Olympic SBX Course Design unveiled
The International Ski Federation today released the Snowboard cross course designs for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The course is located in the Extreme Park at Rosa Khutor ski area.
This custom designed course, which was created in cooperation between the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding disciplines, will provide one of the most dramatic settings for one of the youngest and most exciting FIS Olympic events. Snowboard cross (SBX) was introduced at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
The 1200 meter-long course in Sochi will consist of a series of eight turn sections, punctuated by a series of jumps and is sure to be a strong and exciting test for the Olympic snowboarders.
As mentioned above snowboarders will share the same start and finish areas in Sochi with the ski cross athletes, with around 80% of the cross course sections to be shared as well. There will be one area where the course will split into separate Ski and Snowboard sections to specifically target each discipline's skills.
The course was successfully tested during the 2012-13 FIS World Cup season. Feedback about the course from athletes in both disciplines was overwhelmingly positive.
The course was designed over the past four years and was specifically sculpted into the slopes of Rosa Khutor. The course has a vertical drop of 210m and is approximately 1300m in length, with an average grade of 16%. It contains some 25 different features, including nine turns. In total, 64 snowboard cross competitors will compete on the course during, with each heat clocking a time between 1:15 and 1:30.
The FIS technical advisors David Ny (SWE) and Nicolas Vaudroz (SUI) have built numerous World Cup and World Championship courses and their efforts, in cooperation with the FIS cross specialist and former Olympian Martin Fiala, were used to create an exceptionally dynamic and challenging Olympic cross venue.
FIS Snowboard Race Director Uwe Beier offered his insight on the joint venture between ski and snowboard cross at the Sochi venue, saying, "It is very unique that we were given the chance to design the entire courses and the respective slopes the courses are built on from start to finish, and therefore the Sochi course will definitely reflecting the newest standard of snowboard cross courses.
Thanks to our course designers following their vision for the venue and for the great support of the organizers, we will see challenging and spectacular cross racing during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”
The cross course shares the same finish zone with the Snowboard parallel events and the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard slopestyle competitions. 12 different events will end in the custom built competition venue, which is located roughly 250m from the halfpipe, aerials, and moguls venue (known as HAM Stadium), and just over 1 km from the Olympic Alpine Skiing venue.
SX and SBX:
A steep start with two short steps leads to a double roller and a step-up jump, followed by a roller section and a small kicker. The ensuing roller section leads into the first right-turning banked turn into a small kicker, followed by a double roller and a variable double-up and a roller or a triple-up.
The next double roller leads into the first left-turning bank and then into a long flat roller section. After, a quarter banked turn to the right is followed by a further flat roller section leading into a right-turning bank with a small kicker exit.
The next medium-sized kicker leads into a double roller and then the next left-turning bank with a medium-sized kicker exit. After the landing a medium-sized step-down leads to a big step-up where the
SBX and the SX courses separate. The SX will continue to riders left while the SBX course will continue straight.
After the big step-up another step up double / triple is followed by a negative turn leading into a big kicker. After this kicker SX joins SBX course again.
After the step-up a roller section leads into a big kicker. After this kicker the SBX course joins the SX course again.
SX and SBX:
After the landing of the big kicker a left-turning bank leads into the last roller section, followed by a right turning bank with a medium size kicker exit. The following steep section leads to the final big kicker and long landing/final approach section before the finish.