A key event in any sailing enthusiast’s diary, the eagerly anticipated Rolex Fastnet race returns this summer for what promises to be a high adrenaline and action packed competition. Starting on Sunday 6th August at the Royal Yacht Squadron in West Cowes, the race will attract hundreds of yachts from around the country, all competing for the chance to win the coveted cup.
The intimidating 650 mile racing route is designed to push competitors to the limits, beginning at the Isle of Wight and sweeping the south coast to then battle the unpredictable Atlantic Ocean. Competitors will reach the renowned Fastnet Rock, which lies four miles off southwest Ireland and the route then approaches Bishop Rock and the Scilly Isles to port, before returning to finish off in Plymouth. Racing against the elements, the course is a true test of sailing skill and we can’t wait to see the action!
The Fastnet race is one of the world's oldest offshore races and, with such high volumes of competitors expected, securing a pre-race berthing spot close to the action will be hot competition and essential for racing preparations
We’re urging anyone looking for a location to berth before the race to get in touch early as we have fantastic spaces available at our south coast marinas, but we’re expecting them to be snapped up quickly. Ideally placed close to the start line, our marinas include Ocean Village, Shamrock Quay and Saxon Wharf in Southampton, as well as Hamble Point and Port Hamble, all ideally situated to ensure a smooth start on race day. For those wishing to relax after the race, Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth will make the perfect spot to unwind and debrief on the racing events.
Get in touch now to ensure you don’t miss out and, for more information about the Rolex Fastnet race, please visit: www.rolexfastnetrace.com.
We’re so excited that Spring is finally here, marking the start of another great season of boating. To kick off the new season, we’ve put together an exciting Freedom Berthing pack to thank you, our loyal members, for berthing with us, as well as introduce new boating enthusiasts to all that MDL Marinas has to offer.
We’ve included a host of gifts to get you started for the new season including, a tide table booklet to assist you with your UK cruising, and your choice of:
Along with a luxury hessian ‘bag for life’ to carry all of your goodies.
There’s also a host of exclusive benefits available for Freedom Berthing members in 2017/18, giving you access to over 100 holidays in the UK, France, Spain and Italy, fuel at cost so you can explore further, and free unlimited WiFi so you can stay connected all year round. We hope you make full use of your benefits this season and we’d love to hear about your adventures. Share your photographs to your social media using the hashtags #MDLRelax, #MDLEnjoy and #MDLDiscover.
With Easter just around the corner, and lots of ‘egg-citing’ events going on at our marinas, we thought it was the perfect time to collect your Freedom Berthing pack. So please pop into the marina office over the Easter weekend and you may even get an Easter treat!
There’s lots to look forward too…
Come and experience our marinas this Easter!
The Round the Island Race is a most spectacular event. It is a Race around the Isle of Wight. With over 1600 boats taking part, and around 16,000 sailors it is one of the largest yacht races in the world and the 4th largest participation sporting event in the UK.
Each year amateurs and professionals compete against each other in the Round the Island Race. It is one of the few sporting events where amateurs and complete novices can race alongside Olympic gold medallists like Ben Ainslie and around the world solo ocean racers like Alex Thomson. The Round the Island Race attracts interest from around the world and is covered in media from Japan to Brazil, Hungary to New Zealand.
All sorts of people take part in the race and you will see a huge variety of sailing boats. The race will be sponsored this year for the first time by Cloudy Bay and Cloudy Bay’s ambassador Ben Fogle will be taking part.
The Round the Island race this year is on 1st July.
The course is simple. Starting outside the Royal Yacht Squadron off Cowes on the Isle of Wight yachts race around the Isle of Wight leaving it to port. The finishing line is off Cowes. The sight of all these boats, particularly when running downwind with colourful spinnakers bellowing out is truly spectacular.
You can be part of the Race! First Class Sailing, based in MDL's Shamrock Quay, have entered two Challenger 72 yachts and have berths available. These yachts were built to race around the world, a feat they have accomplished twice. However, they are far from being stripped out racing yachts. They have a spacious saloon area and good sized galley, two heads with showers and everyone gets their own comfy bunk.
As part of the package with First Class Sailing you will join the boat on Friday 30th June for an on the water day of training in the Solent. At the end of the day you will head over to Cowes for an early night before an early start for the race itself on Saturday. After the race you will head back into Cowes to join in with the expansive shore side festivities. You will have a leisurely sail back on Sunday.
Whilst previous experience is very useful it is absolutely not essential. There will be an experienced professional skipper and mate on board to assist at all times. The people that join us for the race do so for a number of reasons: some want an exciting day/weekend out; some people want to see what racing is like – the race offers a taste of the thrill and excitement of close quarters yacht racing; others come to learn about racing and to experience what sailing a big 72 foot yacht is like.
For more details contact First Class Sailing on firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0203 006 3717 or click here.
History is set to be created on Southampton Water this spring as the city hosts a spectacular parade of sail.
Hundreds of craft, from one-man kayaks to huge luxury yachts, will take to the water to celebrate the first ever Southampton Sailing Week.
The action will begin at 11am on Saturday May 27 led by a Svitzer tug shooting plumes of water into the sky. Following close behind will be the larger of the participating vessels such as motorboats and RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats). Trailing them will be the smaller sail boats and dinghies, followed finally by canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.
As many as 500 different watercraft could take part as the parade spans from the Itchen Bridge towards Hamble.
Chris Rees, organiser of Southampton Sailing Week, said: “It’s a hugely ambitious project but one that we know will create a truly iconic moment in Southampton’s history. With the possibility of up to 500 different craft taking to the water on the day, we’re working closely with Southampton’s Harbour Master to ensure it’s planned with meticulous precision.”
Charter firm Sunsail is set to enter 30 yachts into the parade of sail and scores of berth holders at local MDL marinas have already pledged to take part in the event.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, said: “Southampton’s inaugural Sailing Week will be a fantastic celebration of the Solent and MDL Marinas is delighted to be sponsoring this event. The city has such a rich maritime history but many people aren’t aware of the variety of opportunities available on the water. This week will provide a fantastic occasion to raise awareness and get people out on the water, which what we’re always trying to encourage as a local marina operator.
“The parade of sail will be an unparalleled event for the city and is the first of its kind. Our local marinas taking part include Ocean Village, Shamrock Quay and Hythe Marina Village, and they will make perfect viewing spots for the water carnival. We’ll also be hosting an array of activities to get involved with, from water sports and leisure sailing, to music and BBQs. We can’t wait for the event to commence and welcome visitors, both who are new to sailing and our members.”
Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Leisure at Southampton City Council said: “Southampton and its people have a long and rich history with the sea. It is currently the busiest Port in Europe, though its waters have brought industry, employment and enjoyment to our communities for centuries.
“I am really excited to help launch and support Southampton’s much over-due, first ever Sailing Week. I’m confident the planned parade will be a fantastic asset to the great events on offer and will bring all of Southampton’s communities together; from all ages, backgrounds, businesses to schools, so that we can collectively celebrate Southampton’s great maritime history and identity. I cannot wait!”
The parade of sail is open for anyone with a sea-worthy vessel to take part in. To register your interest or find out the best vantage points to watch from the shore visit www.southamptonsailingweek.co.uk.
MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator and official marina partner to Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing), is helping the team gear up for the 35th America’s Cup, which is destined for a climactic finale in Bermuda this summer. MDL has worked closely with Land Rover BAR to help set up their team base in Bermuda and has created customised pontoons, expertly designed to give swift access for the team and accommodate the crucial support boats.
Alongside the existing partnership, which has seen MDL Marinas involved in the Portsmouth Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (the preliminary series to the 35th America’s Cup), as an official Engagement Partner, the marina operator has designed custom-made pontoons tailored to the racing conditions in Bermuda. Using innovative, industry-leading technology, the pontoon has the ability to rotate 90∘, which will allow Land Rover BAR to berth the boat in all wind directions and stay attached to the shore, instead of having to have the boat on a swing mooring. The pontoon was constructed in Southampton and has travelled 3,400 miles to reach Bermuda, where it is now undergoing trial as part of the team’s intensive training programme.
The extensive design stages were started at the beginning of 2016, with the pontoons being completed and shipped by the end of the year. They are now fully installed in Bermuda, ready for the summer competition to begin. The competition so far has been a high adrenaline cinematic whirlwind, gaining international attention and reaching a crescendo last year, with Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR winning the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Japan, as well as the team’s home event in Portsmouth in 2016.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Open sea racing is unpredictable and fast paced, so implementing equipment which saves even a second can make all the difference. MDL Marinas has worked closely with the Land Rover BAR team in what has been a new but exciting challenge, and we can’t wait to see the pontoons in action this summer. The America’s Cup is the Formula 1 of the sailing world and it’s going to be an epic finale, both MDL and our customers are counting down the days until the action starts once again!”
James Stagg, Shore Team Manager, at Land Rover BAR, added: “The America’s Cup is all about looking at advances in technology to help gain a competitive advantage. We wanted to see if we could create a pivoting pontoon to enable us to berth the race boat in any wind direction to reduce boat loading times, so we came together with MDL Marinas to put this concept into motion. Together we’ve designed and built a tool which is tailored to the team’s racing needs and the finished product looks fantastic. It will all come down to the race days but it’s been brilliant partnering with MDL Marinas on this element of the campaign.”
To watch MDL's innovative pontoon in action, please click here.
An action packed week to celebrate everything that is Sailing and Southampton!
Based in one of the world's top locations for sailing, the Solent and Southampton Waters which are home to world famous races, and Southampton Sailing week is here to celebrate all things sailing and encourage more people to enjoy the water.
With six days of sailing and water activities in and around Southampton waters and The Solent, come and join us for a celebration of Yacht Racing, Parade of Sail, Beat the Bank, Regatta Party and more!
The whole event will finish off with a Regatta Party on the Sunday night from 6pm in Oxford Street and Ocean Village Marina; keep an eye out for the wrist bands which will be on sale throughout the week.
See more of what's going on when below and details of these events on each Marina's event page.
Friday 26th May
Ocean Village Marina
Hamble Point Marina
10am - 12pm
Banana Wharf - World's Biggest Coffee Morning with MacMillan Cancer Support
Ketch Rigger - Grease at the Open Air Cinema
Saturday 27th May
Ocean Village Marina
Hamble Point Marina
9am - 10am
Pre-show breakfast at Port Hamble Marina's Banana Wharf
|10am - 4pm|
10am - 5pm
12pm - 1.30pm
Parade of Sail
5pm - 7pm
After-show dinner at Port Hamble Marina's Banana Wharf with live music
2.30pm - 3pm
House of Gallet Fashion Show
4pm - 6pm
Music in the Marina
Sunday 28th May
Hythe Marina Village
8am - 10.30am
Yellow Welly - 'Sailors' Breakfast'
10am - 4pm
10.30am - 3.30pm
Classics on the Quay
10am - 4pm
'Living on-board lifestyle' experience with Inspiration Marine's Marina Boat open day
11am - 4pm
Honda Race boat rides with Saber Power Sports
11.30am - 1pm
Radio control boat racing
4pm - 9pm
Drinks on the Quay FIFTEEN terrace
MDL Marinas is excited to open nominations for this year’s Sail Training Awards, which will see a group of deserving young people set sail in April on Ocean Youth Trust South’s sail training vessel, Prolific. These young people will be carefully selected for their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances.
The winners will spend six nights living and sailing on the charity’s new acquisition and will become involved in all aspects of life on board, including hoisting sails, helping with maintenance, sailing the boat at night and cooking and cleaning with the rest of the crew. This is an unforgettable sailing experience, departing from and returning to Southampton in April 2017.
If you know a young person aged between 12 and 18, who you feel should be rewarded for their achievements or are an inspiration and support to others, nominations are open until Saturday 25th February. Anyone can make a nomination, from youth group leaders, teachers, friends or employers.
Past winners have included young people who have been outstanding achievers, as well as those who have been involved in voluntary work, those who have never had the chance to travel abroad, or have added family responsibilities. Winners will be selected from MDL’s UK marina locations in the South West, Dorset, Hampshire, Thames Valley and East Coast.
Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome back our hugely popular Sail Training Awards. It’s always a difficult decision to choose the group of young people who will take part in this once-in-a-lifetime trip, however we’re looking forward to seeing the fantastic entries!
Over the past 29 years, the MDL sponsored Sail Training Awards have provided over 150 young people the opportunity to experience a trip on board the John Laing, something which has been life-changing for some of our past winners. This year’s awards will see the launch of Ocean Youth Trust South’s new vessel, Prolific, and those chosen for this exciting trip will be the first training team on her. We’re proud to continue to support Ocean Youth Trust South and the important work that they carry out.”
For more information and to nominate, please visit www.sailtrainingawards.co.uk.
As the 2017 London Boat Show comes to a close, we would like to say a big thank you to all of our new and existing customers who visited our stand this year! It was great to welcome so many members and visitors, we hope you had a fantastic time and enjoyed our hospitality, and we look forward to seeing you at one of our marinas very soon.
It was an action packed 10 days and our newly located, bigger stand was the perfect base to showcase our extensive network of over 100 marinas as well as our fantastic Freedom Berthing package, which proved very popular!
Many visitors enjoyed getting stuck in with our ‘Cleat Challenge’ and we will be in touch with our three winners to present them with a Henri Lloyd jacket for their fastest rope cleating time!
An absolute highlight of the show was a visit to our stand from Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, where we shared industry insight and discussed MDL’s ongoing evolution. The show also saw two of our marinas recognised in the Marina of the Year Awards, which was a fantastic way to close another brilliant London Boat Show.
We are already looking forward to the Southampton Boat Show in September!
Our marinas will be a hive of activity once again this Christmas and we’re looking forward to welcoming you to our very own winter boating wonderlands, with plenty of Christmas cheer, minced pies and mulled wine for you to enjoy.
The marina teams have been busy ensuring your boats are kept safe and sound for winter and our boatyards have certainly been busy, with many of you taking advantage of our fantastic winter offers.
In addition to minced pies and mulled wine, keep an eye out for our festive Trolley of Treats, which will be making the rounds with lots of goodies! As in previous years, a number of the marinas will be running a ‘Decorate your Boat’ competition with prizes for the best dressed, so dig out your sparkly lights and tinsel and help us light up our marinas during these dark winter nights.
At Cobb’s Quay Marina you can enjoy the return of our charity Christmas wrapping service, where you can have all of your Christmas presents wrapped for a great cause. This was a big hit last year! We’ll also be hosting the Festive Afloat Illuminated Boats competition, which is a great chance for our boat owners to dazzle us with their fairy lights rigging skills – the most festive boat will win an exclusive prize! Then, to top it all off, there will be a fantastic New Year’s Eve party to zoom you into 2017, when we start the partying all over again.
Ocean Village Marina will have drinks, snacks and a Santa bag in the Dock office on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December, so ensure you pop in and see the team and join them for a glass or two.
We’ll be getting all festive on the Thames with Bray, Penton and Windsor marinas serving up mulled wine and mince pies right through to Christmas Eve. In addition, Woolverstone, Brixham and Chatham Maritime marinas will be giving out awards for best decorated boats and Chatham will be hosting its Christmas laying up Fish and Chip supper – a must attend event!
There’s still time to take advantage of the Christmas raffle at Hamble Point Marina to raise money for The Stoke Association, and on Friday 16th the marina will be celebrating national Christmas Jumper Day, which we hope to see you joining in with! And, don’t forget to attend the Christmas Quiz at Northney and Sparkes marinas on the 17th.
What’s for certain this Christmas and New Year is there’s lots going on and our teams would be delighted to welcome you and your friends and family to help make sure it’s your best Christmas yet. Please don’t hesitate to give our team a call if you are planning to visit or need any support getting your boat ready for winter.
All that’s left to say is a big Happy Christmas from everyone at MDL!