Bobsleigh - Bob Sledding
£118 / PERSON / DESCENT
Piloted by a professional Bobsleigh driver shoot down the icy corridor in a real bobsleigh like the bobsleighs used in competition reaching speeds in excess of 100-120km/h whilst feeling forces from 3½ - 4½ G's in the bends.
|BOBSLEIGH TRACK - HISTORY|
The bobsleigh track at La Plagne was built for the Olympic Games Albertville in 1992. The bobsleigh track was built in La Plagne thanks to the enthusiasm of the Bobsleigh club in Macot, an area of La Plagne itself. The bobsleigh club in Macot was the only club in the Savoie region which still had active members. They used the old mining track in La Plagne to organise bob competitions on the road.
From the 8th to the 23rd February 1992 the Olympic track in La Plagne welcomed 350 athletes from 27 different countries to take part in the 3 different luge competitions and 2 different bobsleigh competitions: Men’s singles, women’s singles and men’s doubles and the Two man and four man Bob.
Since 1992 the track has been open every winter for bobsleighing, luge and skeleton. It is the only track in France. Clubs and teams from all over the world come here to train and take part in the various competitions throughout the season. The track is open most evenings for the public to try the Bob-Raft and the Taxi-Bob. Over 10 000 people have already experienced the thrills of these activities in La Plagne.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - operation times|
|DECEMBER TO EARLY MARCH|
|FRIDAYS / SATURDAYS / SUNDAYS|
|1630-1830HRS - Dependent on other tracks fixtures - Races / Meets etc|
|Dependent on Weather and Ice conditions|
Due to the Bobsleigh activity needing ice the Bobsleigh track is only open during certain months of the year. December is the earliest that the track can open with the warmer temperatures of March forcing the track to close early in the season.
The Bobsleigh track in La Plagne is the only Bobsleigh track in France meaning not only is it open to the General public but more importantly it is open to Bobsleigh, Skeleton and Luge teams from France and other teams from across the World that come and train on a regular basis. Due to this training the track itself is only open to the General public to take part in the Bobsleigh (Taxi-Bob) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between certain times that can be open to change by right of the operating company.
The Bobsleigh track and activity can also be prone to closure when the weather or ice conditions are not right. If it is snowing excessively heavy the workers sometimes don't have enough time to clear the snow away from the track before it is covered again. Although rare it does happen when it does the track does not operate.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - LOCATION and track description|
|Olympic Bobsleigh Track|
|La Plagne, France|
La Plagne has one of the best bobsleigh tracks in the world. It was the official Olympic track used for the Olympic Games at Albertville in 1992. It is 1500m long which allows you to experience an average speed in excess of 100km/h in a competition bobsleigh feeling forces in excess of 3.5 G's in the bends.
|How to get there from Meribel|
La Plagne is not connected in anyway to Meribel other than road or by air. To drive to La Plagne it is necessary to drive down the mountain from Meribel to Moutiers. From Moutiers you need to head up the valley road towards Aime and Bourg St Maurice. After about 20 minutes driving you need to turn off and enter Aime. From Aime you need to start making your way back up the mountain to La Plagne. The whole journey from Meribel to La Plagne takes about 50-60 minutes depending on traffic and weather.
- HELICOPTER - THE HELI-BOB™ - WHITETRACKS EVENTS
Catch a Helicopter from the helipad at the Altiport in Meribel to the Olympic Bobsleigh track in La Plagne. A taxi will be waiting for you at the Helipad in La Plagne awaiting your arrival ready to escort you and the participants to the Bobsleigh track. Once you have finished the Bobsleigh activity the taxi will again escort back to the Helicopter where you will catch it back to Meribel.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - OPERATION / DURATION / FORMAT|
|5-15 minutes - signing in, brief and collection of helmet|
|5 minutes - getting into and organisation in Bobsleigh|
|Approximately 60 second descent|
|5-10 minutes organisation at the bottom of the track|
|5 minutes transfer back to the top|
When you arrive 10 minutes before your allocated time you will need to go to the front desk to sign in. To get to the front desk from the Bobsleigh track car par park you will need to walk through the big open metal gates turn right, walk across the top of the track 'the push start area' and through the doors into the competitors changing room.
Once signed in you will need to wait until you are called. Once called the operator will open up the desk and direct you through a door which will lead you to a room where you will need to choose a helmet. When choosing a helmet make sure you choose one that is firm and secure on your head. PLEASE remember to fasten the clip which will ensure that the helmet does not come off.
Once you have you helmet you are now in line to take part in the Bobsleigh. You will need to wait until you are called for your turn. When it is your go one of the instructors will call you and the other two people in your Bobsleigh forward. Using the metal steps provided you will climb over the track ice wall and make your way to the empty Bobsleigh. BE CAREFUL it is sheet ice and very slippery. When you are next to the Bobsleigh, your allocated driver will put you in one at a time and fasten you all in safely. He will then tell you where to put your heads for the best view down, he will also explain where the handles are for you hold on the way down. When everyone including the driver is in the Bobsleigh its just a matter of waiting until its time to go!
When the drivers comfortable and ready one of the other instructors will grab the handles at the back of the bobsleigh slowly side you backwards and then line the Bobsleigh up - pointing you down the track. He will then start pushing you forward till eventually he will let go and away you will go!.... ENJOY THE RIDE!!
At the bottom of the track, the Bobsleigh will travel up an incline to slow down. When the Bobsleigh has come to a complete standstill the driver will jump out and one at a time once your safety belts have been unfastened you will do the same. AGAIN be careful you will be stepping out onto sheet ice. Once everyone is out of the Bobsleigh they will remove the Bobsleigh from the track, slide its metal runners into wooden blocks and then slide the Bobsleigh onto the back of the truck. All the participant will get into the truck and you will all be brought back up to the top of the track.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - RESTRICTIONS|
|Age - Minimum 18 years old|
|Post natal women|
The Bobsleigh is quite a Brutal activity, it literary is a bone shaker. As the Bobsleigh gets faster and faster the further it gets down the track the more the passengers get shaken about. Although crammed in you feel nice and secure if not a little squashed, your upper body though, especially with the extra weight of the helmet gets flung from side to side as you hit corner after corner. With the added pressure from the G forces pushing you down inside the Bobsleigh it is important that no one with the above problems take part in the Bobsleigh activity.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED|
The Bobsleigh track supply you with a helmet it is compulsory that you wear it whilst taking part in the Bobsleigh activity. It is almost inevitable that at some point your head will either hit the side of the bobsleigh or will hit one of the other passengers heads on the way down. Although all the helmets supplied are closed face helmets, they do not have visors to pull down - should you wish to bring goggles you can decide when you get there whether you are going to wear them or not. Many people do not wear goggles but if you have them with you, you then have the choice.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - SUGGESTED ITEMS|
|Warm clothing - Ski Clothing - jacket, sallopettes, gloves and goggles|
The Bobsleigh track by its very nature needs to be kept cold to help preserve the ice, due to this the track was built in a valley. Past a certain time in the day the track receives no daylight. The Bobsleigh track in La Plagne is one of the coldest places on earth. Dress warm there is nothing worse than feeling cold whilst taking part in an activity especially one so spectacular as the Bobsleigh. REMEMBER if you are cold it's only going to take the edge of your overall enjoyment. WEAR warm ski clothing - Jacket, Sallopettes and Gloves.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - STAFF / NUMBERS|
|1 professional driver|
There are a number of staff at the Bobsleigh track who are all there to perform their individual jobs. You have the guy that puts you into the Bobsleigh and then straps or seat belts you in and then once the Bobsleigh is ready he then pushes the Bobsleigh which then sends you down the track.
There are guys dotted down the track on the different corners who after each Bobsleigh descent sprays the corners with water and then scrapes the ice smooth again with special scrapers keeping the ice in near perfect condition for the next Bobsleigh.
Most Importantly there is the Pilot, the driver, this is the guy who is going to navigate you and the other two passengers down all 1500m of icy corridor that is laid out in front of you. The drivers are all very highly experienced, they do it on a daily basis, some of the drivers have also taken part in the Olympics for the French National team, so you will be in good hands.
|Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding - EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS|
The bobsleighs themselves are extremely expensive high technology machines made from steel, aluminum and composites.
Bobsleigh / Bob Sledding LINKS
- The British Bobsleigh Association