Torbay is set to host the UK leg of the famous Solitaire du Figaro yacht race in what promises to be a spectacular event for the region. The 40-strong fleet of British and French boats and their skippers will call in to Torquay Marina in June as part of a 2,000-mile challenge, criss-crossing the English Channel. It’s only the second time in 11 years the prestigious event - the unofficial world championship of solo offshore sailing - has enjoyed a UK stopover.
“This is going to be a huge occasion,” says Bob Penfold, Commodore, Royal Torbay Yacht Club. “It’s going to raise the profile of the Bay on the international sailing scene. As a club, we are really excited about this opportunity.”
Organisers are keen to stress that the stopover from 17th to 21st June will delight everyone, whether or not they’re sailing enthusiasts. A specially created race village in Torquay’s Beacon Quay will allow people to meet the competitors and get up close to the striking 33ft-long yachts. There are plans for a grand firework display and plenty of entertainment to entertain the thousands of onlookers expected to attend.
The highlight will be the spectacular sight of more than 40 sailing boats with their skippers taking part in a professionals and amateurs race (pro-am) across the Bay. The fleet will depart for the fourth leg of their month-long race on 21st June after an outdoor multi-faith service of celebration and thanks.
Boat owners in Torbay have enjoyed the very latest marine maintenance technology over the past year, thanks to the installation of a class-leading boat lift at MDL’s Brixham Marina. The lift is one of two in the UK and only three in the world, offering a state-of-the-art system that is capable of lifting boats of up to 50 tons and 60ft in length in just ten minutes.
The whole process of lifting the boat, scrubbing the hull and returning it to the water can be completed in under an hour, which is far quicker and more convenient than traditional methods. Berth holders have been enjoying the lifting services all year round, and have been delighted with the benefits and cost-savings.
Alan Chorlton, a berth holder at Torquay Marina, commented: “I have used the boat lift at Brixham on three occasions over the past year. Just some of the work I’ve had done has included cleaning and preparing the underside of my hull, checking for general wear and tear, and preparing my boat for antifouling. There are many benefits of the lift including its location, the ease and speed of use, the professional and helpful staff, cost savings, and the fact it just offers more of a suitable environment to carry out the work required. I highly recommend the boat lift at Brixham and will definitely be continuing to use it.”
Ken Bowden, a berth holder at Brixham Marina, commented: “I used the boat lift at Brixham Marina for antifouling and was very pleased with it. It’s easy to use and saved me both time and money. There is also the added bonus that I didn’t even need to take my boat out of the water. I will definitely be using it again.”
The boat lift is staffed by fully-trained operators and supported by MDL’s nearby Dartside Quay Marine Service Centre, who are on hand to provide a host of maintenance packages, bringing their vast experience to a whole new group of boat owners in and around Torbay. Boat owners can take advantage of the convenience of having their boat collected from their berth, lifted for a hull scrub and other tasks including anode changes, clearing a fouled prop or application of antifoul, and returned to the berth ready for use.
Shaw Smith, Manager at Brixham Marina, commented: “The lift has proved to be a real asset for all boaters in the area, offering a unique service that cannot currently be found outside the Solent. Customers have been delighted with how easy it is to use and how much time and money it can save.
“The extensive packages we offer help boat owners get more out of their time spent on board – with us overseeing the lifting and all aspects of maintenance, allowing owners to simply enjoy their leisure time.”
For more information please visit www.brixhamboatlift.co.uk.
MDL Marinas will once again be exhibiting at the CWM FX London Boat Show, taking place at London’s ExCel from 9th – 18th January 2015.
In what is the 61st year of Europe’s first ever boat show, the CWM FX London Boat Show promises a fantastic experience for all - whether you have a love of getting in or on the water or would like to try it for the first time, or if it’s boats, equipment, training or technology that captures you’re interest, the show will not leave you feeling disappointed.
If you’re heading to the show, come and visit the MDL team on stand AO13 to find out what’s coming up for MDL Marinas in 2015. You’ll also be able to enter our fantastic competition to win a free berth!
Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director for MDL Marinas, commented: “The MDL team is looking forward to a busy CWM FX London Boat Show. There will be lots going on at our stand - AO13, including a brilliant opportunity to win a free berth at any of our 19 UK marinas so do stop by and say hello if you’re going along. We look forward to seeing you there!”
For more information on what’s on offer at the CWM FX London Boat Show 2015 or to buy tickets, visit www.londonboatshow.com.
We look forward to seeing you at the show!
MDL berth holders celebrated the Christmas season in style last week, when they took part in MDL’s tenth annual pre-Christmas mini cruise to the historic city of St Malo for a festive weekend away.
Held each year especially for MDL’s Freedom Berthing members and their families, the cruise is a joint collaboration between MDL Marinas and Brittany Ferries and gives berth holders from across MDL’s marinas the chance to socialise and enjoy the festive period together.
This year, 335 MDL customers took part in the cruise, along with their friends and family – including berth holders from MDL’s Sant Carles Marina in Spain!
The ever-popular cruise took place on Friday 12 – Sunday 14 December and headed to the picturesque region of Brittany aboard Brittany Ferries’ flagship cruise ferry, the Pont Aven. The group enjoyed a two night stay in ensuite cabin accommodation, a drinks reception, and a splendid meal on Saturday evening.
The trip gave the group plenty of opportunities to visit the beautiful city, whether it was walking the bustling streets, exploring the Chateau de St Malo or the Grand Aquarium, or taking in St Malo’s exquisite shops to stock up on Christmas ‘essentials’.
Mike Smith, organiser of the trip and Manager at Torquay Marina, commented: “This year’s MDL pre-Christmas cruise was a great success! The trip was sold out and our group had a wonderful time exploring St Malo and doing some Christmas shopping. The cruise has become a Christmas tradition, which gives MDL berth holders from across our marinas the chance to get to know one another better in a relaxed setting and to enjoy the festive season together.”
For a full gallery of images, please click here.
We pride ourselves on providing the very highest levels of quality and service at our marinas and facilities to our customers throughout the year. That’s why we’ll be investing further in our marina sites all over the country, to make sure that we maintain, and wherever possible improve your marina experience.
Just some of the works planned during 2015 include:
The 2015 season will also see Mercury Yacht Harbour adding boat lifting to its range of services.
Already completed this year was a re-deck of the catamaran berths at Sparkes Marina, along with improvements to the car park, marina entrance and resurfacing of the boatyard. We’ve also been kept busy resurfacing the car park and boatyard at Saxon Wharf. The berth holder facility block at Shamrock Quay was also refurbished, which was completed in time for the new season and has received lots of positive feedback.
Hamble Point Marina saw new cradle stock, upgraded site electrics, a new marina office and refurbished facilities. Some new dining options also arrived at Cobb’s Quay and Shamrock Quay, as well as continuing maintenance works at many MDL marinas including Hythe Marina Village and Ocean Village Marina.
We’re inviting you to nominate deserving young people for the trip of a lifetime, with nominations now open for the 2015 Sail Training Awards.
We are proud to have run the awards in conjunction with Ocean Youth Trust South for over 20 years. The annual awards are designed to recognise, reward and challenge young people who have shown exceptional accomplishments and qualities which have inspired or supported others.
The winners will receive an unforgettable sailing experience on board the Ocean Youth Trust South’s training yacht, John Laing from Monday 13th April for six nights. They will spend their time 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.
Past winners have included young people who have been outstanding achievers, as well as those who have been involved in voluntary work, those who never had the chance to travel abroad, and those with added family responsibilities.
Anyone working with young people can send in their nominations, including teachers, guide or scout leaders, youth group leaders, friends and employers. Anyone can nominate, apart from parents, guardians or close family. If this sounds like you or someone you know, click here for further information or to make your nomination.
All nominations must be received by Friday 16th January 2015.
You might already have noticed some Christmassy additions to your local marina recently as our teams get into the Christmas spirit! This year, we’re running a special competition to recognise the MDL marinas that pull out all the stops to spread Christmas cheer among our berth holders - and we need your help.
Our teams will be posting pictures of their festive efforts on social media throughout December and asking you to like and comment on how well you think they have done. Competition categories include: the Best Dressed Christmas Tree, Best Overall Christmas Decorations and the Best Christmas Team Selfie. Your response on our marinas' Facebook and Twitter pages will help us decide which of our marina teams should be awarded the exciting prizes we have on offer…
Our competition will be running right up until Christmas Eve and we will announce our winners in the New Year!
Find your marina's Facebook page!
The new 5 day London Boat Show is a celebration of everything you can do on the water. Re-defined and re-imagined, this year’s world-famous show is set to be better than ever.
Climb aboard classic boats and modern yachts, pick up the latest marine technology, and spend quality time with some sailing legends.
Bringing a world of inspiration, on water experiences and exclusive deals, the London Boat Show 2018 will be packed with global, national and boutique brands, first looks, loads of retailers and even unique opportunities to get on the water indoors.
Come and visit us on the Which Marina? stand, WE012.