David Birch, Car Park Attendant at MDL’s Torquay Marina, is busy planning and preparing for an epic challenge. David intends to single-handedly cross the 75 miles from Guernsey to Torquay in Rosco, his 9ft Laser Pico dinghy, to raise money for Devon based Rowcroft Hospice in May of this year.
Rowcroft Hospice was recommended to David as his sponsored charity by friends and has been described as being at ‘the heart of Devon’. The hospice serves the local community by providing specialist care to patients with progressive, life limiting illnesses.
Although David has lots of experience on yachts he has less than two years experience of single-handed dinghy sailing, David commented: “I just think that if you’re going to do something for charity then it should be a challenge, something that you have to work hard to complete and worthy of people donating money to. This trip will take around 14 hours which in itself is a challenge when you’re sailing a single-handed dinghy; it’s the logistics that can be as problematic as the endurance aspect.”
David will have a support boat alongside him that will carry supplies and be there in case of emergencies, but David does plan to carry as much as he can in Rosco as he explains: “I’ve got one of those army jackets which should be able to store a fair amount and I’ll also have a dry bag inside the dinghy for the storage of provisions.”
To help with planning the trip and to track his progress, David has set up a YouTube channel which has been really useful so far. David said: “The YouTube channel has been a great tool for gathering advice from people on all topics from provisions, tactics and what I should wear, and it will serve as a useful way to track my progress throughout the preparations stage.”
David hopes to reach and exceed his £5,000 target and has set up a JustGiving page to organise the donations, David explained: “I’m so grateful for any donation as well as any corporate sponsorship, I have opportunities on my sail and for stickers on my hull for companies’ logos and branding, as well as the more traditional financial donations through my JustGiving page.”
MDL Marinas has donated generously and the hospice is being considered as the group’s charity of the year for all other fundraisers to support. Mike Smith, Manager at Torquay Marina, said: “We’re all so proud of David for taking on this challenge, it’s not an easy one and he’s doing it for such a good cause that is so very close to many within the local community. We wish him every success and will do anything we can to support him.”
You can follow David’s challenge via his YouTube channel. You can find out more about The Rowcroft Hospice and you can donate online at this JustGiving page.
MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, has invested £250,000 in a new, super fast WiFi service across its network of UK marinas.
The new hardware will offer super quick internet access across all of MDL Marinas’ 19 UK marina and boatyard sites. It will enable berth holders and visitors to quickly and easily connect, stream video, Skype and handle large file downloads, and all from the comfort and convenience of their own boats.
The complimentary service is offered as part of MDL’s Freedom Berthing membership and will be accessible for all WiFi enabled mobile devices, offering a high-speed, low latency connection.
Commenting on the new offering, Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas said: “We know from talking to our berth holders and visitors how important it is for them to have access to super fast WiFi. Whether for business or pleasure, in this day and age most of us demand and expect excellent internet access wherever we may be. We are delighted to introduce this as part of the exceptional MDL service we provide across our marinas.”
Alan Chorlton, a berth holder at MDL’s Torquay Marina added: “I am delighted that MDL Marinas has upgraded its WiFi service. When I am berthed in the marina, it’s important for me to be able to access the internet to pick up emails, connect with friends and family via Skype, as well as view and download large files. The new WiFi is exceptionally fast; it’s brilliant.”
MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, is looking forward to exhibiting at the London Boat Show in January 2016, where they will be showcasing their extensive network comprising of over 100 marina destinations.
As the Official UK Marina Partner to Land Rover | BAR, this year MDL will be proudly exhibiting opposite the teams stand on A006. MDL’s popular Cleat Challenge, first seen at the America's Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, will be making a welcome return. Those participating will have the chance to win one of three Henri Lloyd jackets by competing for the fastest rope cleating time!
Furthermore, MDL will be running a competition to win a year’s free berthing at their stunning five-star marina in Italy, Marina di Stabia. Located in the beautiful Bay of Naples, Marina di Stabia is a new generation superyacht facility offering long-term berthing opportunities at incredible rates. With 900 berths, the marina is located in close reach of a rich picking of famous scenic spots including Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi and Pompeii.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “We look forward to be exhibiting once again at the London Boat Show. With over 100 fantastic marina destinations to choose from, including those in UK, Italy, Spain and France, our friendly staff will be on hand to help you to plan for an exciting season ahead!”
The show promises over 300 exhibitors showcasing thousands of boats, products and brands, the latest in technology and innovation, alongside world debuts and product launches. Experts from the MDL team will be on hand throughout the show to welcome berth holders and visitors to the stand. Plus there are some new attractions that promise to really capture your imagination including a purpose-built Mediterranean Bay and a 60s revival showcase.
To book, visit the official London Boat Show website. Don’t forget, MDL berth holders are entitled to receive a preferential rate - please ask at your marina office for further details.
Families were treated to a fantastic weekend of festive entertainment at MDL’s Torquay Marina on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December.
Friday afternoon saw Santa teaming up with Torquay’s infamous Tin Man to kick off the festive season and turn on the marina lights. Over 100 visitors and berth holders came down to the festively festooned marina where children enjoyed sleigh rides with Santa while the adults kept themselves warm with mulled wine and mince pies from the Torquay Trolley of Treats.
Saturday was a special day for all those on Santa’s nice list, as he went around the pontoons delivering individual presents to the berth holder’s children.
Mike Smith, Manager at Torquay Marina, commented: “It really was a superb weekend, we had a great turnout and it’s always so wonderful to celebrate the end of another great year with our berth holders.”
At the beginning of the year, we celebrated being presented the coveted Boating Business Environment Award at the annual Marine Trade Association (MTA) & Boating Business Awards.
We scooped the award for our commitment to reducing carbon emissions across our marinas and our work protecting the environment. We were also recognised in particular for leading the sector in tackling the spread of marine non-native species to protect native aquatic life, working with the Government and key stakeholders.
Peter Nash, Editor of Boating Business, commented: “This award is always given to a business that has pulled out all the stops to deliver lasting environmental improvements in the marine industry. The judging panel was very impressed with the recent sustainability measures that MDL has introduced, spanning a number of different environmental issues, and the company’s dedication to continually pursuing ways to protect the environment.”
Our commitment to protecting and preserving our local environments in and around our marinas continues. We recently teamed up with The BLUE Marine Foundation and Land Rover BAR to design a customised pontoon, which aims to assist with the restoration of the native oyster in the Solent, once the biggest oyster fishery in Europe. The newly developed pontoon structure, which bolts directly to the side of existing walkway pontoons, was designed to accommodate cages that will be used to house brood stock oysters. The mesh size is such that the adult oysters will be contained within the cages but their spat are picked up on the tide and redistributed throughout the Solent.
Researchers from the Portsmouth Institute of Marine Science will study the oysters on the Land Rover BAR pontoon, closely monitoring the relationship between density and mortality / reproduction rates. This research will help identify optimum conditions for the oysters, which we will then replicate across pontoons in all of our marinas across the Solent.
Until the late seventies, nearly 500 boats made a living from catching oysters in the Solent, employing more than 700 men at sea. Fishing for oysters was banned in 2013 due to a drastic decline in numbers, but we hope our pontoons will be instrumental in returning the oyster numbers to a satisfactory level throughout the Solent and allow fishing to be permitted once again.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on this!
Our marina teams have done a brilliant job this year, working together to raise funds for some amazing charities. We couldn’t do it without your help, so we’d like to say a big thank you for being so generous and helping us to make a difference!
At the beginning of the year, many of our marinas underwent a Red Nose Day makeover and we launched a social media initiative encouraging our berth holders and team to post selfies of themselves making their faces ‘funny for money’. We donated £1 for every photo received.
In May, Brixham and Torquay Marina organised a charity boat lift to raise funds for The Fisherman’s Mission, whilst June saw one of our berth holders, Gary Pearson, lead a mammoth 68 mile bike ride from Penton Hook Marina, near Chertsey-on-Thames, to Ocean Village Marina in Southampton. He was supported by five dedicated members of the MDL team and the ride raised over £9,000 for the British Heart foundation – a brilliant result.
August saw 24 berth holders from Cobb’s Quay Marina exchange the rolling waves of the sea for the rolling hills of a golf course where they organised a tournament – raising £2,000 for local children’s hospice, Julia’s House. The marina also held its annual fishing competition to raise funds for sailing charity, Heroes on the Water, which this year raised an impressive £1,500.
Each year, we raise money for our long standing charity partner, Ocean Youth Trust South (OYT South). This year, we donated over £700, as well as working with the charity to run the Sail Training Awards, offering admirable young people the chance to take part in a sailing voyage aboard OYT South’s training yacht.
Most recently in November, a 15-strong MDL team cycled 100 miles (the distance from Hamble Point Marina to Cobb’s Quay Marina and return) as part of an epic static bike challenge to raise funds for Children In Need. The team also sported lots of fancy dress and baked some delicious cakes! Despite having to replace our exercise bike part way through the day, we managed to raise over £500.
We’re sure you’ll agree it’s been a very successful fundraising year and we hope to raise even more in 2016!
The deadline for the Marina of the Year Awards is fast approaching – and your home marina needs your support!
We are delighted to have 17 fabulous UK marinas in the running for this year’s prestigious Marina of the Year Awards, run by The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) and we need your votes by Monday 30th November!
Designed to recognise excellence in facilities and customer service, the Marina of the Year Awards are open to all Gold Anchor accredited marinas both in the UK and overseas.
Love your marina? Then make your vote count! These Awards are voted for by boat owners and berth holders just like you, giving you the chance to reward your favourite marina and make sure it gets the credit it deserves.
So, you have a decision to make and we need you to act now to reward your home marina. Perhaps picturesque Brixham Marina is your winner? Or maybe you prefer Northney Marina’s tranquillity, or Port Hamble’s status as the centre of the Solent's racing and boating scene?
Voting is really quick and simple – all you need to do is visit www.marinaawards.com before 30th November 2015.
Here are our 17 UK marinas that have been nominated across two categories:
|UK Coastal Marina:||Northney Marina||Woolverstone Marina|
|Brixham Marina||Ocean Village Marina|
|Chatham Maritime Marina||Port Hamble Marina||UK Inland Marina:|
|Cobb's Quay Marina||Queen Anne’s Battery||Bray Marina|
|Hamble Point Marina||Shamrock Quay||Penton Hook Marina|
|Hythe Marina Village||Sparkes Marina||Windsor Marina|
|Mercury Yacht Harbour||Torquay Marina|
The winners will be announced during the 2016 London Boat Show at ExCeL. Don’t let your favourite marina go unnoticed, get voting for your Marina of the Year now!
Thank you for your support.
The UK’s leading marina operator, MDL Marinas, has developed a powerful video to celebrate being signed as the Official UK Marina Partner for Land Rover BAR.
The video was made using a drone that filmed aerial shots of the Land Rover BAR team training and competing at their headquarters in Portsmouth. The video features a compelling script, which celebrates the dedication and training of the Land Rover BAR team values that are shared by the team at MDL.
‘Ropes whip, sails crack. hull creaks, wind screams.
Boom swings, crew scrambles, battling, winching, sailing, foiling… flying.
Preparing, securing, steadying, lifting... flying.’
Drones were also used to film the MDL teams hard at work at Hamble Point and Port Hamble, both situated on the River Hamble. The captivating footage promotes the likeness between the crew and the marina managers by highlighting the shared desire to win and succeed using a combination of hard work and determination.
The exciting video sees the MDL group get behind the team – as they compete on home waters for the first time – and join the nation to back Land Rover BAR’s quest to bring the Cup home.
To support the Team, MDL has provided essential access to the Solent to enable team training. Land Rover BAR has also been given full use of MDL’s network of leading marina locations and facilities across the south.
On behalf of the Team, Ben Ainslie commented: “It’s great to have MDL Marinas on board as our Official UK Marina Partner. As the leading marina operator in the UK and the longest-standing British marina group it was a natural fit. We are looking forward to closely working together on this momentous challenge.”
To keep up to date with the team and the America's Cup, visit our Online Portal.
We are pleased to announce that Lesley Robinson (pictured) will succeed Eamonn Feeney as the new Managing Director for MDL Marinas.
The change comes as Eamonn recently announced his intention to retire after almost 5 years at the helm overseeing the continued growth and success of Europe’s leading marina group.
Eamonn said “I’ve really enjoyed my time with MDL, in what is a great industry with great people, and I’m personally pleased to be handing on a business in great shape to my successor. Whilst this is the first phase of my retirement plan I’ll be keeping up my links with the industry as I think I’ll find it hard to stay away.”
Lesley joins MDL Marinas as a proven business leader with a strong commercial, customer focused background across a broad range of fields. Lesley has operated at director level in the leisure, FMCG, media and technology sectors both internationally and in the UK and will be joining MDL from her most recent Director role at the Money Advice Service.
Lesley will join the business in early November and will be relocating to the Hamble area.
Lesley said “I’m delighted to be joining MDL and looking forward to getting started as soon as possible. I’m excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead for the business and to being part of the excellent team dedicated to serving MDL’s customers.”