Wednesday, December 10, 2008


According to the FIS in late November:

Since Monday 17th November, it has been possible to produce man-made snow in Liberec (CZE). "As soon as the temperatures dropped below freezing, we started producing snow with 20 snow cannons and have since added others to the arsenal," commented Robert Heczko, manager of the Cross-Country area Vesec. In ideal conditions, fourteen days of snow production are required to create the necessary 30'000 m3 of snow to ensure coverage on all the competition courses at the venue.

In addition to artificial snow-making at both Vesec and the Jested Ski Jumping area, natural snow has fallen in the Liberec area, making it much easier for the Liberec 2009 organizing committee to prepare for its dress rehearsal, the DKB FIS Nordic Combined World Cup events, scheduled to be held in Liberec from 13th-14th December 2008.
This might have been a good sign, since last year's pre-Worlds events at Liberec were an utter disaster. Low snow forced organizers to replace the scheduled pursuits with "10" and "15" kilometer races that were really more like 8 and 11 kilometers long - multiple laps of a barren 1.8km course. (Andy Newell had some good pictures of the terrible conditions on his blog.). The scheduled team sprints did occur, albeit on the same horrible snow. If the cold weather keeps up, Katerina Neumannova and the rest of the Worlds organizers will be able to stockpile enough snow for all of the cross country and nordic combined events in February.

On the other hand, not two weeks later, the FIS canceled those "dress rehearsal" nordic combined races - lack of snow. However, according to the organizers, there's no cause for concern! Quoth Neumannova:
"We were snowing from the first day possible - and it looked optimistic. But a warm and wet weather front that followed after the cold period suddenly made it impossible to stage the cross-country part of the Nordic Combined World Cup at the Vesec ski stadium this weekend. However, this is no reason to be concerned about the World Championships - we are well prepared to produce snow at Vesec now that the weather forecast is improving again. And we have our plan B, and even a plan C," said Katerina Neumannova, President of the Liberec 2009 organizing committee.
God, I hope this works out.


Luke S said...

Will not be good if they don't get their shit together to hold those World Champs. Especially because some of their men are really strong this year. Their relay team had a pretty impressive performance overall in La Clusaz considering they were without Lukas Bauer.