Page 63 - The Chapka 2016
P. 63

 Ayear had passed and the Swiss Alps were calling for the next generation of Royal Lancers to tackle the run. Captain White and Lance Corporal Williams-Tanton were the returnees, hop- ing to build on their success from last year and we were joined by Trooper Hall and Captain Moon. Hopes were high after the success of 2016 and Captain Moon was shrouded in expectation because of his previous ‘Racing Ice’ Skeleton experience.
The team quickly settled in and after the traditional St. Moritz Toboggan Club (SMTC) church service they were ready for the 6am Monday start. Sleepy eyed riders, waiting for the club doors to open, dreamt their way around Shuttlecock – which this year was a little more generous to bad lines, weak wrestles and late turns. The conditions were perfect and all the riders were spoilt with 1225 meters of beautifully hand-sculpted icy danger.
More regiments than expected had turned up in St. Moritz and so day one was very busy. All beginners managed to get their first three rides, but SLs (those who are not formal members of the St Moritz Toboggan Club) had to settle for just one. Already aware of the limited riding time we would get as Team Lancer, the pressure quickly started to build for race day. This was fur- ther exacerbated by knowing other teams had already spent a week in the Engadine Valley.
As the week went on our times started to improve and hope was not lost for the Royal Lancers. All riders recorded a Hello-Hello (personal best) daily, except for Lance Corporal Williams-Tanton, who, on Wednesday decided he was much more comfortable in the snow and straw that separated Shut- tlecock from the parallel public footpath.
Race day arrived - the changing room was full of anticipation and the hope was that our competition would fall and leave the race open for the less rehearsed Royal Lancers. Sadly, this didn’t happen. Captains Moon and White placed fourth and Lance Corporal Williams-Tanton and Trooper Hall finished eighth in The 17th/21st Lancers’ Cup. Captain Moon’s Skeleton experience ‘came good’ and he finished third in The Novice Cup, beaten only by fellow Royal Lancer, Captain Vowles, now at AFC Har- rogate, and Trooper Hunt from The Royal Wessex Yeomanry - who had an additional week’s experience. Trooper Hall saw off the majority of his competition and finished seventh.
Brother Lancers no longer at RD also made their mark on Army race day. Captain Seccombe (late QRL, now Royal Yeomary),
and Captains Vowels and Wythe finished first, second and third respectively in ‘The Junction Handicap’. Captain Wythe, ‘flashed’ at 74.64mph, recording the fastest speed of the day.
As ever, the Lancers were perfect hosts as they welcomed members of SMTC into their club to thank
them for an excellent, challenging
and rewarding week in St. Moritz.
The SMTC kindly open their pri- vate member club to all three ser- vices for a short period in January and without the historical links be- tween SMTC and the Armed Forces this truly unique experience simply could not happen. The majority of Royal Lancers returned back to the UK before the start of the Inter- Services competi-
Lancers - Past, Present and ERE
tain Wythe
stepped up as
the Army Captain.
On race day, both Cap-
tains Wythe and Seccombe
sequentially topped each oth-
er’s ‘Hello-Hello’, which saw them
each hold the prestigious title of the
fastest Army Rider ever with Captain Sec-
combe finally finishing on top. Whilst the pair narrowly missed out on the title of fastest Inter-Service Rider ever, they led the charge in securing victory for the Army and retaining ‘The Scots Guards’ Cup’.
Lancer pedigree on the Cresta Run is clearly still strong. Great- er success and maximising the potential we currently hold can only be harvested with additional time on the run. Next year this article must welcome new Royal Lancers as Top Cresta Riders. Of course, participation is only possible at all by the generos- ity of the Regimental Association for which all riders are truly thankful.
 Captain Moon rides through Battledore

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