Birds of Prey racecourse gets green light from FIS

FIS men’s speed race director Hannes Trinkl, left and Birds of Prey chief of course Ron Ruppert inspect the lower section of Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey downhill course prior to Saturday’s FIS snow control inspection.
Special to the Daily |

BEAVER CREEK — It’s full speed ahead for the Audi FIS Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week at Beaver Creek as organizers received the green light on Saturday for the 2014 edition of racing.

“Our partners at Vail Resorts have certainly made the most of the temperatures and the real stuff that Mother Nature has provided,” said Michael Imhof, senior vice president of sales and operations for the Vail Valley Foundation and director of the 2015 World Championships. “Thanks to favorable snowmaking conditions and the natural snow we have received, everything is on track for a great weekend of racing at the Audi FIS Birds of Prey.”

Beaver Creek Mountain, which has received just more than 3 feet of new snow in the past 12 days, is scheduled to open on Wednesday, while Vail Mountain opened to the public on Friday.

“We are happy to report that snowmaking is 99 percent complete on the race venue at Beaver Creek,” said chief of race Greg Johnson. “Our final snowmaking needs are in the finish area and, with another winter storm forcast for this weekend, along with optimal snowmaking temperatures, we’ll be ready to race.”

FIS requires a snow-control inspection for all World Cup sites in advance of the competitions to ensure that good racecourse conditions exist or that the weather forecast is favorable for sufficient snowmaking.

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The 2014 Audi FIS Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week gets underway Dec. 2, with downhill training. Competition kicks off Dec. 5, with the traditional Birds of Prey Downhill, followed by super-G on Dec. 6. The weekend’s racing will conclude with giant slalom on Dec. 7.

The 2014 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

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