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The Start of a big Finale

16 February: The technical week starts with the Ladies' Giant Slalom. 55 nations are participating, the favourite for the victory win of the real king’s discipline is the Frenchwoman Tessa Worley. After the loss of Lara Gut, the Swiss have no viable medal candidate anymore. But there have been several surprises so far, maybe there is another one coming up.

Tessa Worley (Agence Zoom)
Tessa Worley is the top favourite (Agence Zoom)

The History: The Giant Slalom is a very old alpine discipline, but it only first took place in the championships in the 1950’s. The first ladies world champion was Dagmar Rom (Austria) 1950 in Aspen. To see the Giant Slalom as an intermediate between Slalom and Downhill, is completely false: the Giant Slalom turn is the basis of all ski technology. In specialized skiing disciplines, this discipline is therefore the real King’s discipline, even if the Downhill takes this role for the fans.

The Requirements: The length of the course must be between 300 and 400 metres, in St. Moritz it is 355. The number of changes of direction must be between 11 and 15 percent of the altitude difference.

The Ski: It must be at least 188 cm long. The width under the binding must be at least 6,5 cm, in front of the binding a minimum of 10,3 cm. the minimum radius must be at least 30 meters.

The Modus: Until 1977 the ladies Giant Slalom was only a one run result, since the 1978 WSC there have been two runs with two different courses planted. Since early numbers are generally advantageous, because the track has less depressions and holes, the starting sequence is mixed amongst the top 15 runners: the first seven receive a number between 1 to 7, the racers between 8 and 15 receive a number between 8 and 15. In the second run, the first 30 finish places will be in reverse order.

The WSC-Course: The ladies start is situated above the “grosses Loch” (large hole). The course is characterized by a lot of terrain changes, which allow the racers to make beautiful giant turns. There will be a beautiful sporting picture opportunity for the keen eye.

The Title-Holder: Anna Veith (Austria) won ahead of Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany) and Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (Sweden). Wendy Holdener was in 17th place the best Swiss female, the last WSC-Title for the Swiss-Ski team in this discipline won Sonja Nef 2001.

The Favourites: At the seven races this season Tessa Worley has won three times and three times the French lady was second. Lara Gut (Switzerland), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) and Sofia Goggia (Italy) have all stood three times on the podium. At the rehearsal at the World Cup Final 2016, Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany) won ahead of Taina Barioz (France) and Gut, who is out for the WSC after her injury.

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