The Grand National is the blue–ribbon event of the short Cresta Run Tobogganing season in St Moritz in Switzerland. The event has been described as ‘the last bastion of amateur sport’ and is the only toboggan run in the world devoted to head-first sledding.
Each year 21 brave riders made three runs down the World famous course, which has ten corners and is 0.75 miles (1.2 kms) long. Riders can reach a brain-rattling speed of 80mph.
Unlike a bobsled track, which is man-made with high-banked corners the Cresta Run is hand-made from natural ice with no concrete or wood support. It has a 514ft drop in altitude and its banked curves, given descriptive names like ‘the horseshoe’ ‘Stream corner’ and the famous ‘Shuttlecock.’
‘Shuttlecock’ is most notorious and feared part of the course. It’s a sweeping left-hander with relatively shallow banking. If they approach it too fast, and many do they end up coming off at great speed often damaging themselves and their pride.
Every rider who crashes at Shuttlecock automatically becomes a member of the Shuttlecock Club, and is entitled to wear a special tie. All competitors ride at their own risk and must sign a liability disclaimer before taking part.