Countdown is on to the SBX World Cup in Bad Gastein
The course on the Bucheben is being designed and built for the first time by Swede, David Ny. Everyone is sure to profit from his expertise, the spectators above all. The course will be longer, which means more jumps and passing maneuvers. The hill at the foot of the Stubnerkogel, steep in parts and characterized by tight turning radiuses, provides an ideal setting for what is sure to be a breathtaking spectacle. In total, 60,000 cubic metres of snow will be artistically shaped into daredevil jumps, rollers, banks and steep curves. In order to meet the high standards of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the organizers themselves, around 20 people will be working during the run-up to the event, a number that will grow to around 100 on the race weekend itself, guaranteeing that the event will go off without a hitch.
The Snowboard World Cup has actually been making guest appearances in Gastein valley since 2001. Just one year later, the cross-riders also made their first stop here in the “Monte Carlo of the Alps”. In the ten SBX contests for men and women, the French stood on the podium no less than 18 times. Austria’s own snowboarding stars have also stepped up there eight times. Mario Fuchs proved himself to be a true Gastein specialist. Winner in 2006 and 2008, and since retired, it is now up to others to continue writing the success story begun by their local hero. The young Austrian team is led, of course, by Markus Schairer. The 24-year-old native of Vorarlberg, World Champion and overall World Cup winner in 2009, smiled at us all in the winners‘ photo after garnering second place here during his best season. Now there’s only one goal left, the long-awaited home victory. Lurking right there in Schairer’s slipstream is Michael Hämmerle, who won the European Cup competition in Bad Gastein in 2010, his best World Cup placing. The 20-year-old already boasts three top-10 results from last season. Hanno Douschan, Alessandro Hämmerle and Mathias Schöpf will also get a chance during this home race to get a whiff of the World Cup air.
And away from the slopes, naturally enough, what would a snowboarding event be without a great party atmosphere? Not least because of some of the hottest side events on the calendar, Bad Gastein couldn’t be more popular with the riders and their fans. The weekend celebrations kick off at 8 pm Friday, when the top 16 athletes have their starting numbers drawn at the roulette table in the casino. On Saturday night, the Ö3 Beach Boarder Party at the Felsentherme will get party-goers in the perfect mood for the Sunday finals, when the Krone Truck will bring the crowds to a boil in the finish area. Live acts and the medals ceremony will conclude this fantastic weekend that will give sports fans more than they could ever wish for.
10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Official training
8 pm: Public drawing of start numbers at Casino Bad Gastein
12:30 pm: Qualifying
8 pm: Ö3 Beach Boarder Party
12:30 pm: Finals with the top 16, K.O. format (broadcast live on ORF 1)
Followed by medals ceremony on the Krone Truck with live acts.