Friday, February 6, 2015

Vail-Beaver Creek 2015 Racecourses: Raptor

Beaver Creek Mountain is home to the formidable Birds of Prey racecourse for Men and the New Raptor racecourse for Women.
Raptor is the Ladies racecourse for the 2015 World Championships. The new Ladies’ course starts on the Solitude run, following it past the top of Chair 9 before entering Peregrine through a new cut at the top of the trail. The course then follows upper Peregrine towards the Golden Eagle Pump House, entering the largest section of new trail cut, named Kestrel, below the pump house between Golden Eagle and Peregrine. Rejoining Peregrine, the course then follows the run to Red Tail, joining with the Birds of Prey men’s course at the Red Tail Jump and into the finish arena.
Mainly a Downhill course, with lower starting gates, it is also used for Super-G, Giant Slalom and Slalom races.The Raptor course was built during the summers of 2012 and 2013, in preparation for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. In addition to the construction of the new racecourse, Beaver Creek crews also moved the timing building from the west to the east side of the finish area, re-graded the Red Tail finish and built the new Talons Restaurant, which will serve as the primary Media Center for the Championships.
Prior to construction of the Birds of Prey, the Vail Valley was a regular women's World Cup stop, but they raced over at Vail.
"There has obviously been considerable discussion about what the ladies’ course would be named", explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and president of the 2015 World Championships organizing committee. "Given its proximity to Birds of Prey, the natural inclination was to try to find a name that would be both complementary and that could stand alone. We definitely feel that Raptor is a name that works well with Birds of Prey and, given the majesty of the raptor family, I think we have accomplished both goals".
The term "raptor" is derived from the Latin word rapere, meaning to seize or take by force. The birds in this family have well developed senses, especially vision, and large, powerful talons and beaks that aid them in hunting their prey.
Raptor symbols are also very special to Native Americans, with their ability to soar above the clouds, perhaps to the heavens, and their sense of freedom serving as a source of inspiration. Because of their amazing power of flight, many raptors are revered as bringers of messages and symbols of change, their feathers having many spiritual & ritual uses.

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