Meet our Year of the Sea Ambassadors
In addition to our 50 magical islands, 870-miles of coast path, 230 beaches, 50 blue flag beaches and Britain’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins, we have a team of 3 extraordinary Year of the Sea Ambassadors.
Their lives have been shaped by the shorelines in which they grew up. With a thirst for adventure and the drive to succeed, they have travelled far across oceans, but their strong connection with Wales gives them a longing to return home.
Our inspirational Ambassadors welcome you to discover our Epic Shores.
Olympic gold medal winner Hannah Mills began her sailing career at Cardiff Sailing Centre at the age of 8. She won a series of British, European and World titles throughout her junior career, competing as an individual, and in the pairs events. Hannah was voted UK young sailor of the year and BBC Wales Young Sports Personality of the year in 2001.
Hannah, along with her crew partner Saskia Clark, went into the London 2012 Olympics as reigning world champions, but narrowly missed out on gold during the final medal winning race. Rio 2016 saw this rectified with their impressive win in the two person dinghy - 470 class.
“The Year of the Sea is a fantastic opportunity for Wales to showcase some of the stunning coast lines we have to the rest of the world and promote Wales as a coastal holiday destination. It will also highlight some of the awesome opportunities there are around the coast and inland waters to get out and enjoy everything the coast has to offer in terms of water sports and activities.”
Kirsty JonesCarmarthenshire native Kirsty Jones was drawn to the sea as soon as she could walk. She began sailing dinghies with her Dad from the age of three whilst on holiday on the Pembrokeshire coast. Aged 16 Kirsty became hooked on windsurfing and surfing.
Since then she has become a pioneer in the kitesurfing world, becoming 3 x Kitesurfing World Wave Champion. Kirsty is well known for pushing the limits of long distance kitesurfing to a new level through her solo kitesurf crossings for charity.
Kirsty is now based in Dakhla, in the Sahara Desert. There she runs her KJ Experience Kite, Surf & Yoga Training Retreats.
"My passion for the sea, wind and waves was definitely inspired and ignited by the Welsh coast, and even the Welsh weather! The wild Welsh wind and sea challenges and energises me, as I'm sure it does for so many others. Just the thought of planning a kitesurf, surf or paddle board trip to one of my favourite Welsh beaches or coves makes me feel so excited! I'm so grateful and blessed to have those epic shores as my salty roots, my playground, my sanctuary."
Elin Haf Davies
Elin Haf Davies by Elin is an ocean going adventure-addict! She played rugby for Wales A for seven years before embarking on a completely new challenge - spending 77 days rowing across the Atlantic Ocean with fellow children's nurse, and raising £190,000 for metabolic research.
In 2009 she was part of the first ever-female crew to row across the Indian Ocean, a 3,600m trip that took 78 days. Elin completed a hat-trick of oceans by sailing 6,000 miles across the north Pacific. Her adventures over the years have raised over £300,000 for charities close to her heart.
"It’s a real honour to be an ambassador for Year of the Sea, as it marries two of my main passions - Wales and the oceans. Wales has a uniquely beautiful coastline which needs to be both cherished and celebrated. I can’t wait for the opportunity to champion the Year of the Sea with my role as an ambassador."