Newbury school girl wins youth bobsleigh world series

Last weekend saw 17 year old Annabel Chaffey become Youth Monobob Series Champion. Despite only driving monobobs for a matter of months Annabel Chaffey, a student at Park House School in Newbury, put in the performance of her life to secure the title of Series Champion. …

In securing Gold in the Series Annabel also becomes the first British female athlete to win a World Bobsleigh title.

Derek Peaple, Annabel’s headteacher at Park House School says “‘Annabel’s stunning achievement in becoming the first British female athlete to win a world bobsleigh title caps an amazing start to 2015 for her. It is a privilege to have her as a student at Park House. We are all so proud of her.”

Annabel came first at the final race of the FIBT Youth Monobob Series Championships which concluded the three-race series that took place in the famous Olympia natural ice track at St Moritz.

Second place in the St Moritz race went to British team mate Kelsea Purchall, who also came second in the Series and third place went to Valentina Bologova from Russia, who also secured third place in the Series.

Annabel, who only earlier this month was announced Berkshire Junior Sports Personality of the Year, has had a somewhat meteoric rise in the sport despite her young age.  It was only just over a year ago that Annabel’s stellar performance at try outs secured her a place at Team GB’s Ice Camp and now, sponsored by the Charity SportsAid and Newbury based IT Company Ntegra, Annabel is making herself known in the bobsleigh world with accolades such as that of “the best driver for her age” (Team GB Performance Director).

Annabel says “I can’t believe I won the St Moritz race and then went on to win the series! It doesn’t feel real, and is a massive confidence boost and motivation to work hard ready for next season and the Youth Olympics. I couldn’t have done it without the support I’ve had and the whole experience has just been crazy and very very exciting! I’m loving every minute of it!”

Annabel, who hopes to become a Barrister when she finishes her education is now training for the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games and is the youngest person to have competed in the British Bobsleigh Championships.

The third and last race in St. Moritz (SUI) concluded the first-ever OMEGA FIBT Youth Monobob Series. At the famous natural ice track Olympia Bobrun St. Moritz Celerina, Olympic venue of 1928 and 1948 and several time host of FIBT World Championships, Annabel Chaffey (GBR) won the finale followed by British teammate Kelsea Purchall and Valentina Bologova from Russia. The trio in this order also finished in overall ranking. The men’s monobob race in St. Moritz was won by Briton George Johnston, Maksim Ivanov (RUS) finished second ahead of Marius Schneider from Switzerland.