Kripps happy with first year

Rookie driver Justin Kripps of Summerland is satisfied with his first year on the circuit.

World Cup bobsleigh competition is over for another season and rookie driver Justin Kripps of Summerland is satisfied with his first year on the circuit.

“It was a steep learning curve, new team, with several changes over the season, new coaches, new sleds and several new tracks I hadn’t driven before,” said Kripps.

The European section of the circuit took them to tracks in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and then had them test the facilities at the home of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“Russia was quite a different experience. Sochi is one giant construction site, dust everywhere. We were very restricted in our movements, especially when Mr Putin came to inspect the facilities.

“However, the bobsleigh track is amazing, the first in the world to have covered starting and finishing areas and warm up areas. Everyone is still learning as there hasn’t been a competition track in Russia before, and not much English is spoken. The Russians are really putting everything into the Olympics, as long as it all gets finished it’s going to be spectacular.”

Team Kripps went in to the season ranked 26th in two-man and 28th in four-man, and finished ranked 15th and 16th respectively.

The ranking had been  slightly better before the final event in Sochi,  but a tough two weeks battling illness, combined with a difficulty in adapting to the changing ice conditions took its toll and Team Kripps had a less than hoped for result of 18th and 20th.

Kripps says he has high hopes for the next season.