­ness? It’s happy and re­turn­ing cus­tomers.”

With strong for­ward book­ings and the moor­ings al­most at ca­pac­ity, it seems Abell Point Ma­rina has achieved this in spades.

PHOTO: RORY SHEAVILS

THAT’S GOLD: Ma­rine In­dus­tries As­so­ci­a­tion CEO Colin Brans­grove with Abell Point Ma­rina owner Paul Dar­rouzet and man­ager Luke McCaul cel­e­brate the ma­rina’s five gold an­chor ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TOP SPOT: Abell Point Ma­rina has been named the world's first five gold an­chor ac­cred­ited ma­rina by the Ma­rine In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion.

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