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OYT South’s New Sail Training Vessel Re-launched After 12-month Refit

Posted: 27th October 2016

Ocean Youth Trust South’s new sail training vessel, Prolific, was re-launched on Monday 24th October 2016 following a 12-month refit at Saxon Wharf, Southampton.

Prolific will further the work of Ocean Youth Trust South, helping young people aged 12-25 – many of them disadvantaged and vulnerable – to develop the skills they need to succeed in life: confidence, team-work, communication, resilience and the ability to cope with unfamiliar experiences. The new sail training vessel, which was bought from Norway in 2015, is the long-term replacement for the Trust’s previous boat, John Laing, which has taken thousands of young people to sea over the last 26 years with the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust South.

The extensive refit was only possible through the support of major sponsors like International Paint, who are responsible for Prolific’s beautiful paintwork, and Marina Developments Limited who, as well as helping to raise money for Prolific’s purchase, provide free berthing and support with the lift-out and storage during the refit.

Dean Smith, Operations & Marketing Director at MDL Marinas said, "We're proud to support OYT South and it has been a pleasure to see Prolific be re-launched as we know she'll make such a difference to so many lives in the years to come".

Sail specialist Andy Cassell from Ratsey and Lapthorn (Cowes) Ltd went on a trial sail in Prolific in order to be able to advise on how to get the best out of the sails for the work that the Trust does. Members of the Owen Clarke Design team also went out in the new vessel to advise on how to optimise Prolific’s rig for sail training, and are involved in the design of a new mizzen mast and other improvements. Other major sponsors include BSI A/S who supplied Prolific’s standing rigging at a special rate; Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, who gave legal advice throughout the purchase; and Spinlock who serviced all the deck hardware.

Post-refit, Prolific, which was built in 2005 and is a hybrid of modern-day construction and an historic design based on 19th-century herring fishing vessels, offers modern accommodation and a low- maintenance design. Crucially the low-maintenance design will allow OYT South to focus on its charitable work allowing the Trust to continue, with Prolific, for the next thirty years.

Over the winter, Prolific has a busy programme of sea trials and staff and volunteer training, as the adults who sail on the charity’s voyages get to grips with working on board a very different boat. From April to November 2017 there is a full programme of youth voyages, including an expedition to the Baltic and back in summer, visiting Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland, taking in some Tall Ships races and festivals. Much of the rest of the year involves local voyages out of Southampton.

Mark Todd, Ocean Youth Trust South’s Chief Executive, says: “There has been huge enthusiasm amongst our existing clients plus a number of organisations such as schools, other charities and youth groups which want to start sailing with us In Prolific – bookings now are busier than they have ever been and we are delighted that our decision to buy Prolific has created such a sense of excitement about her potential to make a lasting difference to young lives.

Prolific’s refit has been a major project involving modifications to meet the charity’s requirements and the needs of the young people, plus significant amounts of new gear and extensive testing and servicing. Although she is now back in the water she is still awaiting a new mizzen mast and a complete new suit of sails. But we could never have reached this point without the invaluable help of a number of major sponsors. The purchase price and refit have been funded by the incredible generosity of a very large number of donors; but the whole project has been made possible by a number of key sponsors to whom we are enormously grateful.

“OYT South is thrilled to have brought this unique boat to the UK, and we hope that the sailing community in the Solent and around the British coast will welcome Prolific as she starts sailing in her new home waters.”

More details on Prolific can be found at: www.oytsouth.org/prolific.asp. Find the 2017 voyage programme with remaining vacancies for young people here: www.oytsouth.org/2017.asp.


MDL Marinas Gears Up for the America's Cup World Series Portsmouth

Posted: 17th July 2016

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, is looking forward to supporting this week's prestigious Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, where they will be showcasing their extensive marina network, now comprising of over 100 destinations in the UK, France, Spain and Italy.

As the Official UK Marina Partner to Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing and the recent announcement of their new Engagement Partnership with the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, this year MDL will be proudly exhibiting in the exciting Marketplace located in the heart of the Race Village. The three-day spectacular event, taking place on Southsea seafront, will see the MDL Group get behind the team and join the nation in backing Land Rover BAR’s quest to bring the Cup home.

MDL’s annual berth holders and visitors enrolled on their Cruising Club scheme, also have the opportunity to secure preferential rates for tickets to the exciting Race Village in Southsea. Those 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. The Race Village will also include big screens with commentary to watch the racing and 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.

The Marketplace will boast a variety of shops and food stalls, while MDL’s stand will welcome the return of its popular Cleat Challenge, first seen at last year’s America's Cup World Series event in Portsmouth. Those participating will have the chance to win one of three Henri Lloyd jackets, competing for the fastest rope cleating time!

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “It’s set to be a fantastic event and we’re looking forward to exhibiting once again at the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth. As the Official UK Marina partner for Land Rover BAR we’re excited to be supporting the team in bringing the Cup home. Our friendly and experienced staff will also be on hand to discuss Freedom Berthing, the most extensive berthing package in marketplace.

The event takes place this week between 22nd and 24th July, and will see the world’s best sailors descend on the Solent to battle it out on high-speed AC45 foiling catamarans. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Portsmouth is expected to entice up to 650,000 visitors across the three-day sporting bonanza.

Land Rover BAR’s home city of Portsmouth is a dynamic and vibrant place, with its proud naval and maritime heritage, towering world-class visitor attractions, museums and galleries, unique shopping destinations, great places to eat and miles and miles of beautiful waterfront.

Visit our Land Rover BAR Portal for all the latest information from the America's Cup, including team news and race results.


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 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.”


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