In celebration of summer sailing and the 35th America’s Cup, we came together with Land Rover and Ben Ainslie Racing to offer one lucky person a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bermuda. With over 1,000 entries received the competition was fierce, and we’ve found out the inside scoop on how our winner got on experiencing the world’s most prestigious sailing tournament...
Our partnership with Land Rover BAR spans many years and we are immensely proud to be the teams Official UK Marina Partner - a partnership built on our shared values of pride, innovation, and experience. In recognition of this crucial partnership, we wanted to bring our members closer to the sailing action than ever before, so created a bespoke trip with Land Rover BAR to give one lucky member the ultimate inside look at one of the most respected sailing teams in the industry.
Sue Bushnell from Ocean Village Marina was crowned our lucky winner and, on receiving the news, she said: “When I took the call I couldn’t believe it – you enter competitions never really thinking you will win, so receiving the news that we were being whisked away to Bermuda with Land Rover BAR was the most wonderful surprise. We had just celebrated our daughter’s wedding, so were already on a high, and then this just blew us away.”
Sue and her husband were treated to a fully complementary five night trip to Bermuda, which included travel and accommodation at a luxury resort. As well as exploring the beautiful island, they were given a VIP pass to the sailing action, which included exclusive access to the race village and a tour of the team’s top secret training centre – an area few have been privileged to see.
On the trip to Bermuda, Sue commented: “When we arrived absolutely every detail had been thought of and the trip was perfectly organised. My husband and I are huge sailing fans so we were pinching ourselves to be so close to the racing. Not only did we experience the racing, but the tours we were given were just amazing – being so close to the inner workings allowed us to see the immense skill and dedication of not only the race team, but every member of Land Rover BAR involved in the Cup, from the technical design right through to the training.
“As well as the tours, we also had the opportunity to find out about the extent of the Land Rover BAR operation and its influence around the globe, learning how the aerodynamic racing boat designs and materials have been incorporated not just within the sector but in the manufacture of cars and other technologies.”
The couple attended a banquet at the Commissioners House which now houses the National Museum of Bermuda, offering the perfect chance to reflect on the trip. Sue added: “The hospitality throughout the trip was fantastic, even meeting the likes of Clare Balding.”
To finish the trip they enjoyed an amazing BBQ on the beach watching the sun set over the turquoise blue water, listening to live music.
“The entire trip was seamless from start to finish and we’d like to thank both Land Rover BAR and MDL Marinas for providing us with an unforgettable experience.”
Earlier this year, Southampton was taken over by a carnival of maritime events, marking the city’s first ever sailing week. To celebrate the inaugural festival, MDL Marinas threw its full support behind Southampton Sailing Week, stepping on board as an official partner and providing an exclusive calendar of events for visitors and its members to enjoy.
Following this year’s success, it’s been confirmed that Southampton Sailing Week is set to return in 2018, promising to be bigger and better! We’re on board once again as an official partner and are already busy planning a spectacular diary of events - from Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th May, Ocean Village and Shamrock Quay Marinas will be playing hosts to this unmissable event.
Throughout the week there will be an abundance of carnivalesque activities for all to enjoy, from street parties and cocktail making, to artisan seafood and live music. Bringing the week to a crescendo will be the hugely popular Parade of Sail, which will see the Solent awash with colour and water craft, from paddle boarders and kayakers to dinghies and yachts.
With many more events to be announced in the coming months, watch this space for all the latest news!
If you’d like to join the Parade of Sail, you can register your interest on the Southampton Sailing Week website.
Join us at Southampton Boat Show on Stand E52, where we’ll be revealing the exclusive member benefits available at Ocean Village, celebrating the soon-opening luxury Harbour Hotel and offering a taste of its hotly anticipated restaurant, Jetty.
Southampton Boat Show is just weeks away and, this year, we’re celebrating the next chapter of Ocean Village Marina’s transformation to become Southampton’s ultimate leisure destination. Join us for an exclusive world preview of what’s in store!
Appetites at the ready, throughout the show we’ll be hosting complementary tasting sessions with the soon-to-be-open five star luxury Harbour Hotel – an opportunity not to be missed! This will see its Head Chef cooking up a storm between 1pm and 2pm everyday of the show, revealing the mouth-watering menu on offer at the hotel’s prestigious Jetty restaurant.
Marrying together Ocean Village’s sailing offering and the new leisure hub, we’re also launching our Platinum package, which will allow members to make the most of the marina’s new offering. This will include full membership to the hotel’s spa and gym facilities, encompassing indulgent treatments, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation areas.
The marina itself is also being reconfigured to enhance the premium experience offered on-shore, allowing for the arrival of much larger yachts and creating easier access for all boat owners. With all these fantastic elements combined, interest is already high for Ocean Village’s modernised pontoon berths, so we’re urging all interested to reserve your berths early to avoid disappointment.
Our team of experts will be sharing all the details at Southampton Boat Show and more – join us at stand E52 to make sure you’re part of our ultimate leisure experience!
To celebrate the start of the summer sailing season, MDL Marinas is releasing a fantastic range of exclusive offers for boat owners across the UK to enjoy. From pressure washing, hull scrubs and summer berthing packages, owners will be able to ensure their boats are in tip top condition to make the most of those beautiful days on the water.
To help make the most of the summer, boat owners can benefit from berthing offers at any one of eleven participating MDL marinas. Packages start from just £499 for two month’s berthing at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, available on boats up to 8m. Participating marinas include Hamble Point and Mercury Yacht Harbour on the idyllic River Hamble, Ocean Village and Shamrock Quay Marina in Southampton, and Northney and Sparkes Marina on Hayling Island. A full list of participating marinas can be found on our Summer Offers webpage.
As well as the Summer Berthing Offer, MDL boatyards along the south and east coast are also running Summer Scrub Offers, with great discounts on hull scrubs and storage. Boat owners will be able to experience MDL Marinas’ renowned service and enjoy special offers on lifting and pressure washing at many of their leading sites, as well as storage ashore for a specified period. Prices start from just £13 per metre for a lift and pressure wash at Woolverstone Marina and from £16 per metre for a lift, hold, pressure wash and re-launch at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “We’re looking forward to seeing many boat owners taking up these great boatyard offers and enjoying a highly professional service. We are constantly striving to add value for our customers, so we’re delighted to be offering additional savings on boat care to help them make the most of a summer on the water. Our summer berthing offer gives boaters the opportunity to cruise some of the best coastline in the UK and the chance to experience the renowned MDL customer service for themselves.
For further details on the full range of offers available at MDL marinas this summer visit our Summer Offers webpage
Southampton Sailing Week kicks off from Ocean Village Marina with lots to see and be involved in on the water. Friday morning, 10am, Banana Wharf will host the World's Biggest Coffee Morning to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The main event kicks off with a Berts & Gerts crafts and vintage market, Ocean Village Marina will be a hub of nautical inspired costume and fashion for the day. At 2.30pm visitors can enjoy an exclusive House of Gallet fashion show, with the latest summer trends sweeping down the main promenade. The afternoon will also see a ‘Mermaids in the Marina’ fancy dress competition take place, shells and fins at the ready!
The evening welcomes Music in the Marina, a highlight in the events calendar, showcasing over 150 musicians for a symphony of classical music overlooking the water.
Saturday 27 May
|10am - 4pm|
|12pm - 1.30pm||Parade of Sail|
|2.30pm - 3pm||House of Gallet Fashion Show|
|4pm - 6pm||Music in the Marina|
MDL Marinas and Ocean Youth Trust South have come together to celebrate an incredible 30 years of partnership, marked this month with the maiden voyage of the Trust’s new sail training vessel, Prolific. Young sailors from across the south of England took part in the intensive voyage, which included six inspirational young people who were chosen as worthy winners of MDL Marinas’ annual Sail Training Awards.
OYT South is a Hampshire-based charity which specialises in using an ‘Adventure Under Sail’ concept to help young people develop confidence and the essential problem solving skills needed to succeed in life. MDL Marinas and OYT first came together in 1987 to create the Sail Training Awards, which recognise the outstanding efforts of young people who have faced exceptional challenges, or have gone above and beyond to support others.
Three decades later and the annual awards are still going strong. This year’s MDL winners included George Hopwood, Ciaran Robinson and Alexandra Corrigan, all from Hampshire; Adam Gianfrancesco from Surrey and Rachel Mosley from Torquay.
The maiden voyage of Prolific saw 11 young people in total take to the Solent for a rigorous four-day sailing trip. The passage commenced from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina and the team made their way down to Dartmouth, being taught along the way how to sail the vessel, before circling back along the coast. During sailing, the team carried out drills such as rescuing a man overboard and pilotage planning, whilst having plenty of fun in between. Upon returning to shore, the young sailors deservedly earned a ‘Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting Certificate’.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, said: “Everyone involved in the transformation of Prolific has been eagerly awaiting its maiden voyage, and it’s fantastic that such a worthy team of young sailors marked the first passage. Combined that this is our 30th year of partnership with OYT, the sailing was a truly special experience. Our Sail Training Award winners were chosen for their inspirational attitudes and commitment to supporting others. It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those selected, honouring them for their remarkable achievements at such a young age.
“Over the last 30 years, the MDL sponsored Sail Training Awards have provided over 150 young people the opportunity to experience a trip on-board John Laing, Prolific’s predecessor, something which has been life-changing for some of our past winners. We are proud to continue to support OYT South with Prolific and the important work that it carries out.”
OYT South Staff Skipper, Andy Viney, commented: “We had a fantastic group of young people for Prolific’s first voyage with the charity, and we were absolutely delighted to be joined by the MDL award winners on this memorable trip. For the last 30 years MDL Marinas has given us tremendous support and, without them, we wouldn’t have this magnificent boat back in the water – so it was very fitting that they supplied so many of the young crew members for this voyage.
“The MDL award winners are always highly deserving and inspirational young people and this year’s winners were no exception. This week has been a great start to Prolific’s sailing career and we are all looking forward to offering more outstanding voyages, in partnership with MDL, as the season goes on.”
Rachel Mosley, one of the young MDL sailors who took part in the voyage, added: “I want to thank MDL Marinas and OYT South for the opportunity to take part in the sailing trip. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and it's really opened my eyes to sailing. The experience has given me the opportunity to go back as a junior boson and learn more about the boat and how the sea staff look after it and keep it running. Thank you again for the amazing opportunity.”
Prolific was bought by the charity in 2015 and has spent eighteen months undergoing a refit and modifications, with close support and sponsorship from MDL Marinas, ensuring it would sail safely and effectively for young people aged between 12 and 25. Prolific provides the opportunity for all to sail onboard, from keen and competent young sailors looking for real adventure, through to vulnerable and disadvantaged people who might never expected the chance to sail.
To see Prolific in action please visit the following link: https://youtu.be/TQ2Elp8AJvw. Further information about OYT South can be found at www.oytsouth.org/charity.asp.
A key event in any sailing enthusiast’s diary, the eagerly anticipated Rolex Fastnet race returns this summer for what promises to be a high adrenaline and action packed competition. Starting on Sunday 6th August at the Royal Yacht Squadron in West Cowes, the race will attract hundreds of yachts from around the country, all competing for the chance to win the coveted cup.
The intimidating 650 mile racing route is designed to push competitors to the limits, beginning at the Isle of Wight and sweeping the south coast to then battle the unpredictable Atlantic Ocean. Competitors will reach the renowned Fastnet Rock, which lies four miles off southwest Ireland and the route then approaches Bishop Rock and the Scilly Isles to port, before returning to finish off in Plymouth. Racing against the elements, the course is a true test of sailing skill and we can’t wait to see the action!
The Fastnet race is one of the world's oldest offshore races and, with such high volumes of competitors expected, securing a pre-race berthing spot close to the action will be hot competition and essential for racing preparations
We’re urging anyone looking for a location to berth before the race to get in touch early as we have fantastic spaces available at our south coast marinas, but we’re expecting them to be snapped up quickly. Ideally placed close to the start line, our marinas include Ocean Village, Shamrock Quay and Saxon Wharf in Southampton, as well as Hamble Point and Port Hamble, all ideally situated to ensure a smooth start on race day. For those wishing to relax after the race, Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth will make the perfect spot to unwind and debrief on the racing events.
Get in touch now to ensure you don’t miss out and, for more information about the Rolex Fastnet race, please visit: www.rolexfastnetrace.com.
We’re so excited that Spring is finally here, marking the start of another great season of boating. To kick off the new season, we’ve put together an exciting Freedom Berthing pack to thank you, our loyal members, for berthing with us, as well as introduce new boating enthusiasts to all that MDL Marinas has to offer.
We’ve included a host of gifts to get you started for the new season including, a tide table booklet to assist you with your UK cruising, and your choice of:
Along with a luxury hessian ‘bag for life’ to carry all of your goodies.
There’s also a host of exclusive benefits available for Freedom Berthing members in 2017/18, giving you access to over 100 holidays in the UK, France, Spain and Italy, fuel at cost so you can explore further, and free unlimited WiFi so you can stay connected all year round. We hope you make full use of your benefits this season and we’d love to hear about your adventures. Share your photographs to your social media using the hashtags #MDLRelax, #MDLEnjoy and #MDLDiscover.
With Easter just around the corner, and lots of ‘egg-citing’ events going on at our marinas, we thought it was the perfect time to collect your Freedom Berthing pack. So please pop into the marina office over the Easter weekend and you may even get an Easter treat!
There’s lots to look forward too…
Come and experience our marinas this Easter!