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A STORY ABOUT A BOAT… AND LOTS OF FISHING Some five years ago, Ron and Sandy Burges decided on a sea change semi retirement. Mandurah, approx 90kms south of Perth, was their destination. Once a quiet seaside retirement town with a population of about 30,000 permanent residents, Mandurah is a popular spot, with holidaymaker numbers in excess of 20,000 on busy weekends and holidays. Mandurah now boasts a permanent population of over 60,000 and was recently voted the fastest growing city in Australia. Mandurah’s environment consists of ocean, large estuary, some 80 kilometres of long winding rivers and a canal system to rival the Gold Coast.“So what’s all this got to do with boats and fishing?” you ask. Read on and we will tell you exactly why.Ron and Sandy are fortunate to live on the main canal that feeds from the Indian Ocean to the estuary. Ron would spend his time looking at the passing convoy of crafts that would travel by daily. One day, an unusual but very practical and stable craft that resembled a floating cocktail lounge passed by. Complete with party on board, Ron exclaimed “that’s me!” His wife Sandy, a reluctant boatie, was easily convinced and was soon a keen convert. The boat was a SunTracker 18’ Party Barge, and as there was no agency currently selling these particular models (which were made especially for saltwater), enquiries led the now desperate buyers to Tracker Marine Group in Springfield Missouri. After a few emails an order was placed, then off to the USA Ron and Sandy jetsetted for the yearly seminar for Tracker Marine group USA. Expecting a small to medium size company, Ron and Sandy were overwhelmed at what they had become involved in. Tracker Marine Group USA, employing 7000 people in the USA and one of the biggest boat builders puts the icing on the cake! Suntracker is only one brand of a huge range Tracker has to offer. There are some 10 models of the Suntracker party pontoon from 5.25 m to the whopping 12 m, complete with galley, sundeck and slippery dip! Yep, they think of everything when it comes to the Party Pontoons. They also met up with a guy by the name of Kevin Van Dam, and Classic World Champion Rick Clunn, Worlds Greatest Angler. These guys fish from Nitro Performance Bass Boats — these fibreglass machines come in a stunning array of colours and models. Tracker Boats Aluminium fishing boats are also world number 1 selling, with over 15 models in total there is one sure to suit. The fast and furious Tahoe is the fastest growing brand in America — these fibreglass bowriders have colours that outnumber any comparable brand. Life looks better in a TAHOE! Not to forget of course the world-renowned Mako Offshore Fishing Boats, from 17’ to 32’. These tough boats speak for themselves, walk-arounds to cabin cruisers are all part of the Tracker Marine Group. Ron and Sandy, as you can imagine, came back to Australia excited and the Australian Distributor to boot. This was now 4 years ago, and haven’t a lot of boats passed under the bridge since? Tracker Boats Australia has been busy establishing dealers all over Australia, from the Northern Territory to Tasmania, as well as Queensland and even a little further afield to Matamata New Zealand! Bruce Milne, National Marketing Manager, is still appointing dealers on the East Coast. In 2006 Tracker Boats Australia were the proud recipient of the International Dealer of the Year award and this July 2007 a conference was held at the picturesque Lake Tahoe — not only did they receive this prestigious award again to beat 10 other countries, they were placed in the top 25 in the USA. Not an easy task with 500 dealers to compete with. For people trying to slow down they have certainly got plenty on! When asked “what’s next?” Ron and Sandy replied; “We would like to stay No 1 and sell good quality boats at great value prices… and a bit more fishin’ of course!”


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