Downhill in Bad Kleinkirchheim cancelled due to violent wind storm
Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria – After two good training runs, the fourth downhill race of the season was unfortunately cancelled on Saturday due to violent winds over the Carinthia region.
Banners, safety nets, tents and even some TV commentators booths got blown away, giving the organisers and FIS race directors no choice but to cancel the race. As forecast, wind came in overnight after the rain and temperatures were also drastically increased with the föhn effect of the wind. Tthe hill looked entirely different this morning from yesterday.. The snow layer got ten centimetres thinner.
“We need a couple of more hours to have a general overview of what got damaged and what has to be rebuilt and fixed,” said FIS Race Director Atle Skaardal after the decision was made to cancel the race. “The organising committee is really motivated and will work hard the whole day to bring back the hill and the finish area facilities in shape for tomorrow.”
“The wind should be decreasing from now on until tomorrow around noon and then pick up again. So hopefully this will leave us a chance to run the event by then,” Atle Skaardal added.
The wind completely dropped around mid-day and the temperatures went over 15° C. After a meeting between the FIS officials and the organisers, decision was made to get everything ready for a super-G race on Sunday scheduled for 11:00 CET, 15 minutes earlier as originally planed.
"The situation is really critical”, explained Atle Skaardal. “A lot of the safety installations got damaged and have to be set up again. In addition, the course is extremely soft right now. We have basically to rebuild everything for tomorrow.”
“We decided to run the super-G as scheduled and not the downhill for different reasons,” Skaardal added. “The most important is the course preparation and also the safety installation. We need a little bit less work because the start is lower and we can also use B-nets in some sections instead of the A-nets that are broken.”
Regarding a possible replacement for the downhill, a decision will be made over the next days together with the organisers of speed events in Cortina d'Ampezzo and St. Moritz.