Six deserving youngsters who won a place on this year’s MDL Sail Training Awards are now back on dry land, after setting sail from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina on 16th April for six days at sea.
The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for over 20 years, offer admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard a training yacht operated by Ocean Youth Trust South.
Joining a team on board the ketch 'John Laing' were Callum Archibald, 14, from Basingstoke, 13-year-old John Bratherton, from Fordingbridge, Erin Sutton, 14, and Jodie Beckham, 13, both from Totton, Oscar Perkins, 13, from Brixham and 15-year-old Robert Jelley from Romsey.
The 230 nautical mile trip saw this year's MDL award winners first heading for an anchorage in Studland, from where they motored into Poole on the Friday evening. Next morning they had a fabulous sail round the south of the Isle of Wight on a glorious day, ending up in Haslar. They sailed to Cowes for lunch, came out, anchored an Osborne Bay and planned a final pilotage exercise up to Southampton. RYA Start Yachting certificates were awarded to all participants.
Eamonn Feeney, Managing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome back our Sail Training Awards winners following their exciting journey. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for the young people selected, rewarding them for their achievements or inspiration and support to others.
“Over the years the MDL sponsored Sail Training Awards have provided over 140 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. We are proud to continue to support Ocean Youth Trust South and the important work that it carries out”.
One of the scheme’s recent success stories is 17-year-old Toby Hunt from Bognor Regis who was one of the lucky winners selected to take part in last year’s trip, and has since been busy working as a volunteer, assisting Ocean Youth Trust South with its winter refit of ‘John Laing’. In addition, Toby has been working hard as a volunteer trainee Bosun for the 2014 trip and is looking to become a volunteer member of the sea staff for the future.
The six young winners from this year will now be invited to attend the PSP Southampton Boat Show, where they will be officially presented with their trophies at the MDL stand by the owner of MDL Marinas, Lord Iliffe.
Nominations for next year’s awards will be announced in December 2014.
For more information please visit www.sailtrainingawards.co.uk.
Come and join in the fun on our ever-popular MDL Marinas, family and friends pre-Christmas cruise to St Malo on board Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven on the 8-10th December 2017, departing Friday evening from Portsmouth at 8.15pm and returning Sunday morning at 7.45am. Package includes:
*£109.00 per person based on either 2 persons sharing a 2 berth inside cabin or 3/4 persons sharing a 4 berth inside cabin. Please note that 2 berth cabins are 1 upper and 1 lower berth!
**£115.00 per person for those that want a little more space - 2 persons can have sole use of a 4 berth cabin. Ideal for those that need 2 lower berths!
Take your car for free - minimum of 2 persons per vehicle required - max 1.83m (6') high / 5m (16' 5") long.
Download and complete this form to book your place.
Families can once again pay a visit to one of the South’s premier new and used boat shows this May, with the Hamble Point Boat Show taking place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th May. Linking up with National Watersports Month, this year’s show is set to be a great weekend of on and off the water activities with a huge range of boats on display.
Open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday, the always-popular free family event will feature over 250 new and used boats for sale. The great selection on show will range from day boats to sports boats, cruisers and RIBs to suit a wide range of budgets. Visitors can also take advantage of the wide range of products available from some of the UK’s leading marine companies, as well as speaking to expert brokers and finding out more about the other marine services available on-site.
This year’s show will be taking place during National Watersports Month, a joint collaboration between the British Marine Federation (BMF), Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Canoe Union (BCU), British Rowing and British Water Ski & Wakeboard (BWSW) to encourage the nation to get out on the water.
Visitors to Hamble Point Marina over the weekend will be treated to on-water displays, practical workshops in conjunction with the RYA Active Marina programme and dry stack demonstrations, as well as family entertainment for younger visitors. There will also be an RNLI lifejacket clinic on site and a 'distress flare amnesty' on the Saturday, run by Hampshire Constabulary Marine Unit in conjunction with Ramora UK, one of the UK's leading bomb disposal companies. Refreshments will be available from the Ketch Rigger restaurant and bar.
Nicholas Parton, Hamble Point Marina Manager, commented: “The Hamble Point Boat Show is always a popular event, and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors back for a great weekend. The show is perfect for those considering their first boat purchase, those wanting to try something new or for seasoned boaters who are in search of a day out, with experts on hand to offer advice and the chance to browse a whole range of new and used models available from leading brands.”
Entry to and car parking at the show are both completely free.
For further information or to add your name to the line-up of exhibitors at the show, simply visit www.hamblepointboatshow.co.uk or contact the marina on 023 8045 2464.
Many our marinas across the UK will be playing host to a series of exciting events for berth holders and visitors to enjoy.
Open Days, in conjunction with the RYA’s Active Marina Programme, will be held at several of our south coast marinas, including:
|Ocean Village Open Day||26th April, 10am to 5pm|
|Northney Marina Open Day||26th April, 10am to 3pm|
|Hamble Point Open Day||27th April, 9am to 6pm|
|Hamble Point Boat Show||10th and 11th May, from 10am on both days|
|Cobb’s Quay Open Weekend||17th and 18th May, from 10am on both days|
These free family events offer a great opportunity to try out new boating activities for the first time with training and ‘try a boat’ sessions, as well as providing a wealth of advice and information to help you make the most of your time on the water this season.
Woolverstone Marina will be the home of The East Anglian Boat Show this year, held in conjunction with the BMF. On Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June visitors will be able to try their hand at a host of on and off the water activities designed to keep the whole family entertained, as well as browsing exhibits from major boat manufacturers and small independent businesses. For further information call Woolverstone Marina on 01473 780206 or email: email@example.com
Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth will also be welcoming visitors for two prestigious boating events. Thousands of sailing enthusiasts are expected to descend on the city for the La Solitaire du Figaro race from 11th – 15th June, with this top international sailing race generally recognised as the World Championships of single handed sailing. And if powerboats are more to your taste, make a date in your diary for the start of the exciting Round Britain Powerboat & RIB Challenge 2014, due to depart from Queen Anne’s Battery on 25th July, returning to the marina on 5th August after completing a full circumnavigation of Britain.
Click here for a list of events taking place at our marinas this season.
With our first taste of spring warmth last weekend and the season bringing with it increasing daylight and the rebirth of flora and fauna, why not take the opportunity to discover some of the UK’s stunning coastline? Freedom Berthing allows you to explore the seashore from the West Country round to East Anglia, including cruising the Hamble and the world-famous Poole Harbour. Freedom Berthing members can stay at any of the marinas in our UK network for FREE* – perfect for stays away.
If you fancy something more adventurous why not sample the delights of cruising in France, Spain or Italy? As Europe’s largest marina operator, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive berthing package available, which will give you the chance to take advantage of unique and unrivalled access to some of Europe’s very best cruising destinations.
And as summer approaches you can start planning your European getaway, with access to our MDL marinas in Spain and Italy, as well as over 50 marinas on the northwest coast of France, from Granville on the Normandy coast right round to Port Médoc in the Gironde. Ideal for those who are keen to extend their cruising and discover new destinations without the additional cost of visitor berthing fees.
As part of your Freedom Berthing package you also receive a whole host of other benefits and savings throughout the year including fuel at cost, up to 30% off MDL boatyard services and various events and social activities - click here to see our events calendar. Your Freedom Berthing pack, which contains all the information you need to take advantage of the benefits, will be available for collection from the Marina Office. The pack will also include your Freedom Berthing card and a Tide Table booklet – we hope you find it useful.
You can also log on to MyMDL – the customer online portal - for the latest discounts and offers and to see at a glance all the benefits of Freedom Berthing. Don’t forget you can also use MyMDL to book and manage your marina visits and arrange berth swaps at other marinas, giving you – and your boat - even greater freedom than ever before.
* Subject to availability
Berth holders at MDL's marinas will be benefitting from several new faces for this coming season, as new businesses open on site at many of our marinas.
Shamrock Quay will be providing a brand new dining experience with the opening of the new Quay Fifteen restaurant. Tucked away in a spot overlooking the River Itchen, just a stone’s throw from the centre of Southampton, Quay Fifteen’s aim is to deliver fine dining without the fuss, to exceed expectation and give its guests an all round dining experience.
Quay Fifteen will join other recently-opened tenants at Shamrock Quay, Oil Spill Response, RIB Shack Marine and Inderkitchen. Existing tenant, Sakks Menswear, has also extended its premises on the site, whilst beauty parlour Beauty Bay also opened its doors late last year.
Berth holders and visitors to Cobb’s Quay in Poole can also try a new eating experience, with The Boathouse bar and restaurant now under new management and renamed Cobb’s Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant.
The restaurant’s new owner Julia Sweatman (pictured above with the team) said: “With superb marina views of Cobb’s Quay and Holes Bay, we offer a stylish and friendly environment for enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. Our team has created an exciting range of dishes based upon what is fresh local & seasonal, with a special emphasis on fish & seafood. We are proud to offer an extensive range of beers, ales and ciders, an attractive modern wine list and freshly ground Illy coffee. We look forward to welcoming all to the Club.”
Meanwhile at Saxon Wharf, yacht upholstery firm Passmore of Southampton is now operating from its new unit at the marina. Amongst other customers, the established Colchester-based firm supplies Oyster Yachts, already a neighbouring tenant at Saxon Wharf.
Dream Yacht Charters, the largest privately owned charter company worldwide, is also now based within an MDL marina, following the opening of a base at Port Hamble Marina late last year. Managed under a joint venture with Britannia Corporate Events and Fairview Sailing, the firm will be welcoming sailors to explore the cruising available in the area, from Cowes to Lymington, Yarmouth to Gunwharf Quays, Hamble to Beaulieu and numerous other destinations in the Solent.
You can search our entire online Services Directory here.
MDL is very proud to have worked with Ocean Youth Trust South for over 20 years, helping to provide adventure under sail to young people who have shown exceptional accomplishments and qualities which have inspired or supported others.
The winners of our annual Sail Training Awards are now being chosen, with a final team of six due to set sail for an unforgettable sailing experience on board the Ocean Youth Trust South's training yacht John Laing next month. The youngsters selected will spend five nights living and sailing on board, and will become involved in all aspects of life at sea, including hoisting sails, helping with maintenance, sailing the boat at night and cooking and cleaning with the rest of the crew.
The Sail Training Awards have so far allowed over 140 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.
And it doesn’t stop there. Through fundraising activities carried out as part of our 40th anniversary year in 2013, we were able to present the charity with a cheque for £60,000 at the end of last year (pictured above).
Ocean Youth Trust South is now looking to launch a major new campaign to enable them to purchase a new training yacht for use by the young people helped by the charity. The campaign is being dubbed “A new boat for a new generation” and the charity is keen to spread the word and get more people involved in this long term project to replace the John Laing.
Donations and gifts will help to ensure that young people continue to enjoy the benefits of Adventure Under Sail. If you would like to contribute, you can do so in a number of ways:
To find out more about the important work carried out by Ocean Youth Trust South, and to find out how you can help in their fundraising efforts, click here.
Illustrating our continued commitment to offering class-leading marinas and the finest customer experience, we are continuing to invest in our marina portfolio.
Work already undertaken in 2013 included a full refurbishment of the facilities at Ocean Village Marina (pictured above right) as well as at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth, where customers are now benefitting from new modern showers, toilets and washing facilities. Customers at both Brixham and Torquay marinas are able to use the new boat lift, making boat maintenance more convenient than ever, and the 60 new berths opened at Chatham Maritime Marina in the summer have already reached capacity.
Over the winter months works will continue and will include a complete re-deck of the catamaran berths at Sparkes Marina, alongside improvements to car park lighting and the installation of a new refuse area which will improve the appearance of the marina entrance. Northney Marina will be carrying out comprehensive maintenance works too, helping to improve the appearance of the marina.
At Shamrock Quay, 2014 will see the opening of a new on-site restaurant, Quay Fifteen (above), whilst Cobb’s Quay will also be offering new dining options as The Boathouse bar and restaurant comes under new management. Maintenance works are also continuing at Hythe Village Marina, whilst further improvements to the pontoons, marina electrics and facilities are planned for both Mercury Yacht Harbour and Port Hamble Marina. Investment at Hamble Point Marina continues as well, upgrading the main facilities block and marina reception / administration facilities, improving CCTV coverage and increasing the number of pontoon trolleys available.
Eamonn Feeney, Managing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are committed to investing in our marinas and continuing to improve the facilities we offer. As Europe’s leading marina operator we refuse to stand still and are continually looking at ways to not only improve and update our marinas, but also to ensure our customer service and locations are of the very highest standards. This is why many of our customers have been with us for years, and for us the focus always remains on ensuring our berth holders and visitors continue to get the very best out of their boating.”
It may be the depths of winter, but MDL Marinas will be braving the cold and heading for the London Boat Show, taking place at ExCel from 4th - 12th January 2014. We will be welcoming visitors to our Stand E143 – pay us a visit to find out more about what MDL Marinas can offer you.
Staff will be on hand throughout the show to provide full details on all our marina locations, as well as more information about Freedom Berthing, the most comprehensive marina package in the marketplace, which for 2014 includes unlimited free stays across our entire UK network plus the freedom to cruise to fantastic destinations in northwest France, Spain and Italy.
You can also register for the MDL Experience at the show, allowing you to visit the marina of your choice for a free no-obligation overnight stay and personal marina tour. Or, simply click here for more details and to register online.
We look forward to seeing you there!