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Riding on the crest of a wave; RACHEL FLINT JOINS DEPUTY TOURISM MINISTER KEN SKATES ON A THRILL-SEEKING DAY ON ANGLESEY, AND HEARS HIS PLANS TO MAKE THE ISLAND AN 'ADVENTURE CAPITAL'.

ANGLESEY was championed as the "Island of Adventure" during a thrill seeking trip by a Welsh Government minister.

Despite being battered by high winds, Ken Skates couldn't stop smiling as he explored the island talking of its endless opportunities as he took in the stunning scenery.

I joined the Deputy Tourism Minister as we were flung from side to side speeding down the Menai Strait in a 007-style rib boat yesterday in a tour smattered with facts and history.

While I clung on for dear life Mr Skates, cool as a cucumber, chatted to the owner of the Rib Ride company of his hopes to use Anglesey as a backdrop to inspire more people to visit North Wales.

Of our party, which was made up of me, some Welsh Government officials and a group of local women wrapped up in thick coats, I was the only one who screamed like a girl.

This was the latest in a series of crazy trips paving the way for Mr Skates' Year of Adventure 2016, which aims to promote Wales as a thrill seekers' paradise.

So far I've had the pleasure of throwing myself in at the deep end on two of his challenges - the fastest zipwire in the world in Bethesda and this week's hair-raising race around Anglesey.

But while I was terrified by the prospect of tumbling overboard or losing my phone in the water, I learnt a lot about the hidden gems of the wonderful island during the 45 minute trip.

We had the pleasure of being driven by the founder of the business, Phil Scott, who kick-started the company after moving from California with just one boat a decade ago.

Now his adventure business has five boats and takes out around 3,000 people every year - and he even runs a Bear Grylls ride off Holyhead Port.

Mr Scott, who is also chair of the North Wales Tourism Board, said he had toyed with making his company a national brand but for now was happy living and working on the island.

Speaking after the ride while enjoying seafood in Dylan's restaurant in Menai Bridge, Mr Skates said how fantastic it was that so many North Wales sites were now "bucket list destinations".

Recent figures show that tourism across Wales is bucking the national trend, with more than 10 million visitors enjoying experiences last year. And with attractions and spectacular scenery in places like Anglesey it's not hard to see why people from all over Europe and beyond keep coming back for more.

After the water ride we headed to the Anglesey Circuit where the Deputy Minister grinned like a Cheshire cat as he climbed into one of the world's fastest and most expensive cars.

During a special track day, where owners of ridiculously expensive super cars hire out the circuit to drive their polished vehicles, an owner took Mr Skates for a spin in a PS1.3m Pagani.

After the trip Mr Skates, who is already planning a cycling challenge around the island much to the bemusement of his exhausted staff, said: "This really is a special circuit. It was an incredible experience - this really is an island of adventure."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jul 22, 2015
Words:531
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