Birds of Prey ski racing, concerts, beer tastings and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/30/2018
Ski Racing 101
If you didn’t grow up ski racing, you may not know the difference between a tech event versus a speed event, but don’t worry, here’s a quick primer on what you’ll see this weekend at the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup.
Disciplines-there are five disciplines, some are speed events, some are technical events. Some ski racers specialize in technical versus speed or the other way around. Some racers race a combination of tech and speed events.
- Slalom-this is a technical event with 56 to 70 gates spaced close together, testing the agility of a racer. The racers are traveling at slower speeds. The top 30 racers advance to the second run, which is called “making the flip”, with the fastest skier in the first race going out of the starting gate last on the second run. The skier with the lowest combined time from both runs wins.
- Giant Slalom-or GS, a technical event that has the same amount of gates as the slalom, but the gates are spaced farther apart. Just like the slalom, this is a two run format, with the top 30 racers advancing and the skier with the lowest combined time from both runs winning the race.
- Super-G-this is a speed event with less gates over a longer course. There is only one run in super-G.
- Downhill-this speed event has the least amount of gates and the fastest speeds of all of the disciplines. There is only one run in downhill.
- Combined-this is a combination of a technical event and a speed event, with the lowest combined race time from each race winning the event.
Beaver Creek is hosting three races this weekend. Due to the extended weather forecast, the race schedule has been adapted as follows: Friday-downhill starting at 10:45 a.m. and Saturday- super G starting at 11 a.m. The giant slalom on Sunday, Dec. 2 is at 9:45 a.m. for the first and the second run is at 12:45 p.m.
By the Numbers:
- 2,483 Feet-The Birds of Prey Course features a vertical drop of nearly 2,500 feet.
- 45 Percent-The average gradient of the course is 27 percent, increasing to 45 percent in the middle of the course and again in the final third of the course.
- 1997-The first competition on Birds of Prey took place December 2-6, 1997
- 1:39- The fastest World Cup or World Championships Downhill race time ever recorded on Birds of Prey is 1:39.59 by U.S. Ski Team’s Daron Rahlves in 2003.
- 2004- History was made with the one-two American Downhill finish of Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves.
A new Kids Zone
Kids love the excitement of watching the world’s fastest zoom down the hill, but their small stature may hinder them from seeing all the action. To solve the problem YouthPower365, the Vail Valley Foundation’s educational arm, teamed up with TIAA Bank to build a new platform at the race venue so kids can get a better perspective.
Beginning at the start of the Saturday and Sunday races, 30 kids are admitted into the YouthPower365 Kids Zone presented by TIAA Bank for 30-minute sessions (dependent on space). This new feature will be in high demand, so get signed up online at http://www.bcworldcup.com/kids-zone to reserve your young skier’s spot for your preferred time. Please note that space is limited and any late arrivals could potentially lose their spot. Arrive promptly to ensure prime viewing. YouthPower365 teachers will be on hand to help make the Kids Zone safe and fun.
Adults are not allowed in the Kids Zone area but must remain on race course grounds while kids are in the Kids Zone. There is a viewing area behind the Kids Zone, or parents can sit in the stands. Parents and guardians are required to complete a zone waiver and contact sheet prior to entry and are also required to sign their child in and out of the Kids Zone.
After the races, families can head to Beaver Creek Village for free ice skating (3-5 p.m. Fri-Sat), fun games like cornhole, giant connect-4, giant jenga, giveaways, live music and more.
Kids can get up close and meet the racers at the U.S. Athlete Signing on Friday, Nov. 30 from 4-5 p.m. in Beaver Creek Village. Stick around for the formal awards ceremony and athlete bib presentation and fireworks at 5:30 p.m. Word has it that the mountain safety dogs from Beaver Creek and area kids will be bringing out the bibs to the racers on stage. How cute is that?
After kicking things off on Thursday, Nov. 29 with the 80s Ski Welcome Party, which was full of neon ski wear and synthesizer-laden songs, the free music continues on the Tin Cup Mountain Whiskey Stage throughout the weekend on what’s been dubbed Birds of Prey Way in Beaver Creek Village.
On Friday, Nov. 30 from 3-6 p.m. the Bay Area’s Monophonics will get people moving and celebrate the first day of races with some timeless soul. The band’s music has been said to be heavily influence by Sly and the Family Stone.
On Saturday, Dec. 1 from 1-3 p.m. Summit County’s own Beau Thomas showcases some of his singing and songwriting skills while playing soul, rock and folk sounds. Thomas will mix up his own music with covers of artists such as Anderson East and Stevie Wonder. Later that afternoon, the Hackensaw Boys will take the stage from 3-6 p.m. This band from Virginia is known for their raw, gritty American roots music and collaborating with other bands, sometimes playing as a 20-person group.
New this year is a fundraiser concert featuring Darius Rucker. This is a one-of-a-kind concert, with all proceeds benefiting the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. For this event, Darius Rucker will sing Frank Sinatra songs alongside a 16-piece big band accompaniment for the first time ever in Colorado.
Remaining tickets are $500 and are tax deductible. A limited number of VIP packages are available and start at $2500. Doors and reception open at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 7:30 p.m. Contact Lynda Sampson to purchase a VIP Package today at 970-479-1563 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.vilarcenter.org to learn more.
Lots o’ libations
Even though the weekend centers around the races, it is also a party to celebrate having a world cup on American soil (most of the season’s races are in Europe) and the kick off to winter. Thus, let’s raise a glass, and there are plenty of opportunities to grab a free or discounted drink throughout the weekend.
Bloodies, anyone? Lorissa’s Kitchen will be pouring up free pre-race bloody marys at their booth in Beaver Creek Village from 9-10 a.m. (or until they run out) on race days. While you’re there, try a sample of their many flavors of steak strips made from 100 percent grass-fed beef.
Throughout the weekend, enjoy the Pumphouse Bar located in the center of Beaver Creek near the ice rink, serving offerings from Pacifico, Tincup, Stranahan’s, Wild Tonic, Korbel, Robert Mondavi, and Svedka.
Flash your pass. Show your Epic Pass for $1 off drinks all weekend at the Pumphouse Bar in Beaver Creek Village. If you are an Eagle County resident, show your local I.D. at the Pumphouse bar and get $1 off drinks on Friday, Nov. 30, which has been dubbed “locals day at the races”.
The Beers of Prey has become a regular part of the weekend, bringing in local, regional, national and even international breweries to Birds of Prey Way for tastings of some limited edition, seasonal brews as well as fan favorites. This year’s event hosts 15 breweries and they will be paring some beers with small bites. Tickets are $35 and the event runs from 2-6 p.m.
Join Tin Cup Whiskey for a POWer Hour at Colorado Tasting Room on Saturday, December 1 from 8-10 p.m. This complimentary whiskey tasting event happens from 8-10 p.m. For each Tin Cup signature cocktail served, they’ll donate $1 to the non-profit Protect Our Winters.
How to get there
How do you get to all the fun? Park in either the Elk or Bear Lots for $10. Please note that these lots are free after 1 p.m. if you are just going up for the festivities after the races. Regularly scheduled free shuttles will bring spectators to the Vilar Performing Arts Center and Birds of Prey Way expo area. Free race shuttles depart from the Covered Bridge, every 5-10 minutes. Skis and snowboards are not permitted on the race shuttles.
If you are staying in the hotels in Avon or are taking public transportation to Beaver Creek, then transfer from that bus to the buses at the covered bridge to get to the race venue.
Just announced, Red Tail trail will be open for skier and boarder access to the race venue. Bring your pass or buy a lift ticket to access Centennial lift and then proceed to the right to go down Red Tail to the race venue. To leave the venue on skis or snowboards, either take Birds of Prey Express, Lift No. 9 up the mountain or the Dally catwalk to the base of Beaver Creek.
Feeling ambitious? You can snow shoe up to the race venue on the Dally catwalk from the base of Beaver Creek Village.
From the race shuttle drop off location, there is a five-minute on-snow walk to Red Tail Stadium, so wear appropriate footwear. Please allow one hour of travel time from the base of Beaver Creek Resort to Red Tail Stadium to avoid missing any of the action. ADA access to the venue is available on request by contacting Birds of Prey Registration at 970.748.5901.
A dozen bands will perform in Eagle during the three-day event May 31 to June 2.