29 Things I Learned At The World Naked Sledding Championships

This is a little NSFW obviously.

1. The World Naked Sledding Championships are now in their fifth year.

Tim Spicer / Via chillisauce.co.uk

Centre in this photo is Mia Magma, who is a former Naked Sledding Champion.

2. They take place in Braunlage - a town with air so pure that visitors have to pay a tax.

Ailbhe Malone / Via BuzzFeed

3. However, this year, there wasn’t enough snow in Braunlage to host the championships, so they were held in Cochstedt - about an hour’s drive away.

Ailbhe Malone / Via BuzzFeed

As this gif indicates.

4. The official mode of transport was the Remmi Demmi Party Bus, which carried the German and British contestants - as well as a large Dutch contingent.

5. The party bus is a capricious thing. It arrived an hour late, and brought us to the wrong destination. As an apology, a communal bottle of Jägermeister was bought.

I am not a Jäger fan.

6. The new location was an airport, with imported snow.

Ailbhe Malone/ BuzzFeed

Ailbhe Malone/ BuzzFeed

Ailbhe Malone/ BuzzFeed

 

7. Here is the official parking sign for the event.

Ailbhe Malone / Via BuzzFeed

8. The event was startlingly large - last year almost 15,000 people turned up.

9. The crowd was pretty diverse - with quite a few children in attendance.

Ailbhe Malone

Tim Spicer/ Chill Sauce

 

10. The contest began with the entrants parading. There were 44 competitors - from countries like the UK, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Germany.

Ailbhe Malone/ BuzzFeed

Ailbhe Malone/ BuzzFeed

 

11. The slope was 89.0 metres high - inspired by the frequency of the radio station that hosts the competition.

Ailbhe Malone / Via BuzzFeed

12. Contestants are allowed to wear: boots, gloves, and a some tight white pants.

Adam Berry / Getty

13. Though the event is held on the same timeframe as the Winter Olympics, there is no intended overlap.

Adam Berry / Getty

14. The reasons for entering were varied.

Tim Spicer / Via chillisauce.co.uk

Holly Garshong, the female British entrant explained “this might be the only time I get to represent Great Britain in a World Championships”.

15. German celebrities took part - like entertainer Don Francis.

Mike Spicer / Via chillisauce.co.uk

His descent was very elegant, perhaps aided by his dressing gown.

16. There were three heats, and the fastest down won. The rules appeared to be flexible, however.

Ailbhe Malone/ BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed/ Ailbhe

 

Sometimes it was the first person over the red line who won, other times it was the first person to reach the end of the slope.

17. Backstage, tactics involved “humping” the sled to build momentum.

Adam Berry / Getty

18. The consensus seemed that the left lane was the quickest.

Adam Berry / Getty

19. Native German speakers had quite an advantage.

Mike Spicer / Via chillisauce.co.uk

“I realised at the top of the slope that I didn’t know the German for ‘Ready Steady Go”, lamented the male British entrant, Tom Chrusciel.

20. There was an atmosphere of friendly rivalry.

Adam Berry / Getty

Most competitors hugged or shook hands after going down the slope.

21. Unsurprisingly, Naked Sledding is not the most elegant sporting pursuit.

Ailbhe Malone / Via BuzzFeed

22. The ramp was a cruel mistress.

Adam Berry / Getty

Adam Berry / Getty

 

23. There was a lot of falling.

Mike Spicer / Via chillisauce.co.uk

24. Even the supporting acts found the snow hard to navigate.

Ailbhe Malone / Via BuzzFeed

25. However, the most successful sledgers approached the slope backward.

Adam Berry / Getty

26. This woman in the pink gloves was the eventual ladies winner. Look at that grace.

Ailbhe Malone / Via BuzzFeed

27. Once the competition was over, the afterparty began.

28. It featured an incredibly talented saxophonist playing along to popular hits.

29. And the comforting conclusion that drunk men dance the same the world over.

The flights and accommodation for this trip were paid for by Chilli Sauce, who were sponsoring the British entrants.

Correction: An earlier version of this article identified Melanie Müller as a former Naked Sledding Champion, the former winner was actually Mia Magma.

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