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Welsh native, Bleddyn Mon, who was INEOS Britannia’s Wing Trimmer during the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021, has re-signed with the British Challenger for the 37th America’s Cup campaign, for his third consecutive America’s Cup with the team.
“As Challenger of Record, I was keen to get back involved. There was obviously unfinished business. As I go into my third campaign, I want to set all of those wrongs right.”
Bleddyn will not only once again join the team as part of the sailing team, but as a member of the technical team also. This is a unique position to be in, but not new to Mon. Since first joining the team in 2015, Bleddyn has split his time between these two roles.
Bleddyn’s expertise in both sailing and engineering brings a unique, and valued opinion to the technical team. “On the technical side, I am involved on the performance and simulator engineering to develop and improve the physical simulator tools. I bring experience to the team as having sailed the boat on the water, I can bring that into the simulator sessions.”
Bleddyn grew up sailing on the north coast of Wales, learning to sail in a Mirror dinghy at the age of 10. He quickly progressed through the single-handed Topper and into the 29er, where he won two national championships by age 18, with eyes on going to the Olympics.
Through university, Bleddyn started sailing a 49er on the Solent. It was also during this time that the 34th America’s Cup was taking place in San Francisco. Immediately catching his attention, Bleddyn knew it was something that he wanted to get into. A year after graduating from university, Bleddyn started training full time with the 35th America’s Cup British Challenger.
Having an engineering background himself, INEOS Britannia’s integration with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is a particularly exciting opportunity for Bleddyn. “They are a very successful team in the F1 world, it is going to be very exciting to work alongside them and see what we can learn from their craftsmanship and experiences that they have. I am looking forward to working alongside them.”
Whilst he is a highly valued member of the design and engineering team, Bleddyn remains at heart a sailor and it is the prospect of getting back out on the water, with the team aiming to be back sailing by the end of 2022, that he is most looking forward to:
“The biggest excitement is to get back out sailing on these amazing boats with my teammates. There is a strong bond with your teammates after having worked together for eight years, three campaigns. With these AC75 boats now being in their second generation, we all expect the racing to be much closer this time round which should be great fun to be part of, and will make for a thrilling spectacle for the fans.
Ben Ainslie, CEO and Team Principle of INEOS Britannia reflects on Bleddyn re-joining the team. “Bleddyn is a bit of genius. He is one of the few sailors that you can truly say is part of the design team as well as part of the sailing team, the perfect America’s Cup all-rounder. He is a great team player and bloody good sailor.”
Since re-signing with INEOS Britannia, Bleddyn has hit the ground running. Although, he may bring more experience to the table now, his goals and ambitions remain the same.
“On the sailing side, the past few months we have been busy working in the simulator, which helps us have a feel for the boat. This is important as it allows us to get used the way we sail the boat, become familiar with the roles and how we operate the boat so when we come to sailing it on the water, we are not only figuring those aspects out then.
“Then on the technical side, I am making sure to give as much feedback as I can to the engineers who are deep into the modelling side of things trying to explore the weaknesses of our simulator, and how we can improve that going forward.
“Ultimately, the goal of our team hasn’t changed. It’s always been to win and bring the Cup back to Britain. That remains my personal goal too, having now missed out twice the drive is stronger than ever to make history together as a team”.
The team is thrilled to welcome back Bleddyn as he brings invaluable experience, knowledge, and skill to both the sailing and technical team.