The Chalet at 11 º East Obergurgl , is excited to list details of the Solden World Cup.
Race weekend blog for Chalet @ 11 degrees east
For anyone clinging on to the dying rays of late summer, the helter-skelter launch this weekend of this winter’s pulsating World Cup skiing programme high on the Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden, just down the valley from us, may well switch them into snow mode! Yes – British summer times ends this Sunday (swiftly followed the following day by Guy Fawkes night!). Ötztal tourist office (which promotes Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Sölden and the other ski stations further down our Ötz Valley) says thousands of people be able to watch the men’s and women’s races from the finish area .
Sölden’s lift company and the World Cup race director Isi Grüner have been busy making sure there’s plenty of snow for the big weekend giant-slalom event. There will be several huge “snow depots” along the World Cup track in order to prepare the slope in time. A special feature of the World Cup opening race in Sölden is that you can drive directly to the finish arena by bus or car. Extensive visitor parking areas are available. The tourist office says as many as 25,000 visitors can enjoy the races because they can overlook almost the entire race track from the finish area – hence their reference to a true “panorama race slope”.
Women’s and men’s races on a single ski weekend
It’s 25 years since the women’s and men’s giant slalom races were first held on the Rettenbach Glacier. They are considered to be a “race of extremes”. The slope is generally considered to be the longest, and – at 70% – the steepest slope in the entire giant slalom ski circus, while the finish area is one of the flattest. The start, at 3040 m, is the highest in Europe.
Back in 1993, Anita Wachter’s lead over the second-placed Sophie Lefranc-Duvillard was 2.23 seconds, and Ted Ligety celebrated a record victory in 2012 when he finished 2.75 seconds ahead of Marcel Hirscher. There was even one triple “ex aequo” (three skiers tieing on the winners’ podium – a first in World Cup Giant Slalom history) when Andrine Flemmen (Norway) Tina Maze (Slovenia) and Nicole Hosp (Austria) finished the race as triple winners in 2002. The tightest victory in the men’s races was by two Austrian skiers: in 2000 Hermann Maier beat Stephan Eberharter by only 0.06 seconds!
So get your cowbells ready for this weekend’s events!
The women’s races start at 10 am on Saturday, with the second runs at 1pm and the prize-giving at 7pm in the Sölden village centre.
On Sunday the men’s timings will be the same – from 10am for the opening runs, and I pm for the second runs. The men’s prize-giving ceremony will be in the finish area.
The next world cup races will be the opening slalom competition in Levi, Finland on November 17 and 18, and the first men’s downhill race will be at Lake Louise, Canada on November 24. Lake Louise will also host this winter’s first men’s super-G races the following day – November 25.
Killington, Vermont will host the first women’s giant slalom on November 24, and the first women’s downhill contest will be hosted by Lake Louise on November 30.
Altogether, about 90 races on three different continents spread over the coming winter will finally decide who will be celebrating with crystal World Cup globes – and it all starts here in the Ötztal!
Friday, 26.10. 2018
7:00 pm Women’s bib number drawing in Sölden’s village center
10:00 am Start of 1st run Women’s Giant Slalom at Rettenbach Glacier
1:00 pm Start of 2nd run Women’s Giant Slalom at Rettenbach Glacier
7:00 pm Women’s prize-giving ceremony, village center
7:15 pm Men’s bib number drawing in Sölden’s village center
10:00 am Start of 1st run Men’s Giant Slalom at Rettenbach Glacier
1:00 pm Start of 2nd run Men’s Giant Slalom at Rettenbach Glacier
Followed by Men’s prize-giving ceremony in the Finish Area and Fan Club awarding on the Ö3 Stage
01444 455 496 Mob 07855269763
Ski, Travel & showbiz writer and editor
First person to ski 365 consecutive days (FT Round The World Ski Expedition, 1994)
Areas skied: 734 – including all 38 USA skiing states and 40 heliski operations in 14 countries