RYA Ladies Day for both sail and motor boats:
Annual berth holders at MDL Marinas this season are set to benefit from being able to access a whole host of boating information at the touch of a button with the launch of the innovative MyMDL system.
MyMDL will now allow annual berth holders to book their Freedom Berthing free visitor nights online, where the system will automatically check availability and confirm the reservation should a visitor berth be available.
For those looking for a longer stay away, the new Berth Swap function allows members to experience another marina by agreeing to swap their berth with another berth holder as part of their Club Outlook membership. MDL Berth Swap is open to annual berth holders at no additional berthing cost, with no restrictions on where users can travel, opening up a whole host of fantastic new cruising grounds to MDL boat owners.
For annual berth holders staying closer to home, MyMDL’s personalised content will also provide users with exclusive, tailored offers from their home marina and marina tenants. Boat owners logging in will also be able to access details of news and events related to their home marina as well as extensive weather forecasting and tide times, invaluable when planning their next cruise.
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to launch the new MyMDL system, which has been designed to give our berth holders even greater control when it comes to getting the most out of their berth and their Club Outlook membership. This is all about adding value for our customers and gives 24 hour access to a wealth of information and services all at the touch of a button, with easy access to not only the latest news and offers, but also opening up our marina network like never before with the online Freedom Berthing and Berth Swap booking system.”
In celebration of our 40th birthday, we are aiming to host a series of fundraising events for Ocean Youth Trust South throughout 2013. As well as this, nominations are once again open for MDL’s Sail Training Awards, offering deserving youngsters the opportunity to experience a week aboard a sailing yacht operated by Ocean Youth Trust South.
MDL Marinas is pleased to announce that we have selected Ocean Youth Trust South as our chosen charity for our 40th anniversary year, with a series of charitable events including raffles and prize auctions. We’re also encouraging marina tenants and businesses run by berth holders to get involved and choose Ocean Youth Trust South as their nominated charity for 2013.
MDL’s Managing Director, Eamonn Feeney commented: “We’re proud of our continued commitment to Ocean Youth Trust South, and are delighted to be providing the charity with even greater support this year through our 40th anniversary events. The Sail Training Awards are a very important initiative for us and we have so far helped well over a hundred youngsters to experience something truly exceptional.
Mark Todd, Chief Executive from Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “MDL’s support has been absolutely critical to us for many years. The staff in MDL marinas do a great job and go out of their way to be helpful and welcoming to vessels including our own John Laing. And the young people who come to us through MDL’s sponsorship are always exceptionally deserving – and some are truly inspirational. Ocean Youth Trust South is very proud to be working with MDL and honoured to be the chosen charity for their 40th year: with their generous support and that of their berth holders and marina tenants, we can go on to provide adventure under sail to many more young people from the widest possible range of backgrounds. We wish MDL a happy birthday and many successful years to come!”
MDL Marinas is marking its 40th anniversary celebrations by giving one lucky boat owner the chance to win an incredible one year’s free berthing at Mercury Yacht Harbour on the renowned River Hamble, as well as membership of Club Outlook and all its exclusive benefits.
Boat owners can enter the competition online to be in with a chance to receive free berthing at this sought-after Hamble marina. Open for entries for 40 days, the competition closes at midnight on 25th March 2013.
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We’re delighted to launch this competition in recognition of our 40th anniversary. We have had many happy customers over the past 40 years, so it’s great to be offering one more boat owner the chance to experience our renowned customer service and exclusive benefits for free over the coming season.
“The competition is one of the many activities we have planned to celebrate our ruby anniversary. It’s certainly going to be an exciting year.”
The prize includes membership to MDL’s Club Outlook, which offers UK annual berth holders a range of outstanding benefits including unlimited visitor nights, fuel at cost, discounted boatyard services and access to MyMDL, MDL Marinas’ new online customer portal where members can book visitor berths, arrange berth swaps, receive exclusive offers and more, which is set to launch in April for the start of the new season.
The winner will receive a full year’s free berthing from April 2013 until March 2014 at Mercury Yacht Harbour, situated on the famous River Hamble. Originally built by Sir Robin Knox Johnston, Mercury Yacht Harbour offers berthing for 360 boats and enjoys deep water at all states of tide. Among its excellent facilities are a fully-stocked chandlery as well as a welcoming bar and restaurant with waterfront views.
We are delighted to announce that MDL has joined forces with French marina operator, Sagemor to offer unparalleled cruising opportunities for our annual berth holders. This completely unique package sees our annual berth holders join “Passeport Escales” to gain access to free visitor nights at an additional 55 marinas on the northwest coast of France – all within their annual berthing fee.
This deal, which was signed at the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show, will allow our Club Outlook members the opportunity to visit more than 70 marinas in the UK, France, Spain and Italy, opening up the largest cruising network offered by any European marina operator and reaffirming our clear market leader position.
All of our annual berth holders will be able to take advantage of the scheme which is an easy-to-use, fully automated online system. It works as a reciprocal programme where berth holders check out of their marinas and choose another marina to stay at from the network. The only condition of the scheme is boaters must check out on leaving.
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We have been working hard to expand our European marina portfolio and we are delighted to have signed a deal with Sagemor. The private marina operator has a collection of wonderful marinas to explore in some beautiful and interesting areas of France, from Granville on the Normandy Coast right round to Port Médoc in the Gironde.
“This is fantastic news for our customers, with our annual berthing package just getting bigger and better every year. It also immediately opens up brilliant cruising opportunities for our annual berth holders to carry out their boating freely and effortlessly without any additional bills to worry about.”
The established scheme will be backed by our proven experience, knowledge and professionalism, and will not only give our customers a very simple solution to cruising, but will also give owners access to discounts and offers at local tourist destinations and places of interest during their stay.
Pictured above (from left): Glidas Mottais, Mike Gates, Arnauld Devys, Jon Eads, Nicolas Gonzales and Xavier Labouret
Need bits for your boat? Then the Hythe Marina Boat Jumble is the answer! The event will be held on the car parking spaces along the marina sea front from 10.00 - 12.30. FREE entry for buyers! Car boot or table – you decide. Items can be donated to charity if desired and refreshments will be available. The RNLI will also be in attendance for lifejacket checks.
Bring your own table (and chairs), or hire a 6' trestle for £10. You can even hire half a table if you only have a few items. There is no admission charge for buyers and those selling items will be requested to make a voluntary contribution of £5 minimum. All proceeds will be donated to Help for Heroes. Set up time will be from 9.15am, ready to start selling at 10am.
MDL Marinas is preparing for a year of celebration as it marks 40 successful years since the opening of its first marina. Purchased in 1973, Penton Hook Marina in Surrey has since been joined by 18 marinas and boatyards in prime locations across the UK, as well as two first-class marinas in its MDL Mediterranean network. A third Mediterranean site, Marina del Gargano in Italy is due to open this spring, with the new addition seeing the network of marinas grow to 22.
A series of events and activities to mark this important occasion are now being planned throughout 2013, including a celebratory event at the PSP Southampton Boat Show. The search is also on for berth holders who have chosen to keep their boat in an MDL marina from the very beginning - if this is you then please let us know!
Jon Eads, Chief Operating Officer at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are very pleased and proud to be celebrating 40 years of continued success for MDL Marinas in 2013. The past four decades have seen the company grow to become Europe’s leading marina operator, recognised for our excellent customer service and superb boating locations. We are delighted to welcome our staff and berth holders to celebrate with us and are looking forward to what this exciting year has in store.”
The sixth annual pre-Christmas cruise to the historic city of St Malo was again sold out this year, with 344 Club Outlook members, along with their friends and family, joining us for a great weekend away.
The ever-popular mini cruise took place on Friday 7th – Sunday 9th December and headed to the picturesque region of Brittany. Our group enjoyed a two night stay in cabin accommodation, a splendid four-course meal on Saturday evening, and plenty of opportunities to visit the beautiful area and stock up on Christmas ‘essentials’.
Joanna Young, who went on the pre-Christmas cruise, said: "Thank you to the team who organised the Pre-Christmas Cruise to St Malo for all their hard work. We were guests of our parents whose boat is based at Northney Marina, and we had a brilliant time. The kids enjoyed it and the food was amazing."
Mike Smith, organiser of the trip and Manager of Torquay Marina, commented: “It was fantastic that this year’s pre-Christmas cruise was again sold out. It was yet another successful and enjoyable weekend away and thank you to all of those who came along. A later start time on the Friday morning was definitely appreciated, as opposed to our usual renowned early boarding times, and we’re looking forward to arranging the cruise again next year.”
As an annual or two-year berth holder, you also enjoy Club Outlook benefits and savings throughout the year. Our Club Outlook scheme is the most comprehensive in the industry and offers great rewards, including the Mediterranean addition to the Freedom Berthing network and our new Introduce Your Friends scheme.
Other Club Outlook rewards include fuel at cost, unlimited free WiFi access at all of our marinas, as well as discounted boatyard services. Annual and two-year berth holders enjoy a standard discount of 30% - the most generous discount of any boatyard service provider. This means Club Outlook members receive high standard boat care services at the best possible rates.
New for Club Outlook members in 2013 is our new Berth Swap service and Smart MDL. Berth Swap is a great new initiative which allows Club Outlook members to get in touch with other like-minded customers who may be looking to swap berths as part of their cruising arrangements. Club Outlook members are automatically registered into Berth Swap and at the touch of a button can request or browse berths available. Watch for details on our website.
We know you love your boat and that you’d love to spend more time on board. However, to make sure your time is well spent we are developing more ways for you to get in touch and get the things you want out of your boating – we’re calling this Smart MDL. This enables you to put your Club Outlook details on your smart phone and be the first to receive our latest discounts and offers, as well as get easy access to berth reservations and Berth Swap.
In addition to all of these services we also have our innovative Freedom Berthing scheme, which was launched last year. Freedom Berthing offers unlimited visitor nights across all of the network’s UK marinas, and has now been extended to include Sant Carles Marina in Spain, and Marina del Gargano in Italy when it opens next year. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine and all the facilities provided by these first-class marinas, as part of your Club Outlook membership.
Another of our innovative rewards schemes is Introduce Your Friends, allowing you to introduce friends and benefit from a wide-range of rewards. For each new friend that joins the network, the value of the rewards increases. Introducing one friend offers you and your friend £250 each in rewards, two friends £300, three friends £400 and so on, with a maximum of nine friends each receiving £1,000 in rewards. You can choose from a variety of rewards including vouchers to spend at participating marina tenant companies, wine vouchers from Club Outlook’s wine partner Naked Wines, credit on your MDL customer account to use for MDL services, or request a charity donation to the RNLI.
Last but by no means least, we have a number of Winter Boatyard Offers and there’s still time to book your winter lift! It’s important to keep your boat well-maintained over the winter months. Click here for special offers on Winter Boatyard Services.
Click 'Get a Quote' for a berthing quotation or to find out more about Club Outlook click here.
October marches on, but it provided competitors in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series and MDL Hamble Big Boat Series with another weekend of stunning sailing last weekend!
Saturday saw the start of the final MDL Hamble Big Boat Championship weekend. The forecast was appalling, with a mirror calm greeting the race committee as they motored out to the race course, and no-one really expected to get any racing in. But competitors couldn’t believe their luck as 4-5 knots of southeasterly filled in after an hour’s postponement, allowing the race team to get four races in from a startline near Wight Vodka.
In the Farr 45 class, Alice II took the top spot in three of the four races, with Rebel, the British Keelboat Academy and Espresso Martini constantly switching positions behind her. Rebel won the final race of the day. In the J/111 class, J Dream won the first race, but couldn’t hold off Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug, who took first in the remaining three races. The Farr 52 Toe in the Water dominated the IRC >1.080 class, pushed hard by Joopster, Cobra and Chaos – with Chaos winning the third race of the day.
La Reponse took four wins ahead of Beafort Winston in the Beneteau First 40 class, while in the 40.7 class, Mitchellson Interceptor and Playing Around took two races each.
On Sunday, a good NorthEasterly 10-15 knots was forecast, and, unlike Saturday, that was exactly what the weather gods served up. Racing started from the vicinity of Sunsail Racing buoy at low tide, with courses cascading down the East Solent in a sluicing flood tide. The MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships fleet raced alongside the main Garmin Hamble Winter Series fleet, with two races for all classes.
In the Farr 45 class, Stewart Whitehead’s Rebel sailed consistently well, posting a 1st and a 2nd, to top the class at the end of the two weekend series. In the J/111 class, Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug took two seconds on Sunday, but that was enough to keep them nine points clear at the top of the fleet – an impressive showing for their first regatta.
Neil Kipling’s Joopster had a first and a second, putting them top of the IRC >1.080 class by two points overall. Andrew McIrvine’s La Reponse continued her near clear sweep with another two firsts to win the Beneteau First 40 class in fine style, while in the two-boat Beneteau First 40.7 class, Nick Rawbone’s Playing Around and Stuart and James Wilkie’s Mitchellson Interceptor took a race each. Playing Around took the trophy by three points overall.
The Garmin Hamble Winter Series ran as usual on Sunday, this time from the same startline as the Big Boats in ideal conditions. The day sponsor was Southern Ropes, who provided prizes at the clubhouse after racing. All classes sailed two races, with the smaller boats finishing on the Hill Head plateau, and the bigger boats finishing near Browndown.
Mark Lloyd’s Mills 43 Chaos took two bullets in the IRC 0 class. In IRC 1, Philip Farrands’ Old Mother Gun and the First 40.7 Beaufort Winston finished joint first in the first race of the day, with the Reflex 38 Jaguar Logic taking the second race.
In IRC 2, David Franks’ Straight Dealer, a JPK 1010, continued her near-perfect run with another two firsts. Similarly, Paul Griffiths’ Jagerbomb posted two firsts in the J/109 class. Things were less clear-cut in IRC 3, with Peter Dessent’s Archambault A31 ImaDjinn and Craig Cossar’s Salona 35 Vital Eyes taking a race each.
The J/111s, whose results also counted for the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships, were led by Tony Mack’s McFly, who took two bullets ahead of Jitterbug.
In the close-knit Sigma 38 class, Chris and Vanessa Choules on With Alacrity and Kevin Sussmilch on Mefisto won a race apiece, while IRC 4 saw some very close racing. Bernard Fyans’ Erik the Red and Philip McDanell’s Impala 28 Trudi won a race each, with Tim Rees and Derek Morland’s Menace posting some consistent third places to leave them tied first overall.
It was good to see Dean Smith of MDL, the 2012 Hamble Big Boat Championship sponsor and Charles Nankin of Southern Ropes, the main series day sponsor, in the clubhouse afterwards to present the prizes. Our thanks to them both for their support.
So, looking ahead, there’s one more weekend of racing before the mid-series break. This weekend is the final Lewmar Hamble One Design Championship weekend, as well as the fourth Garmin Hamble Winter Series race day. Because of forecasts of fairly fruity weather, be sure to check race day status before you leave home! And don’t forget to put your clock back on Saturday night!!
Garmin Hamble Winter Series Weekend 3 & MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships – Weekend 2 Report
by Ben Meakins