Canadian Bobsleigh Team Picks Up Pit Crew for World Cup Season
November 12, 2010
Calgary – A race car driver is only as good as his or her pit crew; the same is now true for Canada’s bobsleigh athletes, and they’re backed by the best – thanks to a deal struck with Dutch engineering firm Eurotech Viking Engineering BV.
Two engineers from Eurotech are hitting the road with the Canadian Bobsleigh Team with the sole responsibility of keeping the Canucks’ sleds in winning mode. The Canadian team – led by Olympic medallists Kaillie Humphries, Helen Upperton, and Lyndon Rush – is poised to continue its dominant position as they begin the 2010-11 World Cup season in Whistler, November 22-28.
“Bobsleigh races are won by thousandths of a second, so any competitive advantage a team gets can mean the difference between finishing first and eighth,” said Don Wilson, chief executive officer, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “The preparation that goes on before and after the race – both with the athletes and with their sleds – is core to winning medals.”
Eurotech’s engineers will begin with sled maintenance with the goal of eventually moving into sled construction and development. According to Wilson, the sport of bobsleigh is not dissimilar to that of car racing where pit crews can make or break a driver’s performance.
“Sleds, like race cars, are built according to strict guidelines. What goes into developing fast sleds and fast race cars is among the world’s best-kept secrets,” said Wilson. “Canada has the world’s best drivers, no doubt. With the addition of Eurotech, we’re building to become unstoppable in our continued pursuit of being a world-leader in men’s and women’s bobsleigh.”
Eurotech has 19 years of experience building and maintaining high-performance sports vehicles including bikes, race cars, and all terrain vehicles.
“Eurotech is very proud and honoured to work with one of the greatest nations in bobsleigh and skeleton,” said Wim Noorman, General Director Eurotech Viking Engineering BV. “The quality of Canadian athletes working together with our technical skills, will certainly create a unique partnership that will push both parties to a higher level. We are also very happy to be reunited with Tom De-La-Hunty in continuing our high-valued cooperation.”
New Canadian head coach De-La-Hunty, who coached and competed at eight Olympic Games for Britain and most recently the Dutch team, helped introduce Eurotech to the Canadian bobsleigh program. De-La-Hunty, who joined Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton in July, worked with Eurotech while coaching the Dutch team at the 2010 Olympics. Eurotech will also continue to work with the Dutch Bobsleigh Team, helping to push both nations forward on the World Cup.
“Thanks to Eurotech, the Dutch Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (BSBN) had unprecedented technical support, and helped us get to where we are now,” said Frans Bakker, president, BSBN states, who helped forge the partnership for Canada. “The Dutch federation is content that our relationship with Eurotech will continue, and we are happy they will extend their support to the Canadian team. This partnership is good for Canada, good for the Dutch program, and ultimately great for our sports.”
The Canadian team will enjoy home-ice advantage for the first two World Cup events of the season, donning the spikes at the Whistler venue on November 22-28, 2010 and Calgary on November 29 – December 4 before heading to Europe in January.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners - VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, Schenker Canada - along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca