Telemark ski racing is the oldest, hardest, and most exciting form of ski racing! Telemark ski racing is the only world cup discipline that tests all forms of competitive skiing in one top-to-bottom event. Each discipline includes alpine, jumping, and nordic skiing components. Competitors complete telemark style (lunging) turns through gates; fly off a nordic jump, complete a reipelykkje (Norwegian for “knot of rope,” American for large 360 banked turn a.k.a., “the Rap”); and to add to the challenge there is a skate ski (nordic freestyle) section, which is often at the finish. Time penalties are assessed by gate and jump judges if racers fail to achieve “boot space” while turning (i.e., complete a fully telemark turn); fail to land past the jump line (distance); and fail to land the jump in a nordic stance (just like ski jumping).
The Classic event is the longest event and will be held at the Steamboat Ski Resort on the Vagabond run. The Steamboat course is one of the longest on the World Cup circuit. The Classic consists of one run with courses running between 230 to 500 vertical meters. Courses include a jump, Rap, and long skate. Picture lunging through 70 panels at 80 km/h (50 mi/h), flying 30 meters through the air, and then having to skate ski for 3 minutes, sometimes up hill, to finish the race! Welcome to the Classic – Classics Kill!
The Sprint Classic is similar to the classic. Typically, the Sprint Classic is shorter in length than the Classic, and consists of two-runs with times and penalties are totaled together to determine the winner. This event will be held at the spectator-friendly Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs.
The Parallel Sprint is the most exciting to watch of all of the telemark racing events. Two Sprint length courses are set, and racers compete side by side in a tournament style elimination bracket. Racers fly-off the same jump and are funneled in the same “Rap” before having to skate-it-out on the flats. Penalties are totaled live on the hill, and racers are required to skate further if they have gate or jump penalties. Bring on course carnage and hurt feelings! Head to head combat! This exciting event will also be held at the spectator-friendly Howelsen Hill. In addition, a second day of Parallel Sprint will be run in a team format where the best individual times are totaled for an overall team/country score.