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.
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.
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.
It was great to welcome so many berth holders and visitors to our stand at the PSP Southampton Boat Show. We hope you had a fantastic time and enjoyed our hospitality, and we look forward to seeing you at our marinas very soon.
It was certainly an action packed 10 days, where we welcomed over 4,500 visitors to our stand, served just under 7,000 drinks (many of them containing alcohol!), and we hosted a number of great events, all in the lovely September sunshine.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the highlights of the show...
We hope you enjoy the rest of the season and we look forward to seeing you over the coming months. Just a quick reminder we will also be at the London Boat Show from Friday 9th January and hope to see many of you there too!
Happy Boating from all the team at MDL.
Six deserving young people who won a place on this year’s MDL Sail Training Awards voyage were officially presented with their trophies yesterday at the PSP Southampton Boat Show by Lord Iliffe, Chairman of MDL’s parent company. The youngsters returned from their trip earlier this year after spending six days at sea with the Ocean Youth Trust South.
The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for over 20 years, offer admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard the training yacht.
Joining a team on board the ketch John Laing were Callum Archibald, 14 from Basingstoke, 13-year-old John Bratherton, from Fordingbridge, Erin Sutton, 14, and Jodie Beckham, 13, both from Totton, Oscar Perkins, 13, from Brixham and 15-year-old Robert Jelley from Romsey.
The week-long round trip, from Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, saw them plotting their intended course and getting involved with all elements of sailing. During the voyage the participants also had the opportunity to obtain the Competent Crew certificate, an RYA recognised qualification.
Eamonn Feeney, Managing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “Our Sail Training Awards are a very important initiative for us and we have so far helped well over a hundred young people to experience something truly exceptional. We are big supporters of the work of Ocean Youth Trust South and it’s fantastic that they can reward these youngsters with such a brilliant adventure that really does give them skills for life. We look forward to meeting this year’s winners and presenting them with their awards.”
For more photos of the presentation, please click here.
MDL Marinas is delighted to announce the winners of its 2014 Photographer of the Year competitions, with the winning images taking pride of place on MDL’s Waterside Pavilion (E52) at this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show.
Open to amateur and professional photographers, this year the popular competition featured both the main Photographer of the Year contest alongside an under-16s category. Entrants were judged by a panel that included professional photographer Brendan Fitzgerald of Fitz Marine Photography.
MDL’s Photographer of the Year was Neil O’Donoghue who took a stunning landscape picture at Torquay Marina (above) and will receive a one-day photographic shoot and tuition session with Brendan Fitzgerald of Fitz Marine Photography. The winning image in the under-16s competition was captured at Brixham Marina – a beautiful sunset taken by Dan Parrish. Dan will receive the brand new Nikon COOLPIX AW120 digital camera – which is waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof.
Also attending will be Matthew Harvey, a berth holder at Penton Hook Marina who took runner up spot in the main competition. He will receive a magnum of Champagne for his highly atmospheric shot of the marina. The runner up in the under-16s was Hannah Weeks whose family has a boat in dry stack at Hamble Point Marina. Hannah shot a beautiful early evening scene and will be rewarded with £50 worth of Amazon vouchers. In addition, all winners and runners-up will receive a pair of tickets to the PSP Southampton Boat Show to see their photos displayed on MDL’s waterfront stand (E52). The official prize presentation will take place on Wednesday 17th September at 3pm.
Brendan Fitzgerald of Fitz Marine Photography, commented: “What an absolute privilege to judge this year's MDL Photographer of the Year competition. The two category winners were both strong landscape images. I love the winning image in the under-16s category, it reminds me of a feeling we've all had when we feel we're the only people up at sunrise and heading out for a fun day on the water - bliss. The overall winner, Neil O’Donoghue, provided a very striking image. I love the reflections on the water in the foreground leading the viewer’s eye onto the marina and nearly apocalyptic skyline overhead - this would make a great print or canvas blown up. Congratulations to both winners and well done to all of this year’s entrants, great work.”
A gallery of selected images can be viewed here.
Alongside this year’s competition, MDL also ran a staff photo contest for the fifth year. The winning photograph was taken by Penton Hook Marina’s David Whisson for his beautiful picture of swans on the water in the early morning. Claire Blades from Saxon Wharf was the runner up for her picture looking out across the River Itchen from the marina in the sunshine. David will also receive a Nikon COOLPIX AW120 digital camera and Claire can toast her success with a magnum of Champagne.
A gallery of selected images can be viewed here.
MDL Marinas is delighted to announce its support of the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) in its campaign to restore the historic Solent oyster fishery. BLUE represents a great initiative that is aimed at restoring the once thriving fishery, bringing employment opportunities and a sustainable local food source that will give a valuable contribution to the local economy.
MDL Marinas is one of the partners, alongside Business South who are supporting the initiative, with BLUE working to gain commitment and funding from even more stakeholders over the coming months.
The Solent oyster fishery was once the largest self-sustaining native oyster stock in Europe – employing 700 people with up to 450 boats working in the fishery. Today, the fishery is closed with insufficient oysters to sustain a commercial fishery, and just a handful of boats. Not only has the loss been seen in unemployment and the local food source, but native oysters also provide critical ecosystem services by filtering and purifying water, contributing to coastal defenses and providing important ecological habitats.
BLUE has already clearly demonstrated its capabilities to gain results at Lyme Bay in Dorset where it achieved a positive outcome in its project to establish a scientifically-informed, sustainable and equitable fishery, bringing together previously opposed parties and creating a management plan which had implemented a number of important initiatives. Lyme Bay’s fishermen are actively involved in the process to secure a sustainable fishery for themselves and future generations – a process that creates jobs and improves the local economy.
Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented “We fully support the work of BLUE and believe re-establishing the Solent oyster fishery will be a very successful venture – both from an economic and environmental perspective. It’s great to see the work that has been undertaken in Lyme Bay and we are looking forward to working with BLUE on another successful project in the Solent.”
BLUE Co-founder, Chris Gorell Barnes, commented: The Blue Marine Foundation is delighted with the support we have received from MDL Marinas. Their sponsorship not only opens the doors and minds of other leading stakeholders to the project, but has also enabled us to become a Champion of the South Region. With our positioning, we hope to unite companies, organisations and individuals to harness the funding and collaborative expertise needed to support our work in restoring the once thriving Native Oyster fishery. Successful and well managed restoration of the native oyster will deliver significant ecosystem service benefits to the Solent marine environment as well as economic gains to the region.
To find out more about BLUE go to www.bluemarinefoundation.com.
We have received some great My MDL Selfies over the last month – but there’s still time to take part. Whether you’re out enjoying the sun or visiting us on our boat show stand (E52), we’d love to see how you are making the most of the Great British summer. In aid of Ocean Youth Trust South, we have pledged to donate £1* for every selfie received via social media.
To join in, entrants simply need to share their selfies via the MDL Marinas Facebook page or Twitter (@mdlmarinas) account and include the hashtag #MyMDLSelfie. The best entries will be displayed in an MDL Marinas Facebook gallery, with many also included in a video reel that will be on show at the PSP Southampton Boat Show.
Entrants will not only be able to contribute to a worthy charitable cause – Ocean Youth Trust South - they will also be in with a chance of winning a dining experience with £50 dining vouchers up for grabs at a number of the fantastic restaurants across the MDL marina portfolio. Tickets to the PSP Southampton Boat Show will also be on offer, where winners will be able to see their selfie snap on display on the MDL Marinas stand, located at E52. MDL Marinas will select the best selfie entries based on their marina-themed settings and sense of summer fun.
Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, said: “My MDL Selfie is all about celebrating the summer and showing the beautiful destinations marine enthusiasts are visiting, while helping to raise money for a very well deserved charity, Ocean Youth Trust South.
“We’ve had some great entries so far but we want to see even more selfies – there’s still time to take part so get involved!”
MDL Marinas has a long standing partnership with Ocean Youth Trust South, including the annual sponsorship of the MDL Sail Training Awards. MDL Marinas has pledged to donate £1 for every selfie received as part of this campaign, but those involved can also donate additional monies to the charity just by texting MDLS99 followed by the donation amount to 70070. Ocean Youth Trust South is a charity that uses Adventure Under Sail as a personal development opportunity for disadvantaged young people aged 12-25, taking them to sea in their 72-foot-yacht John Laing.
Terms and conditions for the MyMDLSelfie campaign can be found here.
*Donation to Ocean Youth Trust South up to £1,000