Watching the races 101
Welcome to the World Cup.For the next four days, the best in the world will be careening down the slick, icy track known as Birds of Prey, one of the world’s premiere venues, sometimes at speeds of 70-80 mph.Do not try this at home. These are trained professionals. So, a few tips for watching the races in the next three days.– Race times: Today, super-G, 11 a.m., Friday, downhill, 11 a.m., Saturday, giant slalom, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and slalom, 10 a.m. and 12:45.
The disciplinesFor the uninitiated, here are the descriptions of the disciplines:– Downhill: The concept is simple. Get down the hill at about 70-80 mph and try not to incur bodily harm. DH is the longest and fastest of the disciplines. It’s one run and the field got a look at the course in training Tuesday.– Super-G: Training runs transition nicely into super-G. In Super-G, the newest of the disciplines, there aren’t any. The racers essentially will be going to today’s race with no knowledge of the course. It’s just one shot, skiing blindly. DH and SG are considered the speed events.
— Slalom: As opposed to the speed events, slalom requires technique to negotiate closely placed-together gates. This is the shortest race of the four. While the wipeouts may be more spectacular in the speed events, there will be the most DNFs (did not finish) in the slalom. As opposed to the speed events, there are two runs in slalom and …– Giant slalom: GS is the faster of the two technical events. Gates are spread out farther than slalom, but there is still a premium on carving.Getting there
— Beaver Creek has a well-tested and efficient bus system to transport fans up to the Finish Stadium. Park in either the Elk or Bear lots at the entrance of Beaver Creek. Pick up the regular shuttle, which takes you from the lots to the village. From there, there will be buses waiting to take you up to the bottom of the stadium. There is a bit of a hike from the bus-drop to the stadium, so wear some sturdy shoes. Allow yourself about 30 minutes to get from the lots to the stadium.– Beaver Creek spokesperson Christina Schleicher announced that Red Tail Run opens today, so you can ski to The Finish Stadium. If you want to catch the racing action up on the hill, The Pumphouse is your best bet.– The best view is at the stadium, which is always a scene on race day. There, you will see flags of all nations, fan clubs supporting assorted European racers and, of course, a whole bunch of red, white and blue, supporting America’s best. There will be a big screen and scoreboard with times, split times and standings, so you can follow all the action, along with Dakin at the microphone. Expect plenty of cow bells and other assorted noisemakers as fans cheer their favorites down the hill. There will be stadium giveaways and vendors, including the ever-important coffee/hot chocolate stand.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado