Winter Sports

Forces Athletes Compete At Inter Services Ice Sports Championships

The Royal Air Force reigned supreme in the skeleton, as well as winning the luge title.

The Royal Air Force's skeleton and luge athletes were successful at the 2020 Inter Services Ice Sports Championships.

The RAF won the title in both of those sports as well as women's bobsleigh trophy.

British Army duo Lamin Deen and Olly Butterworth won the men's title to end their season.

Officer Cadet Rhys Thornbury has been a mainstay at the top of forces skeleton and walked away with the title, ahead of team-mate Benji Fulker.

"It’s good to win," he said.

"You know, 14 years on the bounce and I try and help out as much as I can.

"It’s great to come out and keep that win going.

“It was a bit of a competition with Benji Fulker. I had a good week with him but it’s all friendly though.

“He's great and when I’m not here with the RAF, I coached him last season on the development programme.

“I got really close to Benji and beat him today, but I know in a few year’s time, he’ll be able to wipe the floor with me."

The championships were taking place in Koenigssee, Germany.

The Royal Navy's Holly Benfield was the fastest woman on the track, but RAF racer Corporal Lou Webb sealed the Air Force title.

In Bobsleigh, the RAF won the women's championship beating Navy hopeful Mel Haslam, who explained the key to a good performance.

"You can’t be a good brakeman without a good pilot," she said.

"If I came off the blocks and came first at the bottom, you know that the pilot has literally driven you to a good finish.

“If you come first at the top and first at the bottom, you’ve had a good connection and a really good run."

The men's race was won by GB pair Olly Butterworth and Lamin Deen, who said they were pleased with their victory especially after feeling a target on their back.

"It was fierce competition because when you come back to the Inter Services, everyone wants to beat you," said Deen.

"That’s all they want. Everyone gets along well with each other, but they all just want to beat you.

"After the first day, we were actually in second place so we had to really buck our ideas up."

Meanwhile, in luge, the RAF won again, but the Army's Dani Scott was pleased with her third-placed finish.

"I’m made up with it to be honest because after not sliding all season, I didn’t know how it would be," she said.

"It all just came back and over the last two weeks, I just got more confident.

"To be in the top three overall, I can’t grumble at that."