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● LD Tim Chudley hurtles to victory in the RN skeleton bob championships in Lillehammer at speeds upwards of 80mph

IT’S June, so it must be time for, er,

RN’s ‘Mr Skeleton Bob’ – PO(D) Sid Lawrence

(pictured below receiving the new Inter-Service team race trophy from Rear Admiral Amjad Hussain)

– to tell us about one of the most successful years on the ice for the Navy squad:

The 13-strong team decamped to the Olympic bobsleigh, skeleton and luge track at Lillehammer in Norway for the 2010 Inter-Service and RN Championships, including myself as manager, coach and race offi cial and Chris Type, who won gold at Cesana at the Inter-Continental Championships.

skeleton bob.

Well, no, the season’s over... but that allows the

sport teams, comparable with international levels of training. Before the Inter-Service races we held the Royal Navy Championships based on the fastest joint time over two runs.

Having Chris work with us was a major advantage; the additional help he gave us in coaching, setting up sleds and runner selections to get the best from the ice conditions contributed to our team’s safety and fi nal results. This season we also used new training equipment and routines, these included a ‘Dartfi sh’ software programme that allows us to download footage from our two video cameras and replay in various modes such as overlapping athletes and accurate freeze framing. We also introduced new warm-up and cool-down

psychological techniques, daily individual goal- setting, some sports massage and basic physio lessons and the ‘popular’ ice baths: sitting in a bath of freezing water and ice for two minutes after training.

breakfast, on the track for 7am until 1.30pm. After an ice bath and 45 minutes for lunch there was sled work, lessons and coaching sessions which took us up to evening meal, followed by team meetings.

afternoon and night to themselves, but all in all the athletes put maximum effort and hard work into the whole fortnight.

The new training techniques have made Navy skeleton the most advanced of all three Services and possibly across the RN’s winter

The team did have the middle Saturday Each day started at 6am with sled loading, then routines, mental preparation and

The race also included a guest class open race to all other Service riders; every member of the RAF and Army teams entered. As in every year, this event, once again, proved very popular with the other services that do not have such an organised event. This event is now a regular part of the Inter-Service weeks. LD Tim Chudley (SDU1) was the fastest man over two runs – and clocked up the fastest single time. He edged PO(AEM) Ollie Dale (RAF Wittering) into second place; the senior rate was consoled with the Coronet Jeweller’s Fastest Speed Shield. Although his overall times placed him seventh, AB(D) Ryan Campbell (SDU1) won the men’s fastest start trophy. In the ladies’ event, AB(CIS) Iliana Veneti took gold. And the fastest single time of the race trophy. And the Coronet shield for the fastest speed attained. Logs Nicole Gardiner was placed second but took the title of fastest start. MA Stacey Sweet (RCDM Birmingham) in fourth was named the year’s best novice racer. The climax of the week at Lillehammer was the

Inter-Service Championships. This year athletes completed four runs over two days. Only the four fastest male riders and two fastest females would count towards the result. The atmosphere at the top of the track and in the changing room was one of nerves and charged with tension, with all the athletes warming up, running the track through their heads, ensuring every move, steer and entry into and exit from the bends would come as second nature. After the fi rst run, the total disregard for personal safety, sheer determination

and knowledge built up over the previous two weeks ensured the RN riders were in second place in both contests. Encouraged by the success of the fi rst runs, all eight Navy riders then raced their hearts out in the second and fi nal run and both teams maintained their second-place standings. LD Chudley and AB Veneti did very well to gain good times on a new track. The

maintaining their pace: AB Veneti raced into individual second place and then we had the result we had hoped and worked so hard for: the ladies team in fi rst place in Inter-Services. Beaten only by a more experienced RAF squad, the RN men were placed second. To close the Inter-Services, a new event was added on the third day of racing, the team event: two luge, two skeleton and two bobsleigh, one male and one female in each discipline. AB Veneti and LD Chudley represented the

second day began with the women

team members in the GB team selections; hopefully a place in our national team will once again be fi lled by a Royal Navy athlete. Anyone who has a passion for speed, lycra, and lunacy and wants to do this maximum adrenaline- rush sport, should contact me at the Defence Diving School (93832 4010) or e-mail lawrencet@


■ BEFORE the championships in Lillehammer, RN team manager PO(D) Sid Lawrence could be found in Vancouver as part of the Team GB squad attending the 2012 Winter Olympics. The senior rating has been manager of the GB


Senior Service in the skeleton; their efforts helped propel the RN to an inaugural victory, with the help of the luge and bobsleigh teams. Overall, considering the lack of experience of the Navy riders, Lillehammer was a great success. Throughout the two weeks, all team members trained hard during the day and worked until late at night preparing equipment, working on their sleds and runners.

As a team they pulled together to ensure that the future of Royal Navy skeleton is fully set in motion.

This year, we are hoping to utilise the training facilities in Bath University, including the specially- built sprint start which replicates the top of a bobsleigh track. We are also entering some

inter-continental cup team since 2008, overseeing six UK athletes. In that time, the half dozen skeleton athletes have won four gold, nine silver, 16 bronze/runner-up medals at competitions across the globe. This year, Sid coached at the world junior championships where the sole GB competitor was placed an outstanding fourth and made the second fastest start time in history on the track at St Moritz. Sid also coached the Canadians, who collected a silver medal, and three RAF athletes in the European Cup Championships. At the Vancouver games, Sid was manager of

the reserve athletes who weren’t called upon to race in the end.

And just for good measure, the diver coached the RN Cresta Run team at the eponymous race; the sailors came second to the RAF.

● Sled heaven... This year’s RN skeleton bob team

pictures: po(phot) donny osmond, frpu north

● Flying start... LD Sean

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