Inspection season is in full swing
Winter 2017/18 is just around the corner and the Audi FIS Ski World Cup calendar will host not less than 79 competitions in 32 different venues (check out the full calendar here). The preparations are in full swing across the 12 hosting nations as summer is the ideal period to review, re-evaluate and improve the different aspects of the event.
This is why FIS officials meet up with the Organising Committee, the TV production and the National Ski Associations to discuss the further developments of the event and ensure that the safety, the course preparation, the course set, the camera positions and various other technical issues are up to date and to the highest possible level.
Inspections are also a good occasion to communicate about the latest improvements in the different venues. Here is an overview of what the 2017/18 organisers have been up to during the past summer months:
No inspection is planned in the Canadian speed venues this year, as there are no major changes from an organisational perspective. However, the starting time of the men’s races will be adjusted in accordance with the events in Killington for a better media impact.
After a very successful premiere on the World Cup Tour last season, the American East Coast resort will host two more races in November. Details about the Organising Committee is planning are available here.
After the unfortunate cancellation of last year’s events, the Beaver Creek crew is praying for more favourable weather conditions this season. But the organising committee is prepared to meet the challenge again and no inspection is planned in Colorado this year.
In the French venue, some sections of the slope have been enlarged and reshape and the water system has been renewed to imporve the snow-making.
Val Gardena / Gröden
Also in the South Tyrolean speed venue some construction work has been undertaken on the course. Check out what has been done here and read all about it here.
Val Gardena / Gröden will also hold a celebration on September 2nd for the 50th anniversary of the World Cup races on the Saslong.
End of July, the FIS officials inspected the Gran Risa and the fruitful discussion showed that all technical requirements are met.
The French resort will stage the first parallel slalom for the ladies. The implementation of this new format, which is similar to the parallel giant slalom held in Alta Badia but with its own qualification run, requires lots of work from FIS officials, the Organising Committee and the TV representatives. The collaboration is exemplar and all parties could advance on this project. One important aspect of this event, as the PS will be held as a night race, is the floodlights. For this year, it looks like Courchevel will use a temporary installation, but the long-term plan is to implement a permanent floodlight system in the future.
Madonna di Campiglio
The countdown for the 64th 3Tre race in Madonna di Campiglio has started. Here is a report of the inspection in the Italian venue here.
The Stelvio is back on the World Cup calendar! The region Lombardy has confirmed the financial support to improve the snow-marking system in the lower part of the legendary race course in Bormio, and FISI also reiterated its wish to have Bormio as a World Cup venue. An inspection took place in July and all lights seem to be green for the Christmas races in Borimo.
The Holmenkollbakken in Oslo is used to host ski jumping World Cup events, and for the first time, a city event will be held in the same venue on 1st of January. An inspection has been done end of June and it looks like the main challenges (circulation from athletes back to the start and bridge over the road for start ramp) have been solved. Accommodation will be provided close to the event area, and a warm-up slope will be ready in a nearby ski area. Everything seems to be set and the organisers expect a big crowd for this alpine World Cup premiere.
Through the years, the slalom events in Zagreb have become an important part of the World Cup Tour and both FIS and the City of Zagreb confirmed their support to the event during the summer inspection, as Croatian speaking people can read here.
Furthermore, the City of Zagreb supported the acquisition of two Snow Factory machines to help with the snow production on Sljeme, but also to sustain the kids event that was held in the Center of Zagreb last season.
The Bernese Oberland venue keeps up the good work and steadily improves different aspects of the event, such as the start house, the radio transmission, the snow-making system, the sub media centre location, etc. But no major changes are planned for the upcoming season.
In Wengen, the biggest challenge for 2017/18 is to move the VIP tent in the Wengneralp area. The Organisation is no longer allowed to build it where it was before and is considering moving it to the Canadian Corner. The different parties are looking into the best solutions to do it without endangering anyone, which possibly goes through extending the A-fence, to make this change possible.
The Italian venue, who had it's debut last season, proved that it can organise very high level World Cup races and was admitted in the 2017/18 calendar as well.
The City Event in Stockholm is becoming a tradition. No major changes planned for the upcoming season.
The issues of last winter can’t happend again in 2017/18 and the course crew has to be upgraded. The Organising Committee understood the message and is recruiting new volunteers to work on the Olympiabakken. The organisation of European Cup races right before the World Cup should also help to train the course crew and ensure a good preparation.
This season, the World Cup Finals will be held in Are, Sweden, the host of the next FIS World Ski Championships. A first inspection on snow happend directly after the season (details available here) and the official inspection is planned for the 25th of September.
The inspections of the other venues (Sölden, Levi, St. Moritz, Lienz, Maribor, Flachau, Bad Kleinkirchheim, Kitzbuehel, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Schladming, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Lenzerheide, Crans-Montana, Kransjka Gora and Ofterschwang) are still ahead.
A final inspection of the sites of the Winter Olympic Games is also scheduled to take place beginning of September.