Pwllheli will be maritime mecca for thousands of boat lovers

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Freestyler Ant Burgess.
Freestyler Ant Burgess.

 

ALL WALES BOAT SHOW PWLLHELI 2015 . Pictured are Steven Morgan of the Welsh Yachting Association, Stephen Tudor Pwllheli Sailing Club and Davina Carey-Evans, Managing Director of Wales Watersports International
ALL WALES BOAT SHOW PWLLHELI 2015 . Pictured are Steven Morgan of the Welsh Yachting Association, Stephen Tudor Pwllheli Sailing Club and Davina Carey-Evans, Managing Director of Wales Watersports International

Thousands of boat lovers will be heading for Pwllheli for the biggest maritime event in Wales.

The three-day All Wales Boat Show starts at Plas Heli, the Welsh Sailing Academy and Events Centre, from Friday (May 8) until Sunday.

The event, effectively the national boat show of Wales, will be officially opened by Welsh Government Tourism Minister Ken Skates who is due to enjoy a taster session on a jet ski.

The show will see the launch of a renewed campaign to make Wales one of the best places in the world.

That will be one of the key messages from Steve Morgan, Chief Executive of Our Way Cymru/Wales, formerly the Wales Yachting Association, at the All Wales Boat Show.

According to Mr Morgan, the arrival of the All Wales Boat Show in Pwllheli after two years in Conwy was a key part of the strategy to expand the marine sector which already contributes £282 million a year to the Welsh economy.

He said: “Our ambition to make Wales one of the best places in the world to be a sailor.

“The marine leisure industry in Wales is a major player in terms of economic development and it needs the All-Wales Boat Show.

“It is a great opportunity to celebrate and shout about everything that’s good about our sport.”

It’s expected sales will top £2 million with an extra £500,000 being pumped into the local economy by visitors.

Organiser Davina Carey-Evans, Managing Director of Wales Watersports International, said: “”The show is also going to bring great economic benefits in its wake because we are expecting boat sales to top £2 million. On top of that visitors will be spending a further £500,000 that will make the local economy more buoyant.

“We will have an even bigger range of boats on show this year with everything from high end luxury craft like Fairline and Chaparral to Sealeg which is a rib that can literally drive onto a beach.

“We’ll also have hand built boats, boats that you can fold up and put in the back of your car and paddle boards.

“In addition, there’ll be plenty of entertainment with jet ski champion Ant Burgess going for a record number of back flips, not to mention wakeboarding displays.

“What’s really exciting this year is that actually that balance is changing and it’s more of the Welsh companies getting behind the event which is making it a more established and exciting event.”

Plas Heli chairman Stephen Tudor, a local estate agent and a brother of round-the-world yachtsman Richard Tudor, believes the arrival of the All Wales Boat Show heralds a marriage made in maritime heaven.

Mr Tudor said: “We’re very excited that the All Wales Boat Show has decided to move to Pwllheli.

“It’s one of the best sailing centres in the world and recognised as such. When people are going to Rio to the Olympics, the Olympic sailors there will have trained here, they will have sailed here.

“Sir Ben Ainsley has sailed here on a number of occasions as well as Hannah Mills who was a silver medallist in 2012.

“The All Wales Boat Show coming to Pwllheli is important for Plas Heli and it is a natural fit.

“It’s an opportunity for us to show visitors what we have on the water but almost of equal importance is to show what we have ashore, the castles in Caernarfon and Criccieth, the trains, the mountains of Eryri and of course the natural beauty of Pen Llŷn.

“Everybody is a winner. Every good event that we have means that there will be return visits which will help lay foundations for a bright economic future for the area.”

For more information and for tickets for the All Wales Boat Show visit www.allwalesboatshow.com