The first of back-to-back World Cup races scheduled to take place was cut short due to a winter storm that blew into the area during the competition.
The weather in Feldberg had been challenging for some time leading up to Saturday’s competition, with a qualification round scheduled for Friday already cancelled before Saturday’s troubles. While the track at Feldberg was in good condition on competition day, and local organizers had large crews on hand slipping and maintaining the course, at some point the battle against snow accumulation and the rising winds became a losing one.
With the cancellation of Friday’s qualifiers, officials elected to go with an alternate start plan on Saturday, expanding the heat format from 32 men to 64, and from 16 ladies to 32, giving every athlete at least one run in a head to head heat and whittling down the field to the standard format in time for televised finals on Saturday afternoon.
While these preliminary rounds were completed satisfactorily, the weather took a turn for the worse just before the start of the finals, and by the time the last men’s heat from the round of eight had completed their run, it became clear that the competition would be unable to proceed.
With at least one competition round completed officials were able to declare a result, this saw Kennedy-Sim finish in 11th.
Despite a herculean effort from organizers, crews, and officials, the second scheduled World Cup was cut short for the second straight day as persistent snow and wind made the situation too difficult and variable to finish the event. This day no heats where able to take place meaning the event was officially cancelled.
With four events remaining on the now 13-leg Ski Cross World Cup tour, Kennedy-Sim sits in 15th place on the standings.
Australia’s leading male athlete, Anton Grimus is currently battling a knee injury and was ruled out for the Feldberg event. The 26-year-old had surgery on his knee in late December, after it had caused him trouble at the back end of 2016.
Well on the way to recovery, Grimus was on the side-line in Feldberg, but has plans to travel to the next event with the rest of the team, and is hopeful of resuming competition in mid February.
The team now flies to Idre Fjall, Sweden, for two World Cup events which will take place during February 10-12.