MDL Marinas is excited to support Ocean Youth Trust South as it introduces its new sail training vessel, Prolific. The marina operator is offering six young sailors from its annual Sail Training Awards, now in its 29th year, the chance to set sail with the Hampshire-based charity, which specialises in using ‘Adventure Under Sail’ to help young people develop the essential skills to succeed in life.
Prolific was bought by the charity in 2015 and has spent eighteen months undergoing a refit and modifications, ensuring it will sail safely and effectively for young people aged between 12 and 25. Prolific provides the opportunity for all to sail on-board, from keen and competent young sailors looking for real adventure, through to vulnerable and disadvantaged people who might never have expected to have a chance to sail.
The vessel was built in 2005 as a tribute to an 1891 Norwegian sailing trawler from which it was inspired. Built from modern materials but with a traditional appearance, the ketch is 30 metres long, including her bowsprit, and will sail with up to 12 crew in addition to OYT South’s team of staff and volunteers.
Prolific’s very first voyage with OYT South will involve six young people from MDL’s Sail Training Awards, who have been selected as winners after being nominated by local schools and youth organisations.
Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South, said: “MDL has been running these awards for nearly 30 years and has sent some truly inspirational young people to sail with us. We are very proud that Prolific’s first youth voyage with Ocean Youth Trust South will include the 2017 winners of MDL’s Sail Training Awards. This is just one element of MDL’s huge contribution to the Prolific project as they have also helped us to raise the money to purchase the vessel and provided a refit base at Saxon Wharf where Prolific was out of the water for a year. Nothing was ever too much trouble for the friendly and highly-skilled MDL team.
“MDL Marinas has also given Prolific a long-term home at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, which will be her usual sailing base. The commitment and professionalism of the MDL team has played a huge part in our work with young people for many years, and we are absolutely delighted to be continuing the partnership with such an exciting and beautiful new vessel.”
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, added: “We’re thrilled to continue our support with Ocean Youth Trust South and are looking forward to Prolific’s launch this season. Her first voyage will be with MDL’s selected group of deserving young people that are taking part in this year’s Sail Training Awards, which is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those selected, rewarding them for their achievements or inspiration and support to others.
“Over the 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.”