LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Canada’s top women’s bobsleigh pilots knocked on the door of the podium by finishing fourth and fifth at the Bobsleigh World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Saturday.
Canada’s Helen Upperton piloted her Canada 1 sled to fourth place, while Kaillie Humphries drove the Canada 2 sled into the fifth spot over four runs at the 1980 Olympic venue.
“That was another fourth-place finish at a major event to add to the long list,” said Upperton who teamed up with Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti to clock a four-run time of 3:48.93. The Canadian duo climbed three spots after sitting in seventh spot after the first two runs on Friday.
“I was really excited for this race because I have had good results in Lake Placid and maybe I was a little too anxious,” said Upperton. “I’ve had this irritating rib injury and then got sick and it seems I just can’t catch a break.”
The 29-year-old Upperton got off to a golden start to the 2008-09 season by winning two of the first three World Cups of the season before sustaining a rib injury while loading into a sled during a race in Königssee, Germany just after the holiday break.
“I think despite my injury there are a lot of positives to take out of this season both for myself and Jenny and the federation,” said Upperton who has five World Cup victories to her credit throughout her six-year career as a pilot. “If you look at the times I am still competitive, and with a proper push we could be on top. It shows the driving is going good and that is a very positive sign.”
Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries, who was a brakeman at the 2006 Olympic Games before switching her trade to the pilot’s seat, teamed up with Heather Moyse, of Summerside, P.E.I., to finish in fifth spot with a time of 3:48.97.
“This wasn’t exactly the finish I hoped for, but it was okay because the runs were a little more consistent today,” said Humphries. “We pushed amazing and I am really happy with that. I learned a lot over the last week getting used to the World Championship environment and all that goes along with it.”
The 23-year-old Humphries has found the podium in two of the last three races winning the silver medal at the Whistler Sliding Centre and also last weekend in Park City, Utah to finish her sophomore season as a pilot on the World Cup.
“I got off to a slow start but by the end I believe it was where I should be,” said Humphries. “I learned a lot this year and heading into next season <Olympic year> that is very important. This summer I’ll look back at all my notes and learning that I have done this year, and it will make me better for next season.”