MDL Marinas around the country welcomed friends old and new for an action-packed inaugural Marina Day on June 9th. From daredevil action out on the water to crabbing for the little ones, the marinas went all-out to put on a family fun day to remember.
The idea of Marina Day was to highlight the social side of marina life, get people trying new sports out on the water and give neighbours in the community unfamiliar with their local marina the opportunity to find out what it’s all about.
MDL Marinas says that the 2018 festivities are only the beginning. Planning is already underway for an even bigger Marina Day on the 8th June, 2019, with new partners coming aboard to help champion the cause.
This year’s celebrations really showcased the different personalities of the marinas taking part. A highlight was the huge extravaganza put on by the team at Torquay Marina, which attracted 7,000 people to Torquay’s promenade. Guests enjoyed a jaw-dropping flyboarding display, zorbing, jet ski safaris and RIB rides on the water with live music, cocktails, tasty treats from pulled pork to ice cream back on dry land.
RNLI crews from Teignmouth and Torbay brought along their all-weather lifeboat, BBC Radio Devon came along to broadcast live from the event and perhaps most importantly, £1,795 was raised on the day for the 2Mikes1Boat Atlantic charity row in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and the Stand Up Foundation.
Hythe Marina put on a family fun day to remember, with paddle boarding from the Southampton Water Activity Centre (SWAC) fully booked from start to finish. A2Sea’s tireless Mike Lawrence took out boatload after boatload for RIB rides, staying true to his promise to give all passengers a soaking! The Hythe Sea Scouts also caused much hilarity with their dunk tank.
At Chatham Maritime Marina, a lovely day was had out on the pontoons. The little ones were kept entertained with crabbing and face-painting while a highlight for the grown-ups was Pimms o’clock! Everyone was exited to come aboard Hunter, the Border Force’s 20 ft RIB.
Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth stole the crown for the most glorious weather and guests had a grand time checking out beautiful classic cars and the RNLI’s lifeboat. Everyone had fun at the hugely successful boat jumble, with everything from dinghies to buoys offer.
At Northney, grown-ups enjoyed coffees and cakes from the Salt Shack to the tunes of a live saxophonist while the little guests made the most of face-painting, balloon modelling and bags of sweeties, while at Woolverstone, afternoon tea was the order of the day.
Crabbing competitions were held at MDL marinas across the group but it was taken most seriously at Shamrock Quay, with some entrants returning several times and plenty of grown-ups unable to resist the temptation to join in to show the children how it’s done!
Ever hospitable, Ocean Village laid on treat after treat for guests, with bacon rolls in the morning and tables groaning with mountains of cakes for afternoon tea. Showing gusto, we hear that berth holders were still nibbling well into the evening!
Mercury Yacht Harbour treated visitors to pop-up pub, The Hop On Inn, a licensed red double decker bus. As dusk fell, the screen at Mercury’s one-night-only outdoor cinema – complete with deckchairs – lit up with a showing of eighties classic Top Gun. There was no fly past from the US’s naval aviators but who knows, maybe next year…
Watch highlights from Torquay Marina.