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|In St. Moritz, winter sports centre of the world, exists the most exclusive club on earth - the Shuttlecock.
The famous Shuttlecock Club was founded by eight Cresta riders: K. Meyer, etc. The first dinner was held at the Hotel Monopol on 30th January 1933. The only qualification for membership for the Club is "to have crashed at Shuttlecock Corner, one of the most treacherous bends on the famous Cresta Run and to have survived".
Riding the Cresta demands courage, strength and above all, an iron nerve. In the three-quarter mile
run down the narrow, sharply barked and curved chute of ice, James Sunley achieved an average speed of 54.13 mph when
setting the record time from top of 50.09 in 1999. The record from Junction of 41.02, also set in 1999, is held by Johannes
Badrutt, a St. Moritzer, an average speed of 48.55 mph..
|In this breathtaking rush the rider takes his life in his hands around ten bends in a drop of over 500 ft
with the steepest gradient of 1 in 2.8 - normally all within one minute.
A toboggan on the Cresta Run must be ridden with ice-cold precision. It is allowed no steering mechanism and is directed mainly by the rider shifting his weight. Rakes are attached to the toes of every rider's boots; these are the only "brakes" and can be used as a sort of rudder. Experienced riders use the rakes on the bends as little as possible, as they would slow them down, but their full use by novices is encouraged with a view to preserving life.
|There is a golden rule that applies to every Cresta rider in the event of losing control of the toboggan - "get rid of it and push it in front of you". Should a rider fail to do this and leave the toboggan behind, it may pursue him down the run, hurtle into him and smash ribs or lop off a finger or worse. Crashing on the Cresta is not as bad as going over the top of the Run: Those who have done so describe it as "more like falling out of an aircraft "than anything else.|
|One of the well known sportsmen who has fallen at Shuttlecock is Squadron Leader Andy Green of
the Royal Air Force, who in 1997 was the first man to break the sound barrier on land.
This year's Shuttlecock President is Urs Degiacomi, Director of the Hotel Soldanella in St. Moritz. He won the Bott Cup in 1990,
won his Club Colours in the Curzon Cup in 2000 and is a four times winner of the Nigel Moores Memorial Race.
The famous Shuttlecock Motto: