TROWBRIDGE pilot John Jackson is hoping his liking for the track at St Moritz can help Great Britain to a surprise medal at next week’s World Championships.
Jackson, who lives in Paxcroft Mead, will spearhead Great Britain’s men’s challenge for honours in Switzerland in both the two and four-man events, the former taking place tomorrow (Saturday).
It will be a sixth World Championships for the Royal Marines Commando and, with a consistent season – especially in the four-man event – under his belt, the 35-year-old feels he and his crew are in good shape.
Jackson also has a 2011 European Cup gold and two bronzes – all won at St Moritz – to his name, while his World Championships debut there in 2007 yielded his best finish to date of ninth.
“I am really looking forward to competing at the World Championships in St Moritz,’’ said the Wiltshire-based driver, who was 10th in the four-man event in Lake Placid last year.
“It was my first World Championships in 2007 as a brakeman and I can’t wait to return there to compete in my sixth World Championships.
“St Moritz is my favourite track and over the last few years we consistently have some of the best speeds at both the top and bottom of the track.
“So certainly in the four-man we could have a really good result.’’ Jackson warmed up with a sixth-placed four-man finish in the World Cup event in Igls, Austria, last weekend.
He said: “We were surprised with the finish, me more than the guys.
“I didn’t feel the runs were that good, but when you start fast at the top, you’re always going to be in the mix at the bottom.’’ Jackson continues to develop his partnership with former Olympic sprinter Craig Pickering in the two-man event, the pair managing just one run in Igls.
“(It was) a little frustrating to say the least,’’ he added.
“It is my least favourite track of all the tracks and I always seem to struggle in being fast and finding the right rhythm in both two and four-man.
“We were both disappointed with the two-man and can't really put a finger on what went wrong at the start, but we were also testing new runners, which weren’t as fast as we had hoped.
“Craig is still on a steep learning curve, and is improving with every run, so going into the World Championships (the two-man event is next week) we still have time to sort out a few technical issues.’’
Jackson’s partner Paula Walker was seventh in the women’s two-man World Cup event in Igls, with brakewoman Gillian Cooke, and leads the British women’s bid in St Moritz.
NEWS FROM JACKSON AND WALKER'S PERFORMANCES AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT