Sleaford servicewoman Jess speeds to bobsleigh title

Champion duo Sarah (left) and Jess EMN-180222-164145002
Champion duo Sarah (left) and Jess EMN-180222-164145002

With the Winter Olympics in full swing in South Korea, a Sleaford sportswoman has been crowned a bobsleigh champion on the other side of the world.

Lincolnshire may not be well-known for snow and ice, but Second Lieutenant Jess Elkington celebrated success at the Army Ice Championships in Winterberg, Germany.

Jess gets the pair off to a rapid start in their winning slide EMN-180222-164157002

Jess gets the pair off to a rapid start in their winning slide EMN-180222-164157002

Incredibly, she took up the adrenaline-fuelled sport just three months ago.

With her pilot, Warrant Officer Second Class Sarah Smith, they put in a flawless display around the narrow, twisting ice track to be crowned the 2018 Army Female Bobsleigh champions.

“It’s pretty awesome to be crowned the Army Champions, and pretty unexpected in my first year,” said Jess.

“As the brake-woman I look to get us off to a good start, and then Sarah takes over as the pilot steering us down through the course.

Jess Elkington took up bobsleigh just three months ago EMN-180222-164209002

Jess Elkington took up bobsleigh just three months ago EMN-180222-164209002

“In the final run we put in a really quick start, the quickest we had done all week and everything just went well from there.

“You are always looking to improve as minor changes can make such a difference to your time. We set a good marker and won; it’s a marvellous feeling.”

The 25-year-old, who serves in Germany with 26 Regiment Royal Artillery as a Troop Commander, will now go on to represent the Army with Sarah in the Inter-service championships in Austria.

“It has been a fantastic experience and this week has been better than I expected,” she added.

“The training and instruction we have received has been brilliant and I have learnt so much in a short time.

“Bobsleigh is pretty scary but I was really keen to try it once I got the opportunity.

“Your heart races at the start and you definitely need nerves of steel, but once you are in the bob the competitive edge kicks in and you use the nerves to drive you on.

“And within a minute the race is over!”