Six deserving young people who won a place on the 31st MDL Sail Training Awards voyage will be officially presented with their trophies by Lord IIiffe, on Thursday 20th September at 2pm (stand E52). The youngsters returned from their trip earlier this year after spending five days at sea with the Ocean Youth Trust South, on the incredible tallship Prolific.
The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for 31 years, offer admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard the sail training ship.
The passage commenced from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina and the team made their way down to Dartmouth, being taught along the way how to sail the vessel, before circling back along the coast. During sailing, the team carried out drills such as rescuing a man overboard and pilotage planning, whilst having plenty of fun in between. Upon returning to shore, the young sailors deservedly earned a ‘Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting Certificate’.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Our Sail Training Awards are a hugely important initiative for us, which we have undertaken with Ocean Youth Trust South for an amazing 31 years. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those selected, honouring them for their remarkable achievements at such a young age. We look forward to this day at Southampton Boat Show each year, as it’s a fantastic chance to hear all of the stories and see what an inspiration the trip has been for everyone.”
Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “Over the last three decades years we have met many truly inspirational young people through the MDL Sail Training Awards. Throughout the 31 years, MDL Marinas has given us tremendous support, the MDL award winners are always highly deserving and inspirational young people and this year’s winners were no exception.
“We have a long track record of using adventure under sail to give young people the skills to succeed in life – the skills that individuals, families, schools, employers and communities need – and MDL’s generosity plays a key role at the heart of all our work.”
MDL Marinas is delighted to reveal that within its hospitality lounge overlooking the main boat show marina (E052), Salcombe Gin will be hosting daily taster sessions and teach the art of distilling, while the five-star Southampton Harbour Hotel spa team offers complimentary head, neck, and shoulder massages.
Known across its extensive network of over 120 marinas for its excellent customer service, prime locations and top of the line facilities, MDL Marinas is applying its key ethos of relax, enjoy and discover to its stand at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show.
“We’re recreating the excellent experience people enjoy at our marinas,” says Dean Smith, commercial director for the European-wide group of marinas in UK, Italy, France and Spain. “There’s always something exciting happening onshore, so it makes sense to continue that at Southampton Boat Show. We’re delighted to be welcoming two partners to the stand.”
Salcombe Gin, a traditional copper pot, one-shot distiller based in Devon, will host a tasting session every day between 4 and 5pm on MDL’s stunning members’ waterside hospitality lounge. Distillery demonstrations will take place on both Sundays (16 / 23 September), and Wednesday (19 September) between 3 and 4pm.
Southampton Harbour Hotel's HarSPA, will also be offering complimentary head, neck and shoulder massages throughout the show, as well as foot pampers. Known for their deep tissue massages to ease muscle aches and areas of tension, HarSPA therapists offer Lava Shell, Bamboo and Lomi Lomi massages in the five-star hotel.
Relax, enjoy, discover
MDL is looking forward to welcoming over 4,000 members and their guests to its stunning waterside hospitality lounge. Visitors are encouraged to use the area as a meeting place, or somewhere to take a well-deserved break. With free WiFi, refreshments and massages from the Harbour Hotel’s spa staff, the lounge is the ideal place to relax in comfort.
Helping its members to explore with friends, MDL will showcase its impressive network of over 120 marinas. Visitors will also be able to discover the exciting benefits of becoming an MDL member such as Freedom Berthing which gives access to the marinas in the European network at no extra cost, and upcoming offers that feature options for winter marina berthing and storage. Plus, it’s the ideal opportunity to discuss Beds On Board, the accommodation scheme designed to unlock the economic potential of members’ boats.
Additionally, the boat show offers a great opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the end of the season. On the members’ balcony overlooking the marina, MDL’s hospitality lounge offers a buzzing social environment, complimentary refreshments and fundraising events for the two great charities that the company supports.
“We love the Southampton Boat Show,” Dean continues. “It’s a great opportunity to touch base with our members and hear about their marina and cruising experiences. Plus, we enjoy meeting those who haven’t stayed with us before, finding out about their sailing adventures, plans, and letting them know all about the benefits of becoming part of the MDL family. We’re also really looking forward to sharing more information about the great work we’re doing with the Blue Marine Foundation, the Ocean Youth Trust South and our Sail Training Awards. It’s going to be a great show!”
Make sure that you plan time in your day to visit the stand (E052), enjoy the view and learn more about MDL Marinas.
The eyes of the world were on Windsor earlier in May as Prince Harry married Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel. It was a spectacular setting for the ceremony, and a reminder of just why the royals are so fond of their beautiful Berkshire home by the Thames.
MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, has three sites along the Thames in this lovely corner of Berkshire and Surrey: Windsor, Bray and Penton Hook. Each is a five gold anchor marina with its own unique character and idyllic cruising on tap.
This stretch of river is perfect for leisurely days on the water. The riverbanks are peppered with welcoming pubs and even the odd Michelin starred restaurant – indeed, the area is something of a foodie paradise, home to some of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants. There’s plenty to entertain all the family with amusement parks LEGOLAND and Thorpe Park, the racecourses of Ascot and Royal Windsor and days out at Windsor Castle and Cliveden Gardens.
Windsor Marina is one of MDL’s little gems in a tranquil garden setting with a large river frontage for easy mooring. There’s a busy social programme run by MDL and lots to do in the neighbouring Windsor Yacht Club. The 175-berth marina is also home to the Powmak Pilates studio. With Pilates a favourite exercise of the new Duchess of Sussex, the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Matthews, the practice certainly comes with royal approval.
Windsor town is just three miles away and packed with shops, bars and restaurants. Shopaholics can easily spend a day or two enjoying the fabulous brands and boutiques. The Windsor Royal Shopping Centre, located opposite the gates of Windsor castle is a converted Victorian railway station home to stores including Hobbs, Jigsaw, Jo Malone, bareMinerals and Links of London.
Almost 1,000 years old and covering 13 acres, Windsor Castle dominates the town and is an astonishing sight. It’s the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, not to mention a favourite residence of the Queen. Visitors can see the changing of the guard and take a peek inside St George’s Chapel where the royal wedding took place in May.
Bray Marina is a haven of beauty and tranquillity where members and visitors can relax on their boats amongst trailing weeping willows as ducks and swans paddle up and down. The 400 berth marina also has plenty to do on and off the water. The on-site Riverside Brasserie serves traditional British cuisine with a modern twist and is the ideal spot to enjoy the views of the marina. The Bray Cruiser Club, also based at the marina, holds barbecues, local and tidal cruises and family fun days and is a great place to socialise with other boat owners.
Bray’s reputation for fine dining is well known. Just five restaurants in the UK have three Michelin stars and impressively, two of them are in the village. The Waterside Inn, founded in 1972 by Michel and Albert Roux, is right by the Bray slipway. The Fat Duck, the pioneering restaurant from Heston Blumenthal, is a short walk away in the village, with Blumenthal’s 16th century inn, The Crown at Bray, a little further down the road.
There are many places of interest within a day’s cruising of Bray and Windsor. Upstream, the Thames is navigable as far as Lechlade. Between Windsor and Oxford there are several riverside inns, stately homes and gardens to visit, including Cliveden, with its extensive Italianate gardens and woodlands. Picturesque Eton and the charming village of Datchet also await discovery.
Penton Hook Marina
Penton Hook Marina in Chertsey, four hours’ cruise from Bray and Windsor, is the UK’s largest inland marina with 575 berths. It’s set in 80 acres and offers fantastic boatyard facilities including a 20 ton crane, trailer boat storage, storage ashore and two pump-out stations and has purpose built pontoons for narrowboats and Dutch barges. It’s also home to Penton Hook Yacht Club, one of the biggest on the Thames.
It’s ideally located for thrill-seekers big and small, with Thorpe Park just across the road. Rides in 2018 - not for the faint-hearted - include Derren Brown’s Ghost Train and the equally terrifying Samurai. If that sounds a bit too exciting, LEGOLAND Windsor offers a gentler day out, with carousels, a splash safari and the captivating Miniland. For a far more tranquil trip, visit the National Trust’s site at Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic, bike ride or country walk.
Penton Hook Marina is also well-placed for a trip to London. In around six hours, you can cruise into the tidal Thames and into the heart of the city.
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that lifelong boaters looking for a change of pace find a new home on the inland waters of the Thames. And with MDL’s Freedom Berthing programme, which offers complimentary stays at MDL’s 18 UK marinas and over 100 destinations in France, Spain and Italy, there’s plenty of exploring to be done. Visitors are welcome too and enjoy every seventh night free with MDL’s Cruising Club scheme, which is free to join.
Summer is officially here and a glorious season out on the water is underway. At MDL Marinas that means one thing – it’s time for our famous summer offers. There are great deals of up to 55% off across the group, up and down the Thames and along the Solent coastline.
If you’re not yet an MDL member, enjoy cruising some of the most beautiful coastlines and waterways in the UK from the country’s finest marinas with two months’ summer berthing from just £350.
If your boat is in need of a lift and scrub, our boatyards have come up with generous deals - up to £380 off - to make sure boats are gleaming for the summer ahead. Prices start from just £16 per metre for a lift, pressure wash and relaunch at Shamrock and Hythe marinas in Southampton.
For further details on the full range of offers available at MDL marinas this summer visit www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/offers.
Which MDL site will you be heading to on Marina Day? Open to everyone, we’re throwing fun-packed family days out across the group on June 8th.
With plenty to do and try on the water, jaw-dropping displays, food stalls, great music and perhaps the odd tipple, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s day.
More details to follow.
Circa 1500 miles plus see some amazing sights, berths are available on a Challenger 72 that will sail from Portsmouth to the Norwegian Fjords and back.
The plan is to depart from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on 13th May and get to Norway 5 or 6 days later. Stavanger will probably be the first port of call. You’ll then spend 5 or 6 days exploring the dramatic fjords before reaching Bergen where we'll then head back down the North Sea through the oil and gas fields and on to Portsmouth.
Price is usually £1677 and includes all food on board, fuel, gas, oilskins and insurance. For MDL Members this has been reduced to £1425, a saving of 15%!
This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to build miles and get experience of a watch system / night watches / sailing up and down the North Sea / through the Dover Straits / navigating in the Fjords etc.
Challenger 72 is an extremely seaworthy yacht and built to sail around the world, a feat it has accomplished twice. A professional skipper and mate will also be provided.
Visit the First Class Sailing website for more information.
Enjoy mince pies and mulled wine with your team at the marina office. Our treats are available daily, so come in from the cold to indulge!
Please note that seasonal treats will vary between marinas.
Log fire not guaranteed.
It was wonderful to see so many of you celebrating the start of the new season during the Easter weekend. Even if the weather wasn’t entirely spring-like for everyone, waterside treats from the Easter bunny and a steady stream of hot cross buns emerging from the dock offices certainly set the mood.
What’s more, with a packed schedule of events on and off the water this summer, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to burn off any excess calories all those chocolate eggs.
Here are a few shots of the Easter bunny dishing out treats to members at Torquay (including one young sailor who exchanged all her dummies for an Easter egg!) and Queen Anne’s Battery. The office at Ocean Village was packed with around 50 members who called in to toast the new season with friends old and new.
With winter finally, if reluctantly, giving way to spring, we’re excited about a fantastic summer of cruising and events.
The teams have been hard at work getting the marinas ready. The winter dredging programme is wrapped up – with a £1million investment every year, it’s no small undertaking. In 2016, enough material was dredged to fill more than 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The upgrade at Ocean Village is continuing, with a smart new look and members already enjoying the spa, gym, restaurants and bars at the luxurious Harbour Hotel on the waterfront. At Cobb’s Quay, a new a 40 ton hoist has been installed, meaning larger boats can now be accommodated.
As you’d expect, we’ve been planning our social calendar with as much attention to detail! Big news for this year is Marina Day on June 9th. After the enormous success of the inaugural family open day event at our Sant Carles marina in Spain in 2015 – the popular celebration spread to marinas across Spain within two years – we’re bringing the fiesta to the UK. It’ll be a day of music, food, fun on the water and entertainment into the evening. Don’t miss it.
Just a few of the other social highlights this year include ‘dress as you please day’ at Ocean Village in June (with prizes, of course!), outdoor film nights in July and August at Northney, adventure golf complete with cream teas at Hythe in June, the British Firework Championships at Queen Anne’s Battery in August and a beer and wine festival in September at Bray.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you, do pop into the site offices to say hello and don’t forget to make the most of your Freedom Berthing membership to visit other marinas in the group this season – and maybe even complete the set!