From Hartlepool to Gibraltar. A new scheme is linking the town to the rock – and the rest of the world.
Forward-thinking bosses at Hartlepool Marina have launched plans to show off their fantastic resource to a bigger audience.
It includes a project where people can learn sailing while they are on trips from the town to Gibraltar. The venture is already under way, said marina director Adam Henderson.
“We berth the boat in a marina in Gibraltar and it is an alternative type of sailing to the North-East coast.”
It’s a chance for people to learn skills such as navigation and other sailing techniques. He said it was part of a plan to tie all of the marina’s attractions together and promote them under one banner.
“We think the marina should embrace everything that goes on in the North-East.
“Hartlepool is a prime site for access. You are straight out into Tees Bay and all sorts of places.”
Mr Henderson said the marina was already a popular destination for sailors from all over the North-East and Holland who “use it as a first port of call” when they are in the region.
But there was also a surge of interest in other aspects of the many and varied marina facilities.
Mr Henderson said the marina was also noticing a growth in jet ski and power boat activity as well as a demand from people wanting to know more about sailing.
“We can offer tuition and training to give people a better experience.
“We are trying to create things and make things as accessible to all as possible.”
One of the first events held as part of the new bid to promote the venue was MarinaFest – a festival of water-based activities which was held at the weekend.
It included an aquathlon challenge, jet skis, paddle boards, flyboards, a barbecue and live music.
Mr Henderson added: “It is a chance to say ‘this is what we want to do at the marina and it is not just for one day’. It is chance for people to come and try it.”
He said the marina brand included sailing, power boating, jet skiing, and a chance to get tuition.
“We are really trying to bring everything together and really push it on a platform as one.”