2011 British Bobsleigh Championships

Corporal Jonny Snelling and Senior Aircraftsman (T) Ross Brown both work in C4i and are about to swap Marham’s busy IT Network to team up for the 2011 British Bobsleigh Championships held in Winter-Berg Germany.

Ross and I have worked together for a number of years. We train together and both enjoy an array of sporting activities. We saw the advertisement last year for trials to the RAF Novice Bobsleigh Championships at RAF Cosford and knew it was right up our street.

Selection involves a lot of sprinting and jumping and there is also a minimum weight requirement, once selected we headed to Igles in Austria for the Novice Ice Camp. The first time you go down the track the feeling of your stomach in your chest and the speed the corners approach is absolutely, terrifyingly addictive.

The days are long, with preparing, cleaning, training, racing and reviewing track footage taking up to 16 hours a day. We are tested for driving and brakeman ability and quite early on it became clear that Ross had a natural talent behind the ‘reigns’. Jonny, on the other hand, was clearly more suited to take on the role of brakeman, which involves organising, maintaining, pushing and of course stopping the bob at the bottom.

Luckily, this meant both were paired up for the 2 man Novice Championships held at the end of the two week ice camp, where Ross won the novice driver trophy.

After the novice camp we were selected to take on the Army and Navy in the Inter-Services held at Coningsee in Germany. The setting, just below Hilter’s ‘Eagles Nest’ and track are amazing, with very technical turns and a fast course make crashes and injuries commonplace.

The standard of the Army and Navy/Marines teams is very high. We aimed to beat our novice equivalents and although the RAF Team came 3rd overall we were able to beat our navy and army novice rivals and even placed higher than the army number 2 team.

We’ve trained hard and really want to put in a good appearance for the RAF next month at the Brits and again at the Inter Services. Last season was an amazing experience and although we have had more than our fair share of nasty crashes, bruises, bumps, black eyes and cuts it is worth it to compete together against the country’s top athletes in the sport.

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