We came, we soared, we showed our conkers…
That’s right, thanks toChillisauce– and your all important support – Great Britain was proudly represented at the Naked Sledding World Championships for the first time in history.
After months and months of searching all over the country for the perfect contenders - you voted for firefighter Holly Garshong and British solider Thomas Chrusciel, to bare all and battle for slope supremacy in nothing nut their birthday suits.
About the competition
Forget Sochi, these are the winter races that really count
Taking place in the lively spa town of Braunlage, this infamous race takes place in mid-February, where huge crowds turn out to admire the unique sporting spectacle of men and women careering down the snowy tracks wearing nothing but a helmet and their pants. And after the bare-chested racing action concludes, there are high octane after-parties that make your usual après-ski seem like a vicar’s tea party.
As you can imagine, this is not a race for the shy and retiring. While the field itself is a relatively small one – expect 30 competitors in total – the crowds are far from small. More than 25,000 gathered slope-side in 2012. Racers gather from various countries, with more than 5,000 applying for the honour of representing their nation. The selection policy almost always seems to be slightly skewed towards those who look good naked, which as a spectator you will no doubt be relieved to hear!
How it works?
The winner is the naked speed junkie who crosses the finish line first, with the male and female champions both receiving a tasty €1,000 prize. Heck, it’s enough to even buy themselves some clothes.
Our campaign to find the British Team
###So, we Brits have a stiff upper lip do we? Well, we’ll see about that Here at Chillisauce we’ve always been fans of incredible experiences and unique events that salute the wilder side of life. When we first wrote about the competition on our blog back in 2012, we vowed to never stand back and watch another naked sled race zip by without British representation. As soon as we heard that it was back, we asked for applicants to become part of Great Britain’s inaugural naked sledding team.
The race to find Team GB was on
And so, when we found out that the event was returning, we jumped at the chance to assemble the first ever UK team. Our patriotic call to arms was greeted with a raucous response and, after sifting through more than 500 applications from would-be heroes keen to show off their naked ambition, we found the perfect contenders.
Who you voted to represent Great Britain
Two brave soldIers (well, one)
After counting the votes, the brave pair that were chosen to tackle the course over in Germany were Sunderland’s flame-haired firefighter Holly Garshong and 21-year-old blue eyed British soldier Thomas Chrusciel.
Nudist by nature
“We used to go on nudist holidays and it was just normal to me, growing up,” said Holly. “We started when I was about six and I just got brought up that way. Everyone was naked and people weren’t looking at each other like that – it was just normal.” Given this, our outgoing fitness instructor from Barnes in Sunderland is ideally placed to lead from the front.
Holly, 29, believes firmly in the ‘work hard, play hard’ mantra, she enjoys keeping fit at the Wear-fit boot-camp and playing with her band Four Star Hero. Ironically she was at a ski resort in France when she heard that she had made the final ten, along with her husband of less than a year. “They just laughed and my husband said I just like to shock people, but I think it will be brilliant to represent your country.”
Height:5 ft 3″
Competing seems to be in Holly’s blood, with the desire to represent her country stronger than the lure of the 1,000 Euro prize for the winners of the event. With a competitive edge as striking as her bright red hair, she hopes that her experience as a qualified fitness instructor and appreciation of the naked form will give her an edge on her international rivals. As a unique and unconventional woman, it seems fitting that Holly should also represent Great Britain’s inaugural naked sledding team.
As Holly herself said, “I’m not bothered about being cold, as long as I get a cup of tea at the end of it." With a philosophy like that and the thirst for life that this thrill-seeking, Northeastern lass brings to the championships, the challenge of sledding naked in sub-zero temperatures in the pursuit of national glory will hold no fears for feisty Holly.
He'll do it for Britain
From East Sussex, Tom has a passion anything exciting and his favourite past-times include skiing, surfing and extreme bike riding. While he usually prefers to attempt these being at least partially clothed, the thrill of naked sledding was simply too much to ignore. He's a former Tough Mudder contestant, although has no idea where he placed. “I could not tell you where I came,” he said, “but I made sure that I beat the Americans". Nothing sums up this determined competitor more.
The question that remains is whether Thomas, as a soldier in the British Army, has a distinct advantage over his international rivals? The short answer may well be yes, as his day job involves intense physical activity and adventurous training as a matter of course. Currently based in Germany, he is also no stranger to foreign climates has the full backing of the entire British Army, which is quite a force to be reckoned with.
Height:6 ft 2″
As a patriotic, physically capable and well-travelled contestant, Thomas will get on his sled with a tremendous amount of self-confidence. If he can survive the threat of frostbite and tune into his competitive instinct, he may well achieve his dream of representing his country and achieving national glory!
Not the smoothest of starts…
It’s fair to say the competition itself hadn’t got off to the smoothest of starts. A lack of snow at the original location of Braunlage led to a last-minute venue change, with a hastily constructed course being set up at Magdebug-Cochstedt airport. An impressive 89 tonnes of snow were brought in to cover the 70m-long ramp, while mass crowds of 10,000 still turned out in force to show their support – and party into the night.
Sabotage or fashionably late?
As for our brave British competitors, they arrived fashionably late, having shared a party bus with the Dutch team, but when the driver took them to the wrong airport it meant a mad dash to the start line with only 10 minutes to spare.
Holly knocked out by national hero Melanie Müller
In a tough first round draw Holly fronted up to reigning champion and German porn star Melanie Müller – and the daunting prospect proved a little too much as our Mackem lass was knocked out by the home crowd favourite. Not that there’s any shame in that, especially after seeing off such fierce competition just to win the right to compete in front of thousands. The female contest was eventually won by a care worker named Anika Lengfeld from the German city of Burg.
Tom narrowly loses to the “muscular butcher”
Soldier boy Tom did his country proud too, racing into the second round before losing out to eventual male category winner Maurice Berg, the slightly sinisterly nicknamed “muscular butcher”.
Who they beat from these shores
After receiving 500 applications, Chillisauce chose 10 very different applicants and you voted for who you wanted to represent Great Britain.
Head-strong Vicki is a competitive and confident full-time Mum from West Sussex.
She is not averse to stripping down and getting naked, and thinks she’d be pretty darned good at sledding. She can also down a pint quickly and belly dance, which would be sure to make her a smash-hit at the after-tournament party.
Occupation: Full-time Mum
Lives: West Sussex
Dave has previously sledged in the Alps and the Canadian Rockies.
A former Tough Mudder competitor and aspiring RAF cadet, Dave thinks he has the body to make women (and a few men) swoon. His job involves the day-to-day running of Carterton Leisure Centre.
Occupation: Leisure Centre Duty Manager
Aside from her mysterious name and incredibly fun-sounding job, our Hazel also learned to ski black runs when she was just six years old.
The web cam model even practices as a qualified rock-climbing instructor, meaning that hitting the slopes naked will enable her to utilise her most prominent skills. Hazel’s job involves getting paid to strip from the comfort of her bedroom.
Occupation: Web Cam Model and Rock Climbing Instructor
A young contender with no previous experience of sledding, Brendan promises to bring a unique style to the event.
In his element when naked, he also believes his furry posterior will give him and advantage over his rivals. His victory celebration would also include the classic ‘turning his eyelids inside-out’ trick, which remains as fresh today as it has ever done!
A lacrosse expert with magnificent calves (his words not ours), Francis categorizes himself as ‘being heavy and fast on a sled.’
He may also be the only Oxford student in history with the ability to carry a pint on his head, which makes him OK in our books. We would also like to see how his definition of ‘enthusiastic dancing’ plays out on a live stage.
Occupation: Student at Oxford University
Kirsty is an aspiring nudist who also competed in the 2012 World Naked Bike Ride, she is taking a break from drunken streaking to represent Great Britain.
Kirsty believes that her entire life has been leading to this tournament. Her job involves hosting a touring rock ‘n ‘roll party that travels across the UK. As for the after-show party, is anyone up for a game of naked frisbee?
Occupation: Event Planner
Fully equipped with a heat retaining beard and an ability to blow actual flames, if nothing else he will be able to keep the others warm after the event.
With a job title of ‘Mischief Maker’, it stands to reason that Ricc should be pretty wild outside of the office too. Look out for his tactic of hurling balls of snow and fire at the other racers!
Occupation: ‘Mischief Maker’ and Marketer for Nokia