Already before the first qualification of the 2nd RAW AIR, an announcement of FIS Race Director Walter Hofer attracts attention. Hofer plans to create more synergies in Ski Jumping in the upcoming years.
The two FIS Race Directors for Ski Jumping (Chika Yoshida for the ladies and Walter Hofer) want to carry out more competitions of the men and ladies together on the same hills. A proposal regarding this issue will be submitted to the FIS Ski Jumping committee and the FIS Council at the upcoming FIS meetings.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon in Oslo, together with the Norwegian Secretary of Culture and Sports, Trine Skei Grande, and Clas Brede Brathen and Bente Lill Romoeren of the Norwegian Ski Association, Walter Hofer and Chika Yoshida spoke about their plans. There the Secretary expressed her support and noted that: "This is very good news on the international women's day."
"As lapidary and technocratic as this may sound at first, it is a revolutionary approach. It means that the ladies will predominately jump on large hills in the future. Only then it would be possible to use these synergies in an optimal way", said Hofer. Already during a test period this summer, the men and the ladies shall compete on the same hill at nearly all Grand Prix venues. "The current stage of development of this young, but, from a sporting perspective, already highly developed competition series of the ladies allows this step", Hofer continues.
"A joint data service, a joint TV production and a smaller number of competition officials would reduce the costs significantly. Mixed team events would increase the number of potential winners. Besides joint World Cup events during the next winter season, the Norwegian Ski Association is already discussing a possible proposal to host a RAW AIR series for the ladies", Hofer concluded.
This means that, from this summer, the ladies competitions will be held mostly on the same hills - the large hills - as the men's events. Provided, of course, the FIS Ski Jumping committee and the FIS Council will approve this proposal. So far the ladies' competitions are almost exclusively carried out on normal hills. Exceptions were the events on the Holmenkollen in Oslo, this winter in Lillehammer and last year on the large hill in Oberstdorf.