BLEDDYN GOES FROM WELSH SQUADS TO AMERICAS CUP
The Anglesey sailor, who came up through the Welsh sailing system to compete nationally and internationally in his own right, has returned from the Volvo Ocean Race to take part in the Ben Ainslie led attempt to win the Americas Cup.
RYA Cymru Wales have welcomed the selection of Môn, showing the potential of taking up sailing as a sport which can lead in all sorts of different ways.
He is also unique in the team, the Southampton University engineering graduate combining being a sailor with a full-time position in the performance and analysis team.
The 27-year-old is also one of only three team members who has previous Americas Cup and Volvo Round the World Race experience.
“It is great to see Bleddyn as part of the 16-man team to take part in one of the biggest events in world sailing,” said RYA Cymru Wales Chief Executive Gerwyn Owen.
“He is a former Wales squad sailor who started to sail at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey and at youth level he was on the podium in British, European and World levels.
“It is always nice to see some of our former squad sailors take the conventional route through to competing at the Olympics, such as Hannah Mills and Chris Grube, but this is also a great achievement for Bleddyn.
“It shows the wide range of opportunities within sailing, we wish Bleddyn all the best as part of Ineos Team UK and hope he can be part of the effort to win the Americas Cup.”
The Cardiff Extreme Sailing event was also a crucial stepping stone for Môn, initially to be involved in the Americas Cup team and then to become part of the Turn The Tide On Plastic team in the Volvo Ocean Race.
He is delighted to be back involved with the Americas Cup. “On the sailing side, I’m back as a grinder, the same role on-board as I had before,” he explained.
“It’s the most physical on-board so getting back into the gym has been a bit of a shock to the system with so long off-shore! But essentially, most of my time right now is spent design side, developing and running tests and analysis.
“Personally, I feel like now, already having one Cup campaign under my belt, I have a better understanding of the process which will hopefully put me in a good place to perform well both on and off the water.
“I feel very fortunate to jump from Cup to Volvo and now back to the Cup.
“After Bermuda we knew there would be a period of ‘less action’ and it seemed like the best use of time was to go away and learn some new skills, sail a new boat and learn how to make it go fast.”
Although Môn is now part of one of the most glamorous, globe-trotting parts of the sailing world, he has never forgotten his Anglesey and Welsh sailing roots.
“I grew up on Anglesey and as a family, we spent a lot of time going down the beach during summer holidays,” he said.” We’re not a sailing family in any way. Essentially, we went to this beach and there was a sailing club there. Before we knew it, we’d had a go on a boat.
“I was part of a national squad when I was ten. There were people, coaches or whoever, that you could look at and see a bit of a route. I decided I was going to focus on sailing.”