After long dry spell, World Cup runeth over |

After long dry spell, World Cup runeth over

David Gignilliat

Be careful what you ask for. You just may get it.

Race organizers preparing for the first World Cup event at Heavenly Ski Resort in 13 years must be feeling this way right about now.

Nearly four weeks without precipitation prompted a flurry of snowmaking – nearly 6,000 tons – and a review of the event’s contingency plans.

Fast-forward to Wednesday at Heavenly, where a few weekend inches have segued into a full-scale snowstorm that has already made practice conditions difficult – and potentially dangerous – for World Cup aerialists.

Mogulists and acro competitors were able to fit in nearly a full day’s slate of practice runs, despite a one-hour morning delay as officials reshaped Heavenly’s Gunbarrel run.

Aerialist were not as lucky, however, as high winds and poor visibility eliminated Wednesday’s practice.

“The only event that would really get in trouble is aerials,” said Malcolm Tibbetts, co-chairman of the event’s organizing committee. “If you have another day like (Wednesday) this weekend, it would be difficult to see the event running on schedule.”

Coaches and racers from the 32 teams at the event have complimented organizers on the conditions of the moguls and across courses, Tibbetts said

In what Tibbetts called a “worst-case scenario,” the aerial event would be postponed until the wintry weather clears the area and proper conditions return. Tibbetts has been in contact with officials from International Ski Federation, the sport’s governing body, about what might happen if the snow continues to fall. Since there will be no World Cup aerial event the following week, postponing the event one or more days should not be a problem for aerial competitors.

“Tuesday’s not out of the question,” Tibbetts said. “This event is going to happen at some point.”

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