Awards for TransEurope's UK Marinas at Southampton

TransEurope Marinas’s UK members have once again had a field day at the Southampton boat show, as Mayflower Marina and Emsworth Yacht Harbour claim both Towergate UK Coastal Marina of the Year crowns and members pick up 4 of the Employee of the Year Special Mentions.

An annual competition run within Gold Anchor certified marinas, the contest hinges on votes sent in by members of the public and marina berth-holders, focussing on the quality of the marina facilities and the customer service provided by marina staff.  The “Employee of the Year” award rightly offers recognition to individuals within marina teams whose work and efforts particularly stand out.

TransEurope Marinas’ UK members have traditionally obtained excellent results each year, where each member is expected to offer services that would reflect the equivalent of a 4 or 5- Gold Anchor accreditation.

2021 was no different with Mayflower Marina reclaiming Towergate’s UK Coastal Marina of the Year (over 250 berths) and Emsworth Yacht Harbour winner of the Coastal Marina of the Year for marinas with under 250 berths.

This was a particularly pleasing result for Alison Wakefield, Managing Director of Emsworth Yacht Harbour, combined with multiple Special Mentions for Employee of the Year after winning this category last year:

The team at Emsworth Yacht Harbour are delighted to be the Winner of the Towergate Coastal Marina of the Year 2021 for Under 250 berths. We were Runner Up in 2019 and are very proud to have gone one better this year. The timing of the announcement was just before our annual Summer Party, so we were able to share the good news and celebrate with many of our berth-holders. We are very grateful to our customers and the wider EYH community for all their support.

Jon White, General Manager of The Yacht Harbour Association, who announced the awards commented:

We are in the second year of operating in this new environment where marinas have to protect their staff, protect their customers and above all deliver excellent service.  Marina managers and staff have risen to that challenge in an outstanding way. We recognise that this has been complex to manage and so it’s fantastic to see the number of votes that have been placed for these awards, which recognise superb efforts.

For Mayflower Marina, their Marina of the Year Award comes on the back of news that the marina had retained its 5 Gold Anchor status. This externally assessed accreditation was confirmed on 28th July after an extensive review of the marina by assessors from The Yacht Harbour Association.

Charles Bush, Managing Director of Mayflower Marina, said:

It feels really special to win such an award after the challenges of the past 12 months, and for us to be considered worthy of so much customer support is really quite humbling. I am so pleased for our staffing team for whom this award is a testimony to their individual and collective contribution in upholding the high standards we aspire to.

David Crouch, Chairman of Sailport PLC who own and operate Mayflower Marina said:

We are delighted to learn that Mayflower Marina has retained its 5 Gold Anchor status. Against the Covid backdrop and the increasingly high standards required to achieve this prestigious award, Charles and his team are to be congratulated. For Mayflower Marina to be ranked amongst the very best is hugely to their credit.

In the meantime, Portishead Marina was presented with a certificate in an official awards ceremony, as one of the first UK marinas to be accredited as a “Clean Marina”, in a new programme being offered by The Yacht Harbour Association.

One unsung star of the show was Poole Quay Boat Haven and Port of Poole Marina Manager Kerrie Grey, who over the course of three long and challenging weeks, was tasked to oversee the final pontoon installations and then allocate and re-jig berths for nearly 300 exhibiting boats. During the show, her focus moved to the safety and security of all exhibitors and visitors in the marina and the Get Afloat zone, where visitors were invited to try dinghy sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking, or Try-a-Boat which ran RIB and sailing trips across the Solent.

With the marina being purpose built each year for the show and the number of people walking on it at any one time, the pontoons flex more than a standard marina and require a lot more attention checking on the kick plates and connectors throughout the day.

With exhibitors and visitors having enjoyed a successful event, the final step involved dismantling the show set-up:

On the Sunday evening we were able to unbolt and remove the 6 connecting pontoons and start the exit process; 48 hours later all vessels had departed, the marina was sealed and handed back.

Job done!