Six deserving youngsters who won a place on this year’s MDL Sail Training Awards set sail from Woolverstone Marina on 21st August for six days at sea.
Joining a team on board the ketch John Laing, operated by the Ocean Youth Trust South, were Joshua Ellis, aged 16, from Bristol, Henry Morgan, 13, from Shaftesbury in Wiltshire, Ryan Cammell, 13, from Bournemouth, Amy Warren, 14, from Parkstone in Poole, Toby Hunt, 16, from Bognor Regis and Izzy Bennet, 14, from Applemore in Hampshire.
The MDL annual awards - which reward young people for their efforts and offer them the opportunity to do something extraordinary - have been running for over 20 years.
The week-long round trip, from Woolverstone on the east coast to Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, will see the youngsters plotting their intended course and getting involved with all elements of sailing. During the voyage the participants will also get the opportunity to obtain the Competent Crew certificate, an RYA recognised qualification.
The winners will also attend the PSP Southampton Boat Show on 17th September, where they will be presented with a trophy by the owner of MDL Marinas, Lord Iliffe, at MDL’s Waterside Pavilion on Stand E52.
For more information, please visit www.sailtrainingawards.co.uk.
Starting today, MDL Marinas' facebook community can take control and cast their vote to see who will become MDL's 2013 Photographer of the Year and MDL's 2013 Under 16s Photographer of the Year.
MDL received numerous entries for both competitions this year with many of an extremely high standard. Following the judging by professional photographers at PhotoRed, the top ten photographs from both competitions have now been uploaded onto MDL Marinas facebook page to allow MDL's facebook community to decide who will win the GoPro HERO3 Camera.
To cast your vote please visit the MDL Marinas facebook page.
Voting ends 12 noon on Wednesday 28th August 2013.
MDL’s newest Italian marina, the stunning Marina del Gargano, is now open to the public following an official opening ceremony, which was attended by around 5,000 people. Boat owners can now benefit from great opening offers, including free berthing for 2013 for anyone reserving their annual berth for 2014. Catamaran owners will also benefit, with berthing rates to match those for monohulls.
Marina customers and the team responsible for the marina’s construction joined the Mayor of Manfredonia, local authorities and politicians for an evening reception to mark the official opening of the development. The Archbishop of Manfredonia was also on hand to conduct a short service as part of the ceremony to bless the marina and all those who use it.
Jon Eads, Chief Operating Officer at MDL Marinas, was on hand to welcome guests, and later spoke to praise the hard work that has gone into creating this world-class facility. The marina is already receiving high levels of interest, including welcoming its first English boat.
Jon commented: “We have worked hard to build up our network of marinas, and are delighted to welcome Marina del Gargano as the latest addition - it is set to be an outstanding and welcoming marina.
“Being in Manfredonia for the opening ceremony reminded me of standing in the town of Sant Carles (Spain) seven years ago when we first explored the opportunity of opening a marina there. Today, some five years on since that marina was opened, the town of Sant Carles has flourished and changed in a very positive way, with increased employment and tourism, and I very much look forward to returning here in the future as I have no doubt that the same positive changes will benefit the marina and the surrounding area.”
Marina del Gargano will now be added to Zone 3 of MDL’s exclusive Freedom Berthing initiative, giving UK annual berth holders the opportunity to visit the new marina for free as part of their annual berthing package.
Located in the Gulf of Manfredonia, Puglia, within a few minutes walking distance from the city’s historic centre, the new marina offers 700 berths alongside parks and gardens, children’s play areas, extensive parking, restaurants and shops. Its newly-built floating pontoons are unique to the area, featuring state-of-the-art service bollards for water and electricity supplies. As one of the deepest marinas in the Adriatic, Marina del Gargano can accommodate boats of up to 60m.
Puglia is renowned for its sun-drenched landscapes and delicious food as well as for having some of Italy’s most beautiful coastline. The historic town of Manfredonia itself is situated in the heart of the Gargano National Park, a unique ecosystem covering over 120 thousand hectares, and famous for its wide variety of plant life. The new marina offers boaters access to the whole of the stunning Adriatic coast, with its caves, bays and secluded inlets that can only be accessed from the sea.
For more information on Marina del Gargano CLICK HERE.
At MDL Marinas, we love to see photographs taken of our marinas being enjoyed through the eyes of our customers and visitors. For the fifth year running, we’re holding our annual Photography Competition to find MDL’s 2013 Photographer of the Year, as well as MDL’s 2013 Junior Photographer of the Year for the under-16s.
The competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers alike, whether you’ve entered before or are submitting an image for the very first time.
The competition is open for entries from today, with photographers able to submit their chosen images via an online form on the MDL website or by post. We’ve got three categories open for entry from which the overall winner will be chosen for both the main and under-16s competition, which are:
My MDL Marina
Capture what really makes your days at the marina special. Last year we received some stunning landscape and sunset shots, so for 2013 we’d love to see more fast-paced action shots, images illustrating people enjoying the marinas and quirky or artistic compositions – feel free to be as creative as you like!
Me and My Boat
We want to see fantastic photographs of you enjoying your boat, from a day enjoying the sunshine, to experiencing an exhilarating race or enjoying watersports activities in the summer weather.
Fun at 40!
We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, with a new category perfect for all those creative thinkers out there! We’d like photographs taken at or around the marina to incorporate the number 40. This could be you enjoying an MDL 40th anniversary berth holders party or even snaps from your own 40th celebrations, or everyday objects arranged to form the number - if it has 40 in it somewhere, or somehow, it’s perfect for this category. Remember, the only limit is your imagination!
For the first time, berth holders and other members of MDL’s online community will be able to vote for their favourite shots via the MDL Marinas Facebook page, giving you the power to pick the eventual winner. The winning shots are set to be revealed at September’s PSP Southampton Boat Show. As well as having their work displayed on MDL’s Waterside Pavilion at the show, winning entrants will also be in the running to win some great prizes with the overall winner of each category receiving a brand new GoPro HERO3 camera. The runner-up in the adult competition will receive a bottle of champagne, with iTunes vouchers for the under-16s, and all winners will also receive a pair of tickets to the show to see their work on display. Selected images may also be used in MDL’s marketing materials.
The competition entry closes at midnight on Sunday 11th August 2013, so grab your camera and get snapping!
CLICK HERE for more details and to enter
To take part in the voting of this year's winning entry, go to our facebook page.
Voting will take place between Wednesday 14th & Wednesday 28th August 2013.
Following the great news that MDL Marinas has joined forces with French marina operator, Sagemor, giving berth holders access to an additional 55 marinas this season, we’re delighted to report that the scheme is already proving popular with berth holders from both sides of the Channel.
Simon and Jenny Wilmshurst-Smith from MDL’s Brixham Marina were the first to make the crossing to France aboard their yacht Fenicia, enjoying stays at Camaret-Sur-Mer, Port Louis, Port Haliguen and Port Joinville.
Simon Wilmshurst-Smith, commented: “We had a great journey and received a fantastic welcome from all the marina teams. They have been very efficient with the Passeport Escales arrangements when we arrived and were very excited that we were their first British customers. The arrival couldn’t be easier and we’d highly recommend others get out there and use it.”
Meanwhile, the skipper and crew of Blue Berry from Port Blanc, Ile Aux Moines, received a warm welcome from the marina teams at Torquay and Port Hamble marinas as the first French customers to use the scheme to explore MDL’s marinas in the UK.
Passeport Escales gives MDL’s UK annual berth holders a completely unique package to gain free visitor nights at an additional 55 marinas on the northwest coast of France – all within their annual berthing fee. Berth holders can take advantage of the scheme for the rest of the season, which is an easy-to-use, fully automated system. It works as a reciprocal programme where berth holders check out of their marinas and choose another marina to stay at from the network. The only condition of the scheme is boaters must check out on leaving.
For more information on Passeport Escales click here
MDL Marinas has once again extended the cruising opportunities available to its berth holders with the signing of a new agreement with the Public Ports of Andalusia. Under the new partnership, our berth holders will gain access to a free visitor guide service that will assist boaters in making reservations at the 10 ports of Andalucía under the public ports direct control, making cruising the beautiful Spanish coast easier than ever before.
On the coast of Huelva, berths for MDL customers will be available in the ports of Mazagón, Ayamonte, Punta Umbria and Isla Cristina. On the coast of Cádiz, the ports of Puerto America, Rota, Chipiona and Barbate. Finally, in the province of Almería, Adra and Garrucha will be included in this agreement.
The news comes just months after MDL announced an exclusive partnership with French marina operator, Sagemor. The two schemes will now allow MDL berth holders the opportunity to visit more than 80 marinas in the UK, France, Spain and Italy, opening up the largest cruising network offered by any European marina operator and reaffirming MDL’s clear market leader position.
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “This latest partnership is fantastic news for our customers, with our annual berthing package just getting bigger and better every year. It opens even greater cruising opportunities for our annual berth holders to enjoy the opportunity to travel further afield than ever before, without the need to worry about language or a lack of availability.”
The Andalusian coast has a wealth of attractions for boat owners, with beautiful beaches on Cadiz's Costa de la Luz, from palm-fringed sweeps of golden sand to hidden rocky coves. Further inland, visitors can explore the region’s capital, Seville, and the Alhambra, the breath-taking Moorish palace in Granada.
Chatham Maritime Marina will be able to offer even greater space for berth holders, with the official opening of 60 new marina berths. The new pontoons, which represent a significant investment in the Kent marina, were officially opened by the Mayor of Medway, Councillor Mrs Josie Iles.
The construction work forms part of the Chatham Maritime Project, with MDL Marinas – Europe’s largest marina operator - working in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency and Chatham Maritime Trust as part of extensive regeneration works in the area. Cllr Mrs Iles and other invited guests were treated to a tour of the marina by boat, learning more about the important maritime history of the area, before stepping onto the new pontoons for the official opening ceremony.
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are committed to investing in our marinas, and these new berths will allow even more boat owners access to both the beautiful cruising opportunities in the Medway Estuary and the renowned MDL customer service that people using the new berths will experience. The local area has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, and we are proud to be part of this, whilst also ensuring our customer service and locations are of the very highest standards.
“We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and our other guests to this important occasion and look forward to seeing the new berths being well used this summer.”
We now have the 2013-2014 Tide Table booklets available to purchase from our marina offices. They are being sold at £1.00 per booklet and all proceeds will be donated to the Ocean Youth Trust South (OYT South), a charity that we have supported for many years with the Sail Training Awards.
In celebration of our 40th anniversary, MDL is supporting OYT South throughout 2013 by hosting a series of charitable events including raffles and prize auctions. We’re also encouraging marina tenants and businesses run by berth holders to get involved and choose Ocean Youth Trust South as their nominated charity for 2013.