KUSA - Colorado is known for its skiing, which is exactly why the 2015 World Ski Championships are being held there from Feb. 2 to 15. Here are some statistics on the courses themselves:
BIRDS OF PREY
Beaver Creek's Birds of Prey racecourse was built during the summer of 1997 in preparation for the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships. Designed by Olympic Downhill gold medalist Bernhard Russi of Switzerland, Birds of Prey starts west of the top of Chair #8 and finishes at the bottom of Red Tail at the confluence of Chairs #10 and #11. The course features a vertical drop of 710 meters and contains an average gradient of 27 percent, increasing to 45 percent in the middle of the course and again in the final third of the course. The course is 8,603 feet long (which is nearly two miles long). Racers should finish in about 1:40 seconds.
The new ladies' Raptor course starts on the Solitude run, following it past the top of Chair 9 before entering Peregrine through a new cut at the top of the trail. The course then follows upper Peregrine towards the Golden Eagle Pump House, entering the largest section of new trail cut, named Kestrel, below the pump house between Golden Eagle and Peregrine. Rejoining Peregrine, the course then follows the run to Red Tail, joining with the Birds of Prey men's course at the Red Tail Jump and into the finish arena.
The course is 7,770 feet long (or about 1.4 miles). The racers should finish in about 1:41 seconds. Skiers should reach top speeds of 75 mph. There is a vertical drop of 2,330 feet.
The Raptor course was built during the summers of 2012 and 2013, in preparation for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. In addition to the construction of the new racecourse, Beaver Creek crews also moved the timing building from the west to the east side of the finish area, re-graded the Red Tail finish and built the new Talons Restaurant, which will serve as the primary Media Center for the Championships.
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