The 2017-18 season is just around the corner and the alpine skiing World Cup calendar will host no less than 79 competitions in 32 different venues. The preparations are in full swing across the 12 hosting nations as summer is the ideal period to review, re-evaluate and improve different aspects of the event.
This is why FIS officials meet up with the organizing committee, TV production team and the national ski associations to discuss the further developments of each 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 at the different venues. Here is an overview of what some of the 2017-18 organizers have in store for next season.
No inspection is planned at the Canadian speed venues this year as there are no major changes from an organizational perspective. However, the starting time of the men’s races will be adjusted in accordance with the events in Killington, Vt. for a better media impact.
After a very successful premiere on the World Cup tour last season, the East Coast resort will host two more races in November. A few updates are planned including changes to the location of the start gate as well as snowmaking improvements. If you plan on purchasing tickets, be sure to mark your calendar for Sept. 7.
After the unfortunate cancelation of last year’s events, the Beaver Creek crew is praying for more favorable weather conditions this season. But the organizing committee is prepared to meet the challenge again and no inspection is planned in Colorado this year.
The French resort will stage the first parallel slalom (PS) 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 organizing committee and the TV representatives. Because the parallel slalom will be held at night there is a need for 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.
The Stelvio is back on the World Cup calendar. The Lombardy region has confirmed the financial support to improve the snowmaking 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 Bormio.
The Holmenkollbakken in Oslo is used to host ski jumping World Cup events, and for the first time, a city event will be held at the same venue on Jan. 1. An inspection was conducted of June, and it looks like the main challenges–circulation of athletes back to the start and a bridge over the road for start ramp–have been solved. Accommodations will be provided close to the event area, and a warm-up slope will be ready at a nearby ski area. Everything seems to be set, and the organizers expect a big crowd for the 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 continued support to the event during the summer inspection. 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 the city last season.
In Wengen, the biggest challenge for the 2018 series is to move the VIP tent in the Wengneralp area. The organization is no longer allowed to build it at its previous location 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.
This season, the World Cup Finals will be held in Are, Sweden, the host of the next World Alpine Ski Championships. A first inspection on snow happened directly after the season, and the official inspection is planned for Sept. 25.
The inspections of the other venues such as Soelden, Levi, St. Moritz, Lienz, Kitzbuehel and Maribor are still ahead. A final inspection of the sites of the Olympic Winter Games is also scheduled to take place at the beginning of September.
Check out the full competition calendar here.
Release courtesy of FIS