Birds of Prey World Cup Races Cancelled


Beaver Creek, Colo. Nov. 20, 2001 (From Vail Resorts)--The Vail Valley Foundation today announced that record warm temperatures have hindered snowmaking efforts, resulting in the cancellation of the FIS World Cup Downhill and Super G races scheduled for December 1-2 at Beaver Creek.

"This is the first time in 17 years of World Cup racing that we have had to cancel a race", said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, which organizes the annual races. "Since 1983, the Vail Valley has hosted more World Cup races than any other site in the world, and the community has supported these races like no other."

The Birds of Prey course, one of the steepest and most challenging in the world, is characterized by an average gradient of 30 percent, reaching a maximum of 85 percent. The speed events hosted at Beaver Creek require a tremendous amount of resources; the course length runs over 8,600 feet (2523 m), with numerous jumps, bumps and compressions and substantial safety zones.

"Man-made snow is what makes this course, and the snowmaking on Birds of Prey is a customized process; there's a true science to it," said John Garnsey, chief operating officer for Beaver Creek Resort. "Our crews concentrate on working the snow a small section at a time to enhance terrain features and achieve optimal racing surface."

The speed events traditionally held in Beaver Creek require four to five times as much snow as the technical events. Current conditions have made hosting an event of this caliber impossible. "Our mountain operations crews have been working night and day to maximize snowmaking opportunities and efficiencies," said John Garnsey, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek Resort. "Despite best efforts, Mother Nature has not cooperated."

Conditions, however, are becoming more favorable for snowmaking and natural snowfall is forecasted for later this week. Beaver Creek plans to open to the public on Friday, November 23, 2001.