Canada’s four-man bobsleigh crew of Justin Kripps, Alex Kopacz, Derek Plug and Ben Coakwell earned its first BMW IBSF World Cup podium finish in Lake Placid on Saturday.
Kripps drove his team to a strong first run time of 54.73 seconds ranking them third in the competition behind Germany and Russia, and on track to finally reaching the four-man podium on the World Cup circuit. However, with only a 0.13s lead on the fourth place team from Great Britain, the Canadians needed a fast second run to hold onto to the podium.
“Big starts mean big velocity which is key to getting on the podium,” said two-time Olympian Kripps.
Kripps’ crew held nothing back in the second run, logging the second fastest push time in the competition (4.98s) to finish the run in 55.21s. At the end of the competition it was the Germans who took the gold with a combined time of 1 minute 49.70s, 0.28s faster than Russian silver medallists and 0.37s ahead of the Canadians.
“It feels amazing. We had good training on Wednesday where the sled was going pretty quick and the boys were pushing good so I was optimistic about today,” said Kripps.
Canada’s second four-man team of Christopher Spring, Cam Stones, Josh Kirkpatrick and Sam Giguere finished 1.50s behind the Germans to place 12th. Next up the Canadians will continue the World Cup circut in Park City, Utah.
In the same competition, Kaillie Humphries, Cynthia Appiah, Genevieve Thibault and Melissa Lotholz made four-man history as the first-ever all-women crew.
“The whole point of me competing with the guys in the first place was to show that girls can do four-man,” Humphries said.”We’ve always wanted to have our own four-woman event.”
WATCH: First-ever all-women crew make history
The team competed alongside 16 four-man crews, finishing 4.77s behind Germany’s winning sled. Although the four-woman race is not an Olympic event, the FIBT will host a four-woman exhibition race at the world championships in Igls, Austria next month, moving one step closer towards Humphries’ dream of seeing a four-woman bobsleigh event.
Earlier in the competition Humphries and Lotholz took second place in Lake Placid in women’s bobsleigh.