How do skeleton and luge races differ?

Cresta Run - Cresta Run

Start at the Cresta Run

Coordinates: 46.5025749 ° N 9.8450459 ° O. 46 ° 30'09 "N 9 ° 50'42" E. /. / 46.5025749; 9.8450459

The Cresta Run is a natural ice skeleton toboggan run in the east of Renn Switzerland. Located in the winter sports town of St. Moritz, the 1.2125 km (0.753 mile) run is one of the few in the world entirely dedicated to skeleton. It was built in 1884 near the hamlet of Cresta in the municipality of Celerina / Schlarigna by the Outdoor Amusement Committee of the Kulm Hotel and the people of St. Moritz. The committee members were Major William Henry Bulpett (founder of the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club (SMTC)), George Robertson, Charles Digby Jones (Robertson and Digby Jones planned the proposed course), C. Metcalfe and J. Biddulph. It is still a partnership between the SMTC, founded in 1887, and the people of St. Moritz.

The sport of intramural sled racing originated in the winter resort of the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz in the early 1870s. SMTC members still gather for lunch in the 'Sunny Bar' in the Kulm. In the early days of competitive tobogganing, the predominant style was supine luge, but the invention of the Flexible Flyer in 1887, known colloquially as "America", led to Mr. Cornish's use of the head-first -Style in the Grand National of 1887. It finished 14th due to erratic rides, but it established a trend and by the Grand National of 1890 all participants rode upside down. The head-first style was known for a time as the "cresta" race.

The sport and its history

The Cresta Run and SMTC were founded by tobogganing enthusiasts who used a head-first (prone) technique to ski down an icy run as opposed to the foot-first (supine) run and a little faster luge races. Both of these evolving sports were natural additions to the invention of steerable sleds in the early 1870s by British guests at the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz. The initial raw sledges were developed almost by chance - when bored wealthy gentlemen naturally came to an intramural competition on the streets and side streets of the mountainous inner city of St. Moritz, which posed a risk to each other and to pedestrians. This gave impetus to the steering of the sleds, and soon runners and a primitive mechanism were developed to provide some steering along the longer curved roads of the 1870s. It also allowed for higher speeds on longer runs. The local views were different, but eventually the complaints got louder and the Kulm hotel owner Caspar Badrutt built the first natural ice skating for his guests to publicize the wintering in the mountain resort, being careful not to bother customers with boredom or his staff lose to injuries due to faulty sleds on the streets.

The run

The head (above) of the barrel is beneath the remains of a 12th century church, demolished in 1890, known as the "Leaning Tower". The total drop is 157 m (515 ft) and the incline varies from 2.8 to 1 to 8.7 to 1 (length to drop).

Unlike the original halfpipe toboggan run that hotelier Caspar Badrutt built for his guests, the modern Cresta run is not shared with Bob. Most of it is in the contour of a steep canyon and is recreated every winter, with the rocky canyon and the shores of the earth serving as support pillars for the pack ice. The run is heard and run by one purely male club operated by the British military with the official name in 1885 St. Moritz Tobogganing Club (SMTC) founded has been. However, it is commonly referred to as "The Cresta Run".

The course has two entrances known as "Top" and "Junction", respectively, and two banks known as "Upper" and "Lower". The junction entrance is next to the SMTC clubhouse and is about a third of the way down from the top of the run. Similarly, the exit is simply referred to as the "destination". With a typical average speed of more than 80 km / h, an experienced driver leaves the route at a speed of more than 100 km / h when driving from above.

The track was used for the skeleton event at both the 1928 Winter Olympics and the 1948 Winter Olympics. These were the only Olympic Games with a skeleton until 2002.

Male jam

The exclusion of women from the course, which was enforced through December 2018, dates back to the late 1920s and was introduced due to injuries to female racers and the belief that excessive sledding causes breast cancer, although it has never been proven. It came into force in 1929, although women had been banned from competitive events a few years earlier. At the end of 2018, the members of the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club voted with a two-thirds majority that women can take part in the Cresta Run again and become members.

Cresta and skeleton

While the Cresta Run is often viewed as the birthplace of the modern skeleton and served as a course for skeleton events at the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics, the Cresta Run differs horse riding clearly different from modern skeleton Slip . Cresta Riding requires significant movement on the toboggan run in order to navigate the trail. This movement includes riders moving their position back and forth on the toboggan run and actively pressing the toboggan run with their right hand in order to maneuver through Badminton and Thoma. On the other hand, modern skeleton pushing requires much less movement on the toboggan run, and the sleds are generally more flexible and sensitive than those for the Cresta. Cresta Toboggans have longer, more distinctive knives on the back of the runner than their current skeletal counterparts. This is to get more grip because, unlike the modern skeleton that takes place on bob runs, you can exit the cresta run at numerous points if they go too fast or get out of control.

The toboggans used by the Cresta Run are broadly divided into two main categories: traditionals and flat-tops. Traditional toboggans are the toboggans that every Cresta rider initially starts with and that have been used since the 1900s. as a further development of the earlier American Toboggan run. Traditional ones are characterized by a distinctive sliding seat and the integration of the runners into the frame. The sliding seat allows the driver to move back onto the toboggan before getting into the shuttlecock in order to put more weight on the knife and thus gain more control and grip. Flat-tops were introduced to the Cresta in the 1960s by Reto Gansser (brother of eight-time Grand National winner Franco Gansser) and became the basis for modern skeleton sleds. Flat-tops are characterized by either a steel or carbon fiber base with removable runners. These days are more like skeleton sleds. Some manufacturers offer sleds for Olympic skeleton teams and amateur cresta riders. In contrast to the traditional toboggan run, the flat-top lacks a movable seat and is more sensitive and faster. As a result, the Secretariat requires that Junction on a Traditional drivers achieve steady journeys of 48 seconds, around to switch to a flat-top. The converts will then be of theirs Flat-top guru teaches an experienced flat-top rider who receives permission from the secretariat to teach the converts flat-top riding. It is up to Tower and the Secretariat to determine if you are a sufficiently experienced and safe driver to continue driving on a flat-top.

The club

The main purpose of the 1,300-member club, founded in 1887, is "... to conduct races and exercises on the Cresta Run and to promote tobogganing in general". The Cresta Club may not be snobbish, but it gathers wealthy gentlemen and is totally amateurish. There are many more toboggan and bobsleigh runs around the world, but only one Cresta is dedicated to head-first tobogganing. The club claims that most of the other tobogganing sports are dominated by professionals and are one of the last bastions of the real amateur in the sport.

As in many social clubs, members are chosen from a list of qualifiers known as an additional list. The course is open to anyone who meets the three criteria for inclusion and does not need to be English. There are many club rites such as the "Fireworks", the "Shuttlecock Club" and a special drink, the "Bullshot". The highlight of the Shuttlecock Club is the annual Shuttlecock dinner . Dinner is organized by the Shuttlecock President. Prominent presidents included Constantin von Liechtenstein, Gianni Agnelli, Gunther Sachs, Sir Dudley Cunliffe-Owen, Rolf Sachs, Lord Dalmeny, Count Luca Marenzi, Marc MK Fischer, Lord Wrottesley and Sven Ley. The club sponsors more than 30 races per season, which usually last from just before Christmas to the end of February. The track will open as soon as seasonally possible and will be kept open for as long as natural weather conditions allow.

Notable driver members

Some particularly good drivers from the past were Nino Bibbia, Italy; Giorgio Jegher, Jack Heaton, USA; and Billy Fiske, USA (the first American pilot to be killed as a volunteer in the Millionaire Squadron during World War II). In 1955, the then 71-year-old Lord Brabazon won the Cresta Run Coronation Cup with an average speed of 71 km / h.

Among the best drivers in recent years: eight times as much Grand National The winner was the Swiss Franco Gansser, the fifteen-time Grand National winner Lord Wrottesley finished fourth at the 2002 Winter Olympics and is the current top record holder (49.92 in 2015), former Junction record holder Johannes Badrutt (41.02 in 1999) and the current junction record holder is the German Magnus Eger (40.94 in 2017). Marcel Melcher was the youngest winner (19 years old, 1979) of the Grand National.

Wing Commander Andy Green is the RAF's team captain for the Cresta Run. Green is an established land speed record car driver and holds the current land speed record he achieved in Thrust SSC. He also drives the 1000 mph Bloodhound SSC.

Baron Raunchy is said to have had the slowest trip from Junction with a time of 380 seconds.

Women and the Cresta

Although the rules were banned from female drivers from 1929 to December 2018, this was not always the case. For example, TA Cook reports that in 1895 there were various attempts by women on the Cresta, testing different riding positions and sledding styles - although at the time women riders were encouraged to use only the lower half of the course. Vera Barclay drove the Cresta Run from above. She was followed by a young American, Charles Lowe Boorum, Jnr., Who said: "See you at the finish". Boorum started too quickly and slid into Church Leap at such a rate that he fell on a shuttlecock, was hit by his toboggan, and died of a fractured skull that evening.

In 2019, the UK's Carina Evans became the first woman to descend the Cresta Run from above since the ban on female drivers was lifted in 2018.

Towards the end of the season there is one Ladies Event, where women only compete at the invitation of Junction.


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