Experience key for Hall as he prepares to begin PyeongChang campaign
Bobsleigh

Experience key for Hall as he prepares to begin PyeongChang campaign

17 February 2018 / 16:47

It takes a certain kind of individual to take the lives of other men into his hands driving down an icy chute in excess of 150kph. Brad Hall is one of them.

Formerly a decathlete, Hall swapped the joys of balancing ten events to tackling the multiple corners and lines of a bobsleigh track, in both the two or four-man events.

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Good eye and touch is critical – the slightest adjustment on the inner steering rope can move the bobsleigh off kilter, and even tip the individuals inside over.

So far Hall appears to be taking it all his stride. The 27-year-old competed at the 2012 and 2014 Junior World Championships before then going through the accelerated driver programme with British Bobsleigh. 

He was on course to pilot the four-man crew to a World Championship medal in 2017 but a crash on the second cost them.

However, a first major medal arrived last November with World Cup four-man bronze in Park City and he finds himself in PyeongChang for his maiden Games set to battle on two fronts.

The first task will be the two-man competition alongside Joel Fearon, with heats one and two on Sunday followed by the last two 24 hours later.

And Hall believes the Olympic Sliding Centre can prove to be a leveller for all the leading nations.

“When you first start off (transition from brakeman to driver) a lot of it is instinct. Everything’s so fast you can’t take it all in, especially tracks like Whistler where you’re going just under 100 mph,” he said.

“As you get more experience everything seems to slow down and you can be a bit more intricate and relax. That’s when the real speed starts to come.

“Every day we walk the track,but we try to keep it as simple as possible. As you keep going back to tracks you add bit more information and it gets more complicated.

“PyeongChang is a track where no one has it dialled in and that’s one of the reasons GB do better in North America, because the European pilots aren’t as consistent or as good on those tracks. In Korea it will be a level playing field which I’m looking forward to.”

Hall will also compete in the four-man competition next weekend with the two-man event serving as a useful fact-finding mission of the track conditions.

His best World Cup result this season was 13th in Whistler in November – a week after his four-man silver – and it was those results at the start of the season which helped boost the squad's confidence. 

“The mood in the camp’s been good from the start of the season, it’s helped everyone and everyone’s wanted to slide and do their best,” he said.

“You’ve got to have faith in your whole crew, I‘ve got to have faith that they’ll push me fast and get in the sled and they hope I get in and drive them safely and fast.”

Sportsbeat 2018