Wind Trouble During Qualifiers for Friday’s Competition in Planica

By , 23 Mar 2018, 11:44 AM Sport
Gregor Schlierenzauer about to fly 253.5 metres Gregor Schlierenzauer about to fly 253.5 metres Youtube video print screen (embedded below)

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Changing wind conditions sent five of the top thirteen fliers to the spectators’ bench. 

March 23, 2018

Yesterday’s qualifiers came as a shock in Planica, when changing wind conditions by the end of the series caused five of the currently top thirteen flyers to fail to qualify for today’s individuals competition, and this includes this year’s Ski Flying World Champion Daniel Andre Tande and two of the best Slovenian flyers, Tilen Bartol and Domen Prevc, who will today perform as test jumpers, opening the formal part of the competition.

The rules stipulate that World Cup competitions can only include 50 jumpers and 40 competitors in flying events, which means that out of the total of 69 who applied to take part only 40 could qualify for today’s competition. Furthermore, the previous rule which granted the top ten overall World Cup ranking jumpers to pre-qualify has been dropped this season. If this hadn’t been the case then the aforementioned Ski Flying Champion, Tande, currently no. 3 in the overall World Cup standings, would have competed today.

The starting order of the qualifiers was decided by the overall standings in previous flying events in Kulm and Vikersund, giving those with fewer points at the beginning of the competition an earlier start, and flyers with a higher rank later starting numbers. The significant change in flying conditions by the end of the qualifiers thus mostly affected the best-ranking competitors. Throughout the day lifting winds were strengthening, allowing for some very long jumps in the first half of the series, including the 253.5 metre flight of Gregor Schlierenzauer, equal to the current World Record, which brought the decision to shorten the length of the in-flight, and perhaps, after the change in wind conditions, this was not readjusted properly or soon enough.

Ski flyer no. 24, Gregor Schlierenzauer 253.5 metres with a touch (counts as a fall)


Johann Andre Forfang (NOR) 241 metres and World Cup overall winner Kamil Stoch (POL)

Despite the fact that the competition only begins today, Planica has already saw about 13, 000 spectators yesterday. Most of these were schoolchildren, as Thursday’s qualifiers are traditionally a school event. As such, alcohol is banned from being sold throughout the entire venue on this day.

kids planica mojaobcinavojnik.jpg

Photo: Vojnik municipality 

Despite some wind trouble, the weather is cold and sunny, and expected to stay this way for the entire weekend. The individual competition today will be followed by the team competition on Saturday and the World Cup finals on Sunday, when the top 30 in World Cup overall standings will compete in the last event of the ski jumping season.

You can learn more about the event here.


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