Andy Wood's Blog

GB Skeleton Athlete

Lake Placid Training

It was time for a fresh start in Lake Placid.

I learnt what I could from the sour Park City experience and made some changes to my sled setup.  I’m glad to say that my times are a lot better now 🙂  I’ve tested different sled configurations and tried different types of runners in training so far.

We’ve had 2 days of training with 2 more to go before our race on Friday.   Due to the large number of competitors, the athletes are split into 2 groups for training sessions.  This makes it difficult to fully gauge how we’re doing, as half the mens field is in the other group.  Comparing finish times between the 2 groups isn’t that accurate either, as the track can get faster or slower between the 2 groups training sessions.  Nevertheless, the training results are posted on a website at the following location if you’re interested:

Lake Placid training results

Having been at this track for our GB selection races, it’s not that unfamiliar to me.  The ice on the track has changed in a few areas, meaning some steers need adjusting so there’s still more to come in terms of my finish times.

The race on Friday is being televised on Eurosport 2 between 6pm and 8:30pm (uk time).  Hope to see you there!!

Eurosport TV schedule


November 19, 2009 Posted by | Blog Archive | 3 Comments

Park City WC1

It was a disappointing week in Park City.  I was slow throughout training as well as the race.  My lines down the track were by no means perfect, but I was at the back-end of the field all week and I couldn’t place my finger on the problem.  It felt like I was back in Winterberg at the start of the season – struggling for speed even when I’d had a good line down the track.

I had to try something different on race day.  I thought perhaps I was bleeding too much speed in the corners so I decided to try and let the sled run a bit more by easing up on the steers.  This meant I had to work a bit more in the straights between the corners to get back on line, but the outcome was the same – slow.  I was 23rd in the race and I didn’t get to do a 2nd run as the cut-off point is 20th.  To be honest, the top 3 corners were a bit of a mess anyway.
Having had time to reflect on the performance, I think we may have come up with a theory as to what’s going on.  My lack of speed tends to happen when the outside temperature isn’t as cold.  This means I may have to setup my sled a bit different in those conditions, which I’ll be able to try at the location of the second World Cup race in Lake Placid.  We arrived in Lake Placid late last night and it’s been raining all day – perfect for testing out this new theory!  We have a day off tomorrow before sliding commences on Monday.

Park City Men's Podium

Men’s Top 6:

1 Martins Dukurs Latvia
2 Sandro Stielicke Germany
3 Kristan Bromley Great Britain
4 Frank Rommel Germany
5 Zach Lund United States of America
6 Jeff Pain Canada
6 Eric Bernotas United States of America


Park City Women's Podium

Women’s Top 6:

1 Anja Huber Germany
2 Amy Gough Canada
3 Mellisa Hollingsworth Canada
4 Shelley Rudman Great Britain
5 Michelle Kelly Canada
6 Amy Williams Great Britain

November 15, 2009 Posted by | Blog Archive | 3 Comments

Park City World Cup 1 Timesheet

Park City Men’s WC1

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Blog Archive, Race Time Sheets | Leave a comment

Picture of me in Whistler training

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Blog Archive | 1 Comment

Airport Mayhem!

I’m writing this from a departure lounge in Vancouver airport, although I should be in Salt Lake City already.

Myself and a team-mate were booked on a flight with Alaska Airlines, flying from Vancouver to Salt Lake City via Los Angeles.  The rest of our team were booked on a direct flight from Vancouver to Salt Lake with Delta, as their flights were booked earlier in advance.  Our 1st flight was arriving too late in Vancouver for us to make our connection in LA, so the Alaska Airlines staff  transferred us to the Delta flight (which was great news!).  However, the process dragged out due to computer problems at check-in which left us waiting around for an hour before we could check our bags.  When finally through, we had a long wait for security and another queue for the US border control in the Vancouver airport, both leaving us not much time to get to our flight.  I was then asked to go through to a secondary area of the US border to have my checked bags searched.  After a 10 minute wait I was called up, only to find out that they didn’t want to search my bags, but my team-mates.  There was a mix-up on their system and because we had both checked in together and had identical bags, the wrong bags were pulled out and my name was tagged on their system.  They realised their mistake but by then it was too late to get to my flight and one of the Delta staff had come to help.  I was escorted down close to the gate, through a doorway to the arrivals side of the airport.  I had to fill out a Canadian Arrivals form (with half the information as I didn’t have a flight number I arrived on etc!).  I was then stood infront of a puzzled officer who had a million and one questions which I wasn’t sure how to answer, before proceeding to the baggage reclaim to get my bags back.  I was then taken back up to departures and had to be booked on a later flight via Seattle to Salt Lake City.  I’m waiting for that flight now, although I’ve just heard it’s been delayed….

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Blog Archive | 1 Comment

News Feed

99 days to go!

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Blog Archive | Leave a comment

Mid point in Whistler

There’s not much to report on at the moment!

We’ve completed 1 week of sliding in Whistler, with 1 week to go.  The corners are a bit more rounded on the entrances and exits compared to the World Cup race here last year.  This makes it a bit more forgiving if you’re slightly off the race line.  I’ve been doing half the runs as I’m sharing the alotted runs with another athlete.  It gives me the chance to watch on my days off and stay fresh for when I’m sliding.  2 more days of sliding left for me – Thursday and Friday.

Halloween in Whistler was amazing!  They really go for it over here, dressing up in funny costumes.  I really felt like the odd one out wearing normal clothes in town!

Today we did a few headshots for the TV introduction on race days.   I must say I was looking exceptionally amazing today as I spent 3 hours doing my hair 😀

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Blog Archive | 4 Comments