Flame relay takes to water in Menai Strait flotilla

Elen Evans on board the lifeboat
Image caption The journey by lifeboat took around 15 minutes

Wales women's rugby player Elen Evans said it was "awesome" carrying the Olympic torch on one of the most spectacular legs of its journey around the country so far.

The 27-year-old climbed into an Atlantic 85 B-Class lifeboat at Beaumaris lifeboat station on Anglesey accompanied by RNLI crews and an RAF Sea King helicopter.

It was a stunning sight as she made her way up the Menai Strait to Menai Bridge along with around 20 other vessels.

Large crowds had gathered in the early morning sunshine at Beaumaris and Menai Bridge to watch the occasion.

"It was enjoyable to just be on the estuary with all those boats and the helicopter," Ms Evans told BBC Wales.

"I've been very lucky to do that leg. I think I was very, very privileged. It's not what I was expecting."

Asked what she was thinking while travelling up the strait, she laughed: "Don't throw up!"

Ms Evans, who has been capped 37 times for the Wales women's rugby team, trains children and young people to play rugby.

Image caption Elen Evans on board the lifeboat

For the RNLI, it was a chance to showcase their work to a large audience.

Spokesperson Eleri Davies said: "It's a great honour for the lifeboat station.

"They have worked very hard for weeks preparing for this."

Among the crowds who had gathered in Beaumaris, were Anglesey MP Albert Owen.

He said there was a great enthusiasm on the island for the Olympics.


"I did communicate for the torch to come to Anglesey," he said.

"I met with Seb Coe and said it would be an opportunity lost if it didn't come to perhaps the most iconic part of Wales.

"Wales is a sporting nation and it's important Wales plays a full part in it."

Tracey Owen, 46, from Llangoed, near Beaumaris, had turned up early with hundreds of others in the town to get a glimpse of the torch.

She said she was glad it had come to Anglesey but had some misgivings.

"I don't know if all the money is well spent. It's a recession so I feel mixed really."

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