Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Ski World Cup - Lauberhorn 2017

The sun is shining, the skies are blue and the Jungfrau region has been gifted with two weeks of solid snowfall just in time for the region's annual ski race; the Lauberhorn downhill world cup.

The bars are beginning to get livelier. Skiers and snowboards alike are starting to practice their best moves on the slopes. Everyone knows; the Jungfrau region is about to host a legendary weekend event.

What does the Lauberhorn downhill race entail, and why is it so special to Switzerland?:

  • First and foremost, it is the longest downhill world cup circuit at 4.48km (2.78 miles).
  • Racers will typically achieve speeds in excess of 90 mph, with Johan Clarey setting the record in 2013 at 100.6 mph.
  • It was first held 87 years ago in 1930, so it is now ingrained in Swiss history.
  • It starts on the Lauberhorn mountain located between the villages of Grindelwald and Wengen. Views from the top overlook Interlaken and the plains of Canton Bern.
  • Over 30,000 spectators from all around the world come to the Jungfrau region to be a part of this race and its festivities.
  • The type of race is unique in in that there are combined, slalom and downhill events. The winner of the downhill event receives 110,000 CHF.

The Lauberhorn is deemed to be one of the toughest events downhill racers will undergo in their careers. The course starts at the top the Lauberhorn mountain, playing host to a number of extremely challenging twists and turns, eventually descending over a thousand metres to the village of Wengen. Competitors are pushed to their limits by the course's intimidating jumps, which many would describe as skiing off of cliffs!

Apres, in style!

The Swiss are predominantly known for three things; cheese, chocolate and beer. The Lauberhorn World Cup is no exception. After the racing has finished herds of spectators flock to the mountain bars and restaurants to begin their nights. The villages of Grindelwald and Wengen swell with visitors; many venues offer attractive after-party deals. After satisfying their appetites with traditional Swiss fondue, most visitors are content with live music and chilled out evenings; ready for the next day of racing. However, for some of the more livelier visitors, the villages of Wengen and Grindelwald do not disappoint...

Still not convinced?

MUST-WATCH video; legendary downhill racer Graham Bell with a body cam going down the Lauberhorn. 

OTP offers fantastic deals on accommodation around the Jungfrau region. It's not too late to come out and enjoy this amazing sporting spectacle! See what OTP has to offer here.

Further information

For the past two days the downhill competitors have had a chance to accustom themselves to the course. Today, Thursday 11th January marks the official opening of the Lauberhorn downhill race. Wengen will play host to this year's party, and race bibs will be unveiled at 18.15. Keep your eyes peeled this week; the Swiss air force will be flying around practising for Saturday's airshow. 

Programme details can be found here

You can't watch the race without purchasing a ticket. Be sure to grab yours now before they sell out!

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