A VIP Day at Torquay Marina

Posted: 15th June 2016

MDL’s Torquay Marina, situated in the northeast corner of Torbay, played host to a very special VIP Aston Martin day recently.

Five Aston Martins and a Bentley dropped by the marina, where their owners were indulged with a five-star lunch, cooked by renowned local chef, Simon Hulstone, on board luxury motoryacht, Triple 777.

The VIP guests were treated to the fine dining experience, courtesy of local restaurant, The Elephant. An award–winning chef, with a talent for using local seasonal produce to create memorable flavours, Simon and his team at The Elephant were the first restaurant in Torquay to secure a coveted Michelin Star. Today, it also holds three AA rosettes.

Simon has represented his country on more than 20 occasions, competing twice in the prestigious ‘Bocuse d’Or’ culinary contest.

The diners were welcomed on board with a choice of a Sea Sunrise cocktail or Pimm’s and lemonade, accompanied by canapés, before being treated to a sumptuous feast of Wye Valley asparagus, soft boiled Bantam eggs, wild garlic and capers, served with a crisp white 2014 Bacchus from Lyme Bay in Devon. This was followed by a main of fillet of Brixham hake, celeriac dice, samphire, chorizo, chicken jus and for dessert, vanilla pannacotta, jus fraise, Tellicherry black pepper and meringue.

The delicious lunch was enjoyed on board the 80ft Italian yacht from makers Azimut, Triple 777, which is berthed at Torquay Marina. From here, the Triple 777 Experience offers first-class hospitality for day charter, corporate and special events along the south coast.

Torquay Marina was also pleased to welcome ONE MARINE, a division of Sunseeker, to showcase its new INVICTUS 200FX range outside the offices at the marina. New to the market, the INVICTUS ranges from the outboard 190FX to the diesel inboard 420GT.

Mike Smith, Manager at Torquay Marina, commented: “We were delighted to host our VIP guests recently at the marina. The beautiful Aston Martins and Bentley certainly drew admiring glances from our berth holders and visitors. Simon put on a superb lunch for the guests on board Triple 777. We certainly showcased Torquay Marina and its local amenities and we hope to welcome our special guests again in the near future.”

MDL Excited to Announce Engagement Partnership with ACWS Portsmouth

Posted: 8th June 2016

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, is delighted to announce its involvement in the prestigious Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, as an official UK Marina Engagement Partner. The event will be taking place on 22nd to 24th July and will see the world’s best sailors descend on the Solent to battle it out on high-speed AC45 foiling catamarans.

As part of this new partnership, MDL Marinas will exhibit to promote their prestigious marine services at this highly anticipated, international event. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series organisers will also benefit from promotion of the event to MDL’s extensive customer network, both across the UK and Europe. MDL’s annual berth holders and Cruising Club members will be offered preferential tickets to the exciting Race Village in Southsea.

Visitors who are lucky enough to acquire a ticket, will afford the best views of the race course in the Solent, as well as receive a unique insight into the history, technology and racing teams in this esteemed sporting event. Spectators will also have the opportunity to access the exciting new ‘Tech & Team Zones’, watch live BMX shows and secure the best spot on the sea front to enjoy aerial displays by the Red Arrows, Red Bull Matadors and Blades.

Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are delighted to become an Engagement Partner for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth. This exciting partnership will enable us to offer our valued customers preferential tickets to what promises to be an epic event, both on the water and on shore. MDL Marinas will also be exhibiting in the Race Village.

“Last year, MDL Marinas became the official UK Marina Partner for the British contender, Land Rover BAR. This sees MDL providing access to the Solent for training, as well as making its network of leading marina locations and facilities across the South available to the team. This new partnership further cements our involvement in this historical event.”

Leslie Greenhalgh, Event Director of the Portsmouth event, added: “It is great to have the support of MDL Marinas for this prestigious event and having already established a strong partnership with Land Rover BAR, we see them as a natural fit. We are excited to have MDL on board and exhibiting at the event and look forward to welcoming their berth holders and Cruising Club members to the Race Village in July.”

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Portsmouth is expected to entice up to 50,000 visitors across the three-day sporting bonanza.

For more information about the event, please visit www.lvacwsportsmouth.com.

Devon Marina Teams and Customers Cycle Over 600 Miles for Charity

Posted: 15th April 2016

Staff and customers from MDL’s marinas in Devon have cycled a fantastic 600 miles to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK over the past week. This is all part of an initiative across MDL’s 18 marina locations, which will see the team and their customers cycle the entire route of its UK marina network and back again – a whopping 1,634 miles.

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, created the initiative in support of Mike Glanville, the company’s Group Head of Operations, who has undertaken two charitable runs to-date following the loss of one of his best friends to prostate cancer. Mike is currently in training for his third and biggest run, the Virgin London Marathon on 24th April.

The MDL Marinas team decided that whilst Mike puts on his running shoes and pounds miles and miles of pavement, they would all support him by cycling in an effort to raise an additional £1,634 for Prostate Cancer UK. To conquer the challenge, MDL’s static bike is making a grand tour of its 18 marinas including locations in Torquay, Plymouth and Brixham, where team members and customers have been challenged to hop on the bike and cycle to raise funds for such a worthy cause.

Whilst each marina needed to cycle an average of 86 miles, the team at Torquay Marina really committed to the cause and conquered a huge 341 miles with 35 cyclists, raising £565 for the charity. Completing the challenge a little differently, Brixham Marina’s Shaw Smith cycled on his rolling road training bike, beating the inclines and resistances you would find cycling outdoors. Shaw was sponsored by the berth holders to stay on the bike and this he did completing the full 86 miles and raised £379 for Prostate Cancer UK, while Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth cycled 163 miles and raised £193 in the process.

Mike Smith, Marina Manager at Torquay Marina, commented: “This is a fantastic challenge that we have all been really keen to get involved in to help support Mike and to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK. It was great to see so many of our berth holders, tenants and our own teams getting on the bike and racking up those miles, and we are delighted with the result.”

Shaw Smith, Marina Manager at Brixham Marina, said: “It’s great that we have raised a fantastic £379 for Prostate Cancer UK and that we have done our best to support the MDL initiative.” Queen Anne’s Battery brought the total raised by MDL’s Devon marinas to a staggering £1,137. Chris Price, Marina Manager, commented: “We are really proud to have welcomed so many of our berth holders to take part in the bike challenge and pleased to have pushed the total raised by MDL’s Devon marinas to over £1,000 – what a great achievement!”

Mike Glanville, MDL’s Group Head of Operations, commented: “I am overwhelmed by the fantastic fundraising support I have had from the team at MDL Marinas and would like to sincerely thank everyone for their efforts, which has meant I have already hit my £2,000 target. I am looking forward to seeing the remainder of the marina network get cycling and raise even more money for this great cause.”

To donate towards this worthy cause please visit www.justgiving.com/Mike-G-Marathon.

Customers and Staff at MDL Marinas to Cycle 1,634 Miles for Charity

Posted: 26th February 2016

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator is launching an exciting charitable initiative on 1st March, which will see its team and customers cycle the entire route of its UK marina network and back again to help raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK.

The company initiative was created in support of Mike Glanville, MDL’s Group Head of Operations who has undertaken two charitable runs to-date following the loss of one of his best friends to Prostate Cancer. Mike is currently in training for his third and biggest run – the Virgin London Marathon on 24th April.

The MDL Marinas team decided that whilst Mike puts on his running shoes and pounds miles and miles of pavement, they would support him by cycling the whopping 1,634 miles in an effort to raise an additional £1,634 for Prostate Cancer UK – a target that the team are hoping to smash! To conquer the challenge MDL’s static bike will be making a grand tour of its 18 marinas including locations in Poole, Torquay, Plymouth and The Thames, where team members and customers will be challenged to hop on the bike and cycle to raise funds for such a worthy cause.

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “We have been hugely impressed by Mike’s dedication and continued training for such a great cause, and decided it was only right to help boost his fundraising efforts and show our support. We are all very excited about the cycle challenge and are looking forward to seeing all of our team, as well as many of our willing berth holders’ cycle up a storm in one of our 18 UK marina locations.

Mike Glanville, MDL’s Group Head of Operations, commented: “It’s fantastic that the team at MDL are running this initiative and helping to raise further funds for the charity. One of my very best friends sadly passed away after an epic battle with Prostate Cancer. This cancer affects thousands of men each year, and we are hoping the MDL cycle challenge, along with my running efforts, will not only help raise further funds to find a new cure, but also help raise awareness of the cancer amongst our customers and teams in an effort to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life.”

To donate towards this worthy cause please visit www.justgiving.com/Mike-G-Marathon.

MDL Marinas Announces Marwell's Zany Zebras Competition

Posted: 19th February 2016

Last year, MDL Marinas teamed up with Marwell Wildlife to announce MDL’s involvement in the public art extravaganza, Marwell’s Zany Zebras, which will take place this summer.

For ten weeks throughout the summer, starting on 16th July, zebra sculptures will inhabit the streets of Southampton, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in the area, while highlighting the significant conservation threat facing wild zebras and how the Southampton business community can make a difference. Following the success of Go! Rhinos in 2013, Marwell’s Zany Zebras promises to be even bigger and better.  

To celebrate the involvement in this year’s event, MDL Marinas is holding a fantastic competition inviting people to get their creative juices flowing and submit a design of an ‘Under the Sea’ creature. Local artist Tom Joyce, has innovatively designed ‘Zebastian the Seabra’, a Grevy’s zebra sculpture painted with over 100 fun and unique cartoon sea creatures including a catfish, swordfish and jellyfish. The winning creation will be included in Tom’s final painting on ‘Zebastian the Seabra’ for all to see and receive an annual family pass to Marwell Zoo. The top three entries will also all receive family day tickets to Marwell Zoo and the Southampton Boat Show.

Marwell’s Zany Zebras aims to raise money for charity, promote local business and encourage local tourism. After the event, all of the sculptures will be sold at auction with proceeds going towards conservation of these animals and other wildlife plus give support to communities living in the arid landscapes of northern Kenya.

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL, commented: “We are delighted to be a part of Marwell's Zany Zebras campaign. It’s a fantastic way of raising awareness of the conservation work Marwell Wildlife carries out to protect endangered Grévy’s zebras. MDL has six marinas in the Solent which play an integral part in the life of the city and we can’t wait to see ‘Zebastian the Seabra’ featuring the winning artwork.”

Kirstie Mathieson, Project Manager for Marwell’s Zany Zebras, said: “Marwell’s Zany Zebras will showcase Southampton and all the city has to offer, including the beautiful marinas. Art trails of this nature provide a great vehicle for tourists and we are delighted that MDL is engaging the surrounding community with their ‘Feature your Creature’ campaign, a unique opportunity to be part of an amazing piece of art.”

If you would like to be in with a chance of having your ‘Under the Sea’ creation included as part of MDL’s Feature your Creature campaign and the opportunity to win fantastic prizes please visit: www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/creature.

Please submit all submissions to: featureyourcreature@mdlmarinas.co.uk.

MDL Team Member Prepares for Single-Handed Dinghy Channel Crossing

Posted: 29th January 2016

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 Upgrades to Super Fast WiFi

Posted: 11th January 2016

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 Gears Up for the 2016 London Boat Show

Posted: 10th December 2015

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.

Tin Man Lights Up Torquay

Posted: 7th December 2015

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.”

Awarded for our Commitment to the Environment

Posted: 26th November 2015

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!