World Championships in St. Moritz finished up last Sunday with the four-man event.
None of the three Canadian teams had good final results. Canada 1 placed 15th, Canada 2 18th and Canada 3 21st.
The coaches’ decision to change the teams around for World Championships was surprising and didn’t produce the results they were hoping for.
One doesn’t need to be an expert to realize that four 200-plus pound athletes running at top speed and then jumping into a bathtub-size sled need a little time to work together and get their actions synchronized.
Most of the top teams have been together for at least a season, some for many seasons.
As the announcer of the World Cup races, Martin Haver, says over and over, the start and load is a huge factor, because it sets up the velocity right from the beginning.
However, Haver was complimentary about the driving of Summerland’s Justin Kripps, saying he has had a “standout rookie season” and, “We can expect to see great things from this young pilot.”
Team Kripps left St. Moritz with an excellent 12th place finish in two-man (with Neville Wright on brakes), a well-earned sixth place finish driving as Canada 2 in the team event (with Luke Demetre on brakes), and a 21st place in four-man (with James McNaughton, Tim Randall and Graham Rinholm).
There is still one World Cup race left in the season and it will be in Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Team Canada travelled to Sochi from St. Moritz and have been excitedly tweeting and posting photos of the brand new Olympic sliding facility.
They, along with the other competing countries have been using 10 days to train and learn the idiosyncrasies of the new track before the World Cup event this weekend.
So far the reaction has been positive about beautiful facilities, exciting track and spectacular scenery.