29 Things I Learned At The World Naked Sledding Championships
1. The World Naked Sledding Championships are now in their fifth year.
Centre in this photo is Mia Magma, who is a former Naked Sledding Champion.
2. They take place in Braunlage – a town with air so pure that visitors have to pay a tax.
3. However, this year, there wasn’t enough snow in Braunlage to host the championships, so they were held in Cochstedt – about an hour’s drive away.
As this gif indicates.
4. The official mode of transport was the Remmi Demmi Party Bus, which carried the German and British contestants – as well as a large Dutch contingent.
5. The party bus is a capricious thing. It arrived an hour late, and brought us to the wrong destination. As an apology, a communal bottle of Jägermeister was bought.
I am not a Jäger fan.
6. The new location was an airport, with imported snow.
7. Here is the official parking sign for the event.
10. The contest began with the entrants parading. There were 44 competitors – from countries like the UK, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Germany.
11. The slope was 89.0 metres high – inspired by the frequency of the radio station that hosts the competition.
12. Contestants are allowed to wear: boots, gloves, and a some tight white pants.
13. Though the event is held on the same timeframe as the Winter Olympics, there is no intended overlap.
14. The reasons for entering were varied.
Holly Garshong, the female British entrant explained “this might be the only time I get to represent Great Britain in a World Championships”.
15. German celebrities took part – like entertainer Don Francis.
His descent was very elegant, perhaps aided by his dressing gown.
16. There were three heats, and the fastest down won. The rules appeared to be flexible, however.
Sometimes it was the first person over the red line who won, other times it was the first person to reach the end of the slope.
17. Backstage, tactics involved “humping” the sled to build momentum.
18. The consensus seemed that the left lane was the quickest.
19. Native German speakers had quite an advantage.
“I realised at the top of the slope that I didn’t know the German for ‘Ready Steady Go”, lamented the male British entrant, Tom Chrusciel.
20. There was an atmosphere of friendly rivalry.
Most competitors hugged or shook hands after going down the slope.
21. Unsurprisingly, Naked Sledding is not the most elegant sporting pursuit.
24. Even the supporting acts found the snow hard to navigate.
25. However, the most successful sledgers approached the slope backward.
26. This woman in the pink gloves was the eventual ladies winner. Look at that grace.
27. Once the competition was over, the afterparty began.
28. It featured an incredibly talented saxophonist playing along to popular hits.
29. And the comforting conclusion that drunk men dance the same the world over.
The flights and accommodation for this trip were paid for by Chilli Sauce, who were sponsoring the British entrants.
Correction: An earlier version of this article identified Melanie Müller as a former Naked Sledding Champion, the former winner was actually Mia Magma.