By Anita Gaits
We’re faster than the Jamaicans!
If bombing it down black runs, fighting moguls or going off-piste isn’t giving you enough of an adrenaline rush; then get yourself down to the La Plagne Olympic Bobsleigh for a truly exhilarating and unique experience.
Built in 1990 for the 1992 Winter Olympics hosted by Albertville, the bobsleigh track offers you an opportunity to experience an official Olympic competition standard bobsleigh run. It consists of 19 bends, is 1500m long and has a vertical drop of 125m. It is certainly not for the faint hearted but will give you a good story to regale your friends with when you get home!
There are a couple of different bobsleigh options available, each offering something different at various speeds:
First up you have the Bob-Raft – a 4 man, self-steering, self-breaking, automated bobsleigh, that tops out at 80km/h. This one is great family fun as you can fit four of you in together, and the speed – whilst exhilarating – is not terrifying. You must be 14 years old or 1.30m tall to ride this one.
• Hint – sit at the front for the best view!
For the more extreme amongst you there is the Speed-Luge – a single man sledge described as a cross between a bobsleigh and a luge. It’s the closest you will get to the ice as you lie down in it, and – rather ominously – a cage like lid closes above you before you plummet down the track, feet first, reaching speeds of 90km/h. You must be 16 years old for this one.
Then if that’s still not fast enough for you, you want more speed, more adrenaline, then Bob-Racing is for you! This is a real 4 man bobsleigh piloted by a professional driver and hitting speeds of 120km/h, this one is where it’s at. Extremely fast, terrifying in places and absolutely all kinds of fun, you can feel every bend and drop of the track as the sleigh twists and turns unexpectedly. You will reach the bottom of the 1500m track in just under a minute, (it took the Jamaicans 1 minute 57 in Sochi 2014!). This one can take three people plus the driver and you must be 18 or older to ride it.
• Hint – the further back you sit the more G-force you will feel. Behind the driver seems relatively smooth in comparison!
All of them start from the same location and the bobsleigh team have their system down to a fine art. You check in at the reception, then mill around the waiting room where you can watch others begin their runs until your party is called. You are fitted with a helmet and if you’re doing the fast one a neck brace – don’t let that worry you though! You are then led out onto the ice to take your seat in your bobsleigh. The countdown begins and you’re off on your death defying trip. Upon reaching the bottom you hop in the waiting transportation, the bobsleigh is hoisted onto the back and you’re chauffeured back to the top, couldn’t be simpler!
Back at the top you can relive it all by watching the video of your trip as each of the bobsleighs are fitted with a camera to record the event. If you choose to purchase the video it is presented to you on a La Plagne Bobsleigh official memory stick… just an extra little souvenir for you!
I have tried 2 out of 3 of the Bob Experiences (still working up to the Speed-Luge) and I have loved them. They’re real adrenalin pumping fun… and really, how often do you get the opportunity to go sledging on an Olympic bobsleigh track? Watch Cool Runnings, pack your lucky egg and go, go, go!
Oxygène can book the Bobsleigh directly for you, with return transport from you chalet…