Monday, December 1, 2014

Streif - One Hell of a Ride

Directed by Gerald Salmina
Script: Gerald Salmina, Tom Dauer
Filming: Günther Göberl & Gerald Salmina
Produced by Planet Watch Film & Video Productions GmbH
Release date: December 25, 2014

For 75 years, the annual Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel, Austria, has produced unforgettable triumphs and unspeakable tragedies, a heritage that is full of myths and legends. Nowhere else is skiing celebrated so intensely. The city, the nation, and the entire winter sports world go crazy for the battles that play out on the slopes, and the race down the Streif is the most anticipated event of all - the Superbowl of skiing.This thrilling feature documentary follows four athletes on their 12-month journey leading up to the most important ride of their carreer. Facing an adrenaline high and total loss of control. It gives rare insights into the minds of the athletes and their struggle between risk and reward.

The Hahnenkamm-Race is one of the highlights of the annual ski-racing calendar. Over 40 TV stations cover the race and it is a priceless event that captivates even those who do not usually follow ski racing. Only the best win on the hardest Downhill in the world. The names of past winners read like a who’s who of ski racing, from Killy, Sailer, Schranz and Collombin, to Klammer, Read, Zurbriggen, Heinzer, Aamodt, Strobl, Maier, Eberharter, Walchhofer, Rahlves and Cuche.

From the breathtaking start at 1665 metres (5465 feet) above sea level, racers plunge down the slope’s vertical drop of 860 m (2822 ft) at speeds up to 150 km/h (93mph), covering the 3312 metres (10,866 feet) of the course in less than two minutes before dramatically crossing the finish line in the spectator-packed finish area. Yet the Hahnenkamm-Races are more than simple statistics, and behind these numbers lies the greatest ski spectacle in the world. The Downhill on Kitzbühel’s almost impossibly difficult slope, the Streif, leaves one continually searching for superlatives that could adequately portray it. The simplest way to describe this drop down the most fearsome slope on the World Cup tour is simply: "The Race". What Wimbledon is for Tennis and Monaco is for Formula 1, "Kitz" is for ski racing.

In one of the most exciting races we have witnessed last season, Austrian Hannes Reichelt took home his first victory on the Streif. The hosting nation has been waiting since 2006 to see a local on top of the podium as, the last Austrian to win this race was Michael Walchhofer eight years ago.
"It was a great race, it’s special for an Austrian to win Kitzbühel", a very happy Reichelt said. "It’s one of the dreams you have as a young skiracer. But the pressure on me was not too high, I had a great season so far but no victory and I was focused on my skiing. Finding the perfect line and doing what I have done in the past races, avoiding any mistakes especially before the flat section was my plan today. I think I had a perfect run in the end and it paid off", he continued.

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