Page 17 - Chiron Calling Spring 2019
P. 17

  adrenaline fuelled atmosphere always makes this a highly addictive sport. The strict routine compliments the risky nature of the sport, beginning with an early track walk for the pilots. Every inch of the ice is analysed, and each turn is visualised until each pilot can drive the track with their eyes closed. Meanwhile, the brakemen and women are conducting team strength training under the international level push coach, Steve ‘Smudge’ Smith. As the squad increase their bounds daily, the runners begin to shine, and the down times sharpen, the sliders compete for a position on the Army Team by the end of week 1.
Those fortunate enough to be selected continued to wrestle their way down the track over the 2-week training package, supported by those who fought valiantly but did not quite make the team cut. With hundredths of a second dividing these runs, the squad complete were looking fierce and those no longer sliding remained armoured and ready to ‘fight tonight’ should they be called upon.
The track proved to be un forgiving to some, as all three services slid through blood, sweat and tears to tame the beast that is Konigssee. With hours of sled preparation, physical training, and the highs and lows (some very low!) of time spent driving the course, it was time for the grand finale! The UKAF Inter Services Bobsleigh Championships was held over 2 days, 4 Laufs, over approximately 5 km of ice and including 40 athletes. The competition was fierce, and each athlete gave it their all, seeing some PBs at
the block for the push start and some experiencing their first race day crash. After 2 adrenaline fuelled days of fixed bayonets, the results were in: The Royal Navy made history being the first time both their male and female team stormed the race and won Gold in the team event. The RAF swept up silver and the Army Bronze, with only 3 seconds between the fastest and slowest sleds of each service, making it an intense race! The Army saw some personal achievements in the individual race, seeing Captain Sarah Smith AGC(ETS) and SSgt Zoe Beckett RADC, finishing on a podium finish with an individual Bronze medal. Cpl Dom Burge awarded her Army Colours in bobsleigh this season.
As the last breaths were expelled from the dying beast that was Konigssee, the sportsmanship and camaraderie was unquestionable, as athletes from all three services came together to shake the hands of the others and cheer them over the line. Celebrations were had and prizes were awarded, with everyone feeling part of one ice sports family. The extreme and dangerous nature of this adrenaline sport sets it apart from any other, and creates an environment which strongly promotes respect, loyalty, team cohesion, courage, mental and physical robustness on a whole new level! Once you have been gripped in the jaws of the ice sports world, it will be difficult to forget it... not only being part of an incredible extreme sport and brushing shoulders with world class sliders, but being a member of the ice sports community, this is belonging.
If you would like to get involved this season, learn a new sport, have the opportunity to represent your unit at the Army Championships, make new friends and open up the doors to international sport, apply now through AWSA website. Alternatively, Facebook and Instagram @ Britisharmybobsleigh. All links and events are published regularly, and the team are on hand to answer any questions you may have before you arrive.
For events in 2019-2020 follow Facebook and Instagram @britisharmybobsleigh or see events direct at bobsleigh/

   15   16   17   18   19