Rotaski Elite was founded in Saalbach, Austria in 2001 when Andy Keeling turned up at Manchester airport with 6 Blonde Rod Stewart wigs which were intended as a 'bit of a laugh' to be worn one day whilst on the slopes. Immediately they were produced the other Rotaski members jumped at the chance to wear them to the check in desk to impress the young ladies.
Such was the popularity with the check in girls and also numerous other holidaymakers, the wigs remained in position for almost the entire week - thus 'The Rodettes' were born.
Out on the slopes, many other
skiers laughed, smiled and pointed out the 'famous' Rock Stars that were zipping
around the piste. The Rodettes also chose to visit the 'Outback' Bar in Leogang
in uniform and proceeded to turn a bar which was lifeless into a wild
'Gorillas on the Piste'
The French Ski resorts of Tignes and Val d'Isere experienced a whoop or is it a flange of Mountain Gorillas between the 5th - 12th January. Andy Keeling, Adrian Mills, Andy Stakes and Roy Taylor were fondled, stroked, cuddled, kissed and photographed by complete strangers more times during one weeks skiing in Tignes than in the rest of their lives combined.
The skiers, who are known as 'Rotaski Elite' a small 'by invitation only' party from the Rotaski (www.rotaski.co.uk) group first tried skiing in non regulation jacket & salopettes, in 2001 when they travelled to Saalbach in Austria wearing Rod Stewart wigs. Such was the popularity of their 'disguise' that they were invited to perform on stage in the Outback Bar in Leogang and not only brought the house down but were offered large sums of money for the wigs. The Rodettes (as they became known) were not only heard live in the bar but also on the slopes and even in Salzburg airport singing a little known Austrian song which has since reached the number one spot in the UK. Although others may think that Rotaski Elite were responsible, they deny that they had a hand in making DJ Otzi's "Hey Baby !" reach the dizzy heights in the UK charts.
The Rodettes have since had a tour of Bradford public houses when England Played Greece in the World cup qualifiers and do claim to have given David Beckham the inspiration for his last minute goal.
During the course of their week in Tignes and Val d'Isere they became minor celebs, recognised everywhere they went, cheered from the ski lifts and provided with complementary drinks in almost every mountain restaurant they visited. Gaining a seat at meal times often took fifteen minutes due to
the impromptu photo shoots and on occasions they were chased down slopes by people requesting photo's of the four - Politicians are not the only people to have babies & small children thrust upon them. The appeal seemed to be universal with an equal level of interest from all the major European Nationals, sexes and age groups including Air Stewardesses, who even bestowed kisses after inviting the Gorillas back to the galley.
They were asked on more than one occasion, where Gorilla suits could be bought and some very brave souls, even asked to try on the Gorilla head, including Matt Robinson and Martin Needham from the Ski Club of Great Britain. It was amazing how quickly they regressed into primate tendencies.
The only regret from the week is that no attempt was made to collect for charity, and as over 500 photo's were taken during the week, an opportunity was missed. Something that will be rectified on the next trip for which the group have an even better disguise.