Bizarre Festivals

Published on February 16th, 2012 | by Adrian Simpson


Interview: Andre Gierke, event organiser of the Naked Sled Race in Braunlage

"the world needs this event, we have never seen it before and it’s very funny for the competitors and for the audience".

Andre GierkeWith less than a week to go before the 4th Annual Naked Sled Race, we had to know more. Is this an ancient Teutonic ritual? Can anyone strip off and join? And is there any kind of ‘invisible’ barrier to potentially unsightly naked people racing? We needed answers so Chillisauce spoke to Andre Gierke, one of the event organisers from the Radio Station RTL 89.0. He was very helpful…we just weren’t expecting the bit about the Pope…

1. Who’s idea was it to have a naked sled race?
This idea comes from a brainstorming with our 89.0 RTL radio presenters and editors 5 years ago. And no, we didn’t drink anything at the meeting .

2. The real questions is ‘why’ is there a naked sled race?
Because the world needs this event, we have never seen it before and it’s very funny for the competitors and for the audience. And yeah it’s a little bit strange: naked in the snow…

3. How did it begin? Was it a fairly small event?
It was from beginning a very big event with 12 Thousand people and nearly 30 competitors. That was a big surprise for us because the championship venue “Braunlage” has a population of only 5000.

Naked Sled Race Audience

4. Did you ever expect that it would become the media spectacle it is today?
No, not in our wildest dreams. It is the biggest media event from a radio station in Germany. We had articles and
tv worldwide from Pakistan to Russia, from Australia to Japan and from England to USA. We reached
with the 89.0 RTL naked sleding more than 100 million contacts!

5. How many racers have you got this year?
We have about 30 contestants from Germany, Norway, Austria and perhaps in the next year from great Britain! We have 16 girls and 16 men, sleding naked and so we will find the naked sleding world champion for men and women category.

6. Is it easier to get a place racing if you’re good looking?
No, every candidate has the same chance – this year we had over 5000 applications. And this year we have pretty, lean, fat, tattooed, young and old racers. But contestants from outside Germany have a better chance to get an wildcard.

7. Do you find that most people enjoy an alcoholic drink before taking their clothes off, like Kiera Knightley just before she does a ‘rude’ scene?
Somebody needs to drink something, before he takes off the clothes but every year we have some competitors, they love to be naked and so they don’t need some alcohol.

8. Is it much more dangerous than normal sled racing?
Generally it’s an very harmless kind of sport. But sure, you don’t wear clothes and if you fall from the sled, you dont have some protecting clothes. So it’s possible to get some abrasions and small wounds but nothing dangerous.

9. Have there been any particularly painful accidents?
We pay great attention to the safety of participants

10. Who would be your dream naked racer?
For me personally Angelina Jolie or Katie Price from your country. I hope she can participate for one of the next events… I would imagine also very good Lady Gaga, because after the sporting part, she could sing some songs for the audience. This could be a great after-show party!

11. Who would be the last person you would like to see naked sled racing?
Our chancellor Angela Merkel or the pope Benedikt. But let me think about it, that would be the greatest media scoop ever…

Naked Sled Race 7
Thanks to Andre Gierke, and good luck to all competitors on Saturday! We would love to hear from others about their dream naked racer, so please share in the comments below.

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About the Author

Adrian Simpson

Adrian Simpson is a writer and TV presenter with a profound love of the outdoors. His family, snow, sea, brewing, vinyl, guitars and VW buses mean the world to him.

gaspar says:

Nobody talks about the cold ?

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