Post season sliding concludes Ice time.

Following the final race of the year in Igls, the team looked to gain much needed experience elsewhere. This came in the form of two training weeks, one in Konigssee in Germany, before returning to Igls to have a crazy week of 20 runs in just five days to round out the 2019/2020 season.

Konigssee, Germany

This week was made possible by the hospitality of the Navy Bobsleigh Team who were training at the track and invited Axel and his team to slide along with them. For this week Axel was joined by only one brakeman, Lewis Prentice. Lewis proved himself a huge asset to the team with an insatiable appetite for the sport, and a positive attitude throughout.

 

The week consisted of 8 runs down yet another brand-new track for Axel. However, after a crash on the first day, the pilot was able to learn fast, bounce back and be competing against vastly more experienced drivers by the end of the week. Set in the picturesque Bavarian mountains and in a relaxed and enjoyable environment on and off the track Axel said it was “one of the best weeks sliding I have ever had”.

Igls, Austria

Rounding out the ice-time for the entire 2018/2019 season, the team travelled to Igls, Austria in an attempt to gain as many training runs as they could before the track closed. This meant 20 runs across five days. This was split between two brakemen of vastly different experience levels. Dave Coleman who was part of the Olympic team for Sochi in 2014, joined John Fulcher, a novice from the RAF team and first-time brakeman. Despite this disparity the team had a very productive week and gelled together like a veteran team with months of working together.
This week was about gaining practice, the ice was rough, and the conditions were warm, meaning there were patches of the track without ice that needed to be avoided at all costs, which of course affects the driver’s ability to be fast. What it did do however was offer the team the chance to practice consistency, and to test equipment. Both of which are key components to being a competitive team in the future.

Returning to the UK

As we return to the UK there is now mention of a new virus called COVID-19 and the chance that Austria and maybe even the UK will go into a stay at home order. So, it seems that the return to the UK and the end of all sliding for the year is coming at a good time, so that the team did not find themselves locked into Austria indefinitely.

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