Hannes Schneider and the Brit Sir Arnold Lunn – two pioneers of skiing who together made history. Not just with their own athletic successes but also with an idea which has been the cause for much enthusiasm for more than 90 years: the Arlberg Kandahar race. In 2019 tradition will be brought to life once more during the Audi FIS Ladies Ski World Cup.
It’s 1927: when Arnold Lunn, who, together with his British colleagues, had founded the legendary Kandahar Ski Club in Mürren, Switzerland, only three years prior, met Stuben’s skiing pioneer Hannes Schneider, the duo decided to organise a ski race in St. Anton with their two ski clubs. Already back then it was the Kandahar Ski Club’s purpose to “elevate the standards in downhill and slalom racing and to promote the international recognition of these disciplines.” Slalom – which had been an unknown skiing discipline on the Arlberg thus far – became very popular with St. Anton’s youth and in 1928 the first combination race with slalom and downhill took place on Galzig with 45 racers: the Arlberg Kandahar Race.
More party, less competition
At the beginning the 4.2-kilometre race was less about the athletic competition and more about the fun of it: there were no national teams and no anthems. According to Sir Anold Lunn the race was a competition “in the antique sense, filled with noble sporting spirit.” In 1930 FIS officially recognised the legendary Alpine Skiing combined discipline. Today the legendary race is held in Chamonix, France, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and in St. Anton.
Audi FIS Ladies Ski World Cup 2019
St. Anton’s mayor Helmut Mall is convinced that “with big events you can move mountains.” And on January 12 and 13, 2019 one of these events will take place once more: Audi FIS Ladies Ski World Cup.
On Saturday the women will show off their skills on the demanding race track, and the Super-G on Sunday will be the culmination of the legendary race weekend. Numerous side events will make sure the onlookers have not just the action-packed races to get excited about.
The athletes of Austria’s Skiteam are already looking forward to the World Cup: “In St. Anton we have a technically demanding and challenging course to look forward to that suits us Austrians well,” says Nicole Schmidhofer. And Stephanie Venier adds: “St. Anton was my very first World Cup race. It’s one of the trickiest stops of the World Cup for me but I’m still very much looking forward to this coming January!”
“Slopes that get to bear the name Kandahar are a very special challenge. And since the last Skiing World Championship on Tyrolean ground in 2001 in St. Anton am Arlberg everyone knows that the one on Arlberg definitely deserves this title.” State governor Günther Platter
“Thanks to Hannes Schneider the Arlberg is called the cradle of alpine skiing. The selective World Cup courses are a special challenge for all active athletes.” Prof. Peter Schröcksnadel, president of the Austrian Ski Federation
“Pure adrenaline on our very own mountains! I’m looking forward to the challenge and your support!” Nina Ortlieb vom Austria Ski Team
Start: 2,040 m (downhill), 1,920 m (super-G)
Finish: 1,330 m
Length: 2,131 m
Maximum gradient: 78 %
Average gradient: 34 %
Sections: Laviert, Himmeleck, Gampenboden, Waldschneise, Eisfall, Wasserschloss, Zielschuss