HILPERTON pilot Paula Walker finished sixth in the opening race of the Bobsleigh World Cup series in America today.
The Paxcroft Mead driver, who was world junior champion in 2010, made a promising start to the new two-man campaign with brakewoman Gillian Cooke, clocking a combined 1:55.47 for her two runs as Canada's Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois won the two-run competition at Lake Placid.
American Lolo Jones, the two-time Olympic hurdler, and pilot Jazmine Fenlator finished second having only taken up the sport last month.
Another American duo with a track star, Elana Meyers and Tianna Madison, who was part of the US world record women's 4x100 relay team at London 2012, finished third.
Meanwhile, Walker's partner John Jackson finished 10th as the men's four-man competition got under way.
Jackson, with his team of Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon, clocked a combined 3:39.45 from their four runs, as USA 1, led by Steven Holcomb clinched victory on home ice.
However, it was more of a struggle for Jackson in his two-man event with brakeman John Baines.
The duo, in their first World Cup event together, finished well off the pace in 23rd in 56.92.
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