Heady luge race for young Canuck

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:42 AM ET

As a World Cup luge rookie, it’s tough to keep your head on straight.

Brendan Hauptman found that out the hard way Saturday night during his first home race on the big circuit.

Shortly into his second run down the Canada Olympic Park track, the strap that secures his helmet broke, and the 23-year-old from Kimberley, B.C., was a bit of a bobblehead coming down.

“It was a different feeling trying to go through it, so it threw me out of my groove,” Hauptman said. “Normally, it’s really stable, so it was hard to get used to the feeling being without it. “That neck strap has lasted me three years. It was bound to happen eventually, but it wasn’t real opportune timing. I spent the whole run adjusting to it. At the same time, I was trying to maintain my composure.”

Despite the equipment malfunction, Hauptman still managed to finish 19th out of 32 sleds, which is his third straight top-20 — with his best being 14th in Igls, Austria.

He was 13th after the first run in the Veissman World Cup at COP.

Not a bad start to his senior career, considering he’s touring with Canuck veterans Jeff Christie and Sam Edney.

The rookie doesn’t look out of place on the team, as Christie, who’s in his ninth year on the senior team, was 20th at COP, while Edney, now in his seventh season, finished 11th.

Italy’s Armin Zoggeler won the race to take the Calgary-hosted World Cup for the third straight year. It was Zoggeler’s 51st gold all-time.

In men’s doubles, Germans Tobias Wendl and Tobais Arlt won the gold, while the Canuck duo of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith placed 11th.

“There is room for improvement, so I will know what to do for next year,” Hauptman said. “This gives me something to work on improving for Salt Lake City (for the next World Cup stop).”

Hauptmann is gleaning what he can from Edney and Christie, being they’ve carved a path for Canadian luge.

“Travelling with the older guys, it’s good to have their experience with me,” Hauptman said. “A lot of times, it’s my first time at a lot of these tracks going from the top. I get the chance to ask them what to do in different spots. It’s nice to get opinions from not only the coaches but from someone on the track.”

Edney came flying out of the gate in both his runs, posting the second-fastest times in both of his runs. He lost speed at the bottom of the track in the second run, dropping from seventh to 11th.

“I’m taking the positives,” added the 26-year-old Calgarian. “I had great starts. I was beating the Germans, so that’s what I want. I want to keep this going through the winter and into the new year.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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