25.1.2014 22:51:58

The European Open Championships will be raced over shortened tracks

(Foto: Ilustrace biatlon)

The organizers of the European Open Championships in Nové Město na Moravě have been greatly affected by the extremely warm weather that effected the central Europe in December and first half of January. For this reason the events will be held over tracks adapted to the 2.5 km loop that is covered with technical snow. 

Even when the cold weather arrived this Thursday, it was too short time before the beginning of the event to start the snow guns and prepare the extra 1.5 km of ski tracks. It was only for one week at the beginning of December, when the temperatures dropped enough to allow for snow production this winter. Luckily it was enough time to cover the track with high enough snow layer that survived several periods of weather with temperatures above 10°C ; often accompanied with rain. Despite these extreme conditions Nové Město managed to organize excellent XC Skiing World Cup and also host other events originally scheduled for venues that didn’t have snow at all. 

The weather luckily improved last Thursday when temperature dropped below zero for the entire day and also surrounding forests got covered by thin layer of snow. "Certainly the aesthetics of local landscape looks much better now. Winter’s finally here. Everything looks much better now and cold temperatures are forecasted for the entire time of the Championships," says the event director of the European Open Championships Vlastimil Jakeš. "Unfortunately we are not left with enough time to prepare the 4 km loop," he added.

We have 24 snow guns available in the arena, which get started when temperatures drop down to -4 °C. "We will now produce technical snow for the penalty loop, tracks in lower areas of the meadow. We also produce snow into our depot, out of which we will deliver it to the most affected parts of the tracks, where the snow layer is extremely thin now and where we also had to make the course narrower than what is needed," explained Jakeš the current challenges waiting for the organizers.

The Open European Championships have returned to Nové Město after six years. The event is scheduled from 29. January until 4. February. The titles will be awarded to men and women elite as well as junior categories. Entry to all events will be free of charge.

Jiří Pošvář

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