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Telemark World Championships 2017

Event in Plagne Centre & Montchavin 14th-19th March 2017

Featured in: | Stuart Hamilton, La Plagne Reporter | Published

The world’s best Telemark skiers will converge on La Plagne next month for the Telemark World Championships, being held across the resort from Tuesday 14th to Saturday 19th March.

Telemark racing is the oldest, toughest and most varied of all ski racing competitions. It is the only World Cup discipline that combines all the elements of competitive skiing into one event – alpine ski racing, ski jumping and Nordic skiing skills.

In Telemark, competitors must lunge-turn, a style of carve turn invented in 1868 where the heel of the inside ski is lifted clear while the inside leg bends for greater balance and stability. Telemark skiers use specially-adapted bindings with only the toe of the ski boot fixed, allowing the heel to lift free.

Watch this...

Telemark turning round the gates

Telemark race courses include traditional control gates, a Nordic jump, the Rap or Loom (a large 360 banked turn, sometimes also called the Reipelykkje) and a Nordic skate-ski section (like cross-country skiing).

Competitors are assessed by gate and jump judges who impose time penalties if the racer fails to achieve ‘boot space’ in the turn (i.e. doesn’t complete a full Telemark turn with the heel free), fails to clear the jump line (a pre-specified jump distance) or fails to land the jump in the Nordic stance (the stance seen in traditional ski jumping).

Head to head, Parallel Sprint racing

There are four titles up for grabs in the World Championships:

The Classic: A single run, winner-takes-all race down the longest of the competitive tracks with a vertical drop of 300-500m featuring control gates, a jump, the Rap and a long Nordic skate section - typically at the end and often uphill.

The Sprint: A shorter version of the Classic (typically 100-200m altitude change), run over two legs with times and penalties totaled to give the overall winner.

The Parallel Sprint: Arguably the most exciting event in Telemark racing with competitors going head-to-head in tournament-style elimination rounds. Courses include the standard gate format, jump, Rap and Nordic section however, in the Parallel Sprint, racers hit the same jump and are then funneled into a single Rap 360 turn. This results in no-prisoners, combat racing where only the strongest skiers survive. And, as if that’s not testing enough, following the Rap skiers have to complete a long skate-ski to the finish line. Penalties are calculated live and added during racing meaning skiers have to skate-ski further if they’re adjudged to have committed any offences. The Parallel Sprint is nip and tuck racing at its finest - Telemark’s answer to Boardercross / Skiercross.

The Team Parallel: Just like the Parallel Sprint but run in teams of three (minimum one female) where the best individual times are accumulated to find the overall team winner. The world’s best 8 nations compete.


Winner in 2016 Amelie Reymond

The male and female events take place over four days in Plagne Centre and Montchavin-la Plagne. The Jean-Luc Crétier stadium in Plagne Centre will host the Parallel Sprint and Team Parallel events on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th while Montchavin holds the Classic and Sprint events over the weekend of the 18/19th respectively.

Get along if you fancy some full-on racing carnage. You will not be disappointed.

Full Schedule

Phil Lau Parallel Sprint racing

Tuesday 14th March 2017

OPENING CEREMONY (Montchavin-la Plagne)

18:30 Parade of Nations to the sound of the 7th Battalion French Alpine Troops band. Torchlight descent and fireworks show.

Wednesday 15th March 2017

PARALLEL SPRINT (Jean Luc Cretier’s Stadium in Plagne Centre)

10.30 Ladies qualifications followed by men’s

12.00 Ladies finals followed by men’s

Award ceremony will be held after the race in the finish area

Thursday 16th March 2017

TEAM PARALLEL (Jean Luc Cretier’s Stadium in Plagne Centre)

10.30 : Start of competition.

Award ceremony will be held after the race in the finish area

Saturday 18th March 2017

CLASSIC (Montchavin-la Plagne)

9.30 : Start of the classic race (1 run)

Award ceremony will be held after the race in the finish area

Sunday 19th March 2017

SPRINT (Montchavin-la Plagne)

9.30 : Ladies 1st run followed by men’s

12.00 : Ladies 2nd run followed by men’s

Stuart Hamilton is the Creative Director of iRide Ski and Snowboard App  - a new skiing and snowboarding app, available now on Apple iOS and Android.

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