BEAVER CREEK, Colorado - Mother Nature is a ski racing fan, at least this year, as the International Ski Federation (FIS) has confirmed the 2011 Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week events in Beaver Creek without requiring an official snow control inspection.
The FIS normally sends Snow Control inspectors to World Cup sites in advance of the competitions to ensure that good racecourse conditions exist or that the weather forecast is favorable for snowmaking. Based on favorable snowmaking temperatures and storms over the past month, FIS Men’s Chief Race Director Guenter Hujara was willing to give organizers the thumbs up Friday, cancelling the inspection.
“Based on the excellent current snow conditions in Beaver Creek, everything is ready and the 2011 Audi FIS Ski World Cup races on the Birds of Prey are confirmed,” said Hujara. “The races could take place this weekend. We very much look forward to returning to Beaver Creek where this year’s World Cup events will also serve as one of the important steps towards the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2015.”
Audi Birds of Prey Chief of Race and Beaver Creek Senior Director of Mountain Operations, Greg Johnson, sent a message to Hujara on Wednesday stating that “the resort is 99 percent complete with snowmaking for this year’s events. There is zero chance we will have issues with the event given the forecast we have currently. I believe this is the best we have ever done relative to so many years of snow control.”
The announcement is also good news for recreational skiers as Beaver Creek Resort’s mountain operations teams also have been focused on preparing the best possible conditions for the resort’s opening day on Wednesday, November 23.
“This fall provided great snowmaking temperatures and with the additional support and accumulation from Mother Nature early on, we’ve been ahead of schedule not only with our World Cup preparation, but also with our snowmaking operations on the main mountain,” offered Doug Lovell, chief operating officer for Beaver Creek Resort. “With a few more days until opening day, plus a forecasted storm for this weekend, we anticipate a good snow surface for opening day.”
The 2011 Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week gets underway Wednesday, November 30, with Downhill Training. Competition kicks off Friday, December 2, with the traditional Birds of Prey Downhill, followed by Super-G on Saturday, December 3. The weekend’s racing will conclude with Giant Slalom on Sunday, December 4.
The 2011 Audi FIS Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week at Beaver Creek is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on Birds of Prey, visit www.bcworldcup.com. For more information on the Vail Valley Foundation, check out www.vvf.org.