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Kandahar races canceled prematurely – there is no snow

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From: Christian Felner

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The weather does not cooperate: the 70th races in Kandahar are canceled. There is not enough snow, the forecast for the next few days is also too bad.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Between heaven and hell – this is the motto of the ski races on the Kandahar. Based on the parts of the route of the same name on the notorious descent. The organizers of the World Cups in Garmisch-Partenkirchen are also stuck in such emotional chaos these days.

‘Lost weather fight’: Kandahar races canceled

Because after the big party on the Gudiberg exactly a week ago, the deep fall follows: Late yesterday afternoon, the Ski World Association FIS canceled the two races on the Kandahar scheduled for January 28 and 29 . “We lost the fight against the weather,” says Martina Betz, head of the organization team. In short: there is not enough snow, the weather remains too mild and it is simply not possible to prepare the approximately 3.4 km long track.

Hopeless situation: There is no snow at the FIS-Schneise exit and on the finish track. © OK Ski GAP World Cup

How did you celebrate January 4th. After a big struggle with the external conditions, everything went well on the Gudiberg. The night slalom, the first, could take place. It was a spectacle in front of 7000 spectators in the Olympic ski stadium. “We wanted to take that atmosphere with us to Kandahar,” says Betz. “And we also felt an attraction, ticket sales were great, we wanted to celebrate the anniversary, the 70th Kandahar Races, appropriately.”

Weather too bad: 3.4 kilometer route not to be prepared

However, the weather is not cooperating. “The prognosis is too bad. It’s just not cold,” complained the chairman of SC Garmisch. “And one or two freezing nights just aren’t enough to set up a course like the Kandahar.” It could work on the 650-meter-long Gudiberg , but not with a good quintuple distance, in a sprint race like the downhill, for which it requires large tumbling spaces.”With the best will in the world, that’s out of the question.”

So there was only one sensible decision: quick cancellation. “Of course we could have stopped now, not being able to inform the FIS before the snow control,” explained Betz. Only: There is no hope of being able to present a racable track no later than January 26, the day of the first training. “And then it’s just for everyone that we be transparent.” Yesterday at noon, Markus Waldner, the men’s race director, was informed of the situation. Result: the South Tyrolean pulled the launch cord and canceled the competitions.

Even giant slalom is not doable over a shorter distance

For a while there was still the idea of ​​at least trying to save the giant slalom on Sunday. “But it also leads to the finish line,” says Betz. “You have to do this for the spectators, there is no other way.” This section in particular, the exit from the FIS corridor, and the finish track, the Tauberschuss, are completely cleared of snow for the moment. Because for the tourist ski operation, the track on the old arrival at the Kreuzeckbahn valley station was logically snow-covered.

Kandahar Garmisch: Even higher in the area
The meadow already looks: Even higher in the “Hell” area, the racing line is not even passable from a distance. © OK Ski GAP World Cup

“We can’t have snow there, the track is much too wide there, we can’t do anything about it”, regrets Betz. However, the traffic on the racecourse is not only too light at the bottom. In many places the crash zones are completely green and there was no snow behind the big A nets as a cushion.

“And there are even a lot of brown spots on the racing line.” As a result, the experts from Bayerische Zugspitzbahn, who are responsible for preparing the ski area and the slopes for the World Cup, can no longer enter these areas with the tracks. . Otherwise, they destroy the ground, heavy machinery digs into the ground.

“It remains a disaster”: the organization is powerless against the weather

Therefore, annulment was the only way out. “It’s a disaster for us on a sporting and economic level,” admits Betz. Yesterday afternoon, the boss of OC was not able to estimate exactly what the financial construction will look like. “We can absorb some of it, but it’s still a disaster.”

The next few days and weeks will not be easy for those responsible. “First, we have to work our way through all the cancellation terms,” ​​Betz says. The Kandahar team would have much preferred to spend the night on the mountain to get the last energy for the races. But Betz also resignedly admits, “We can’t do anything about the weather.” (see)

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