Bansko in double act
Bansko has been back on the Alpine Ski World Cup fixture list since 2009. The women's and men's events have taken turns in past years but this year there was actually a Bansko double act. The men were put through their paces in the technical disciplines on 18 and 19 February. Marcel Hirscher of Austria clinched the victory in both the Slalom and the Giant Slalom. Just one week later it was time for the ladies to make their big appearance. They were able to demonstrate their skills in the Super G. A downhill event had originally been planned for the ladies as well but it was impossible because of the strong gusts of wind. Lindsey Vonn of the USA was once again victorious in the Super G.
The vagaries of the weather were a cause of great aggravation to the event organizers. They are real perfectionists in Bansko when it comes to organization. Attempts were made until the very last minute to stage the downhill event but the weather was relentless. On the next day, however, the World Cup route in Bansko was in fine form again for the Super G. Guaranteed snow cover has been left to the experience of TechnoAlpin for years. The snow-making system was extended again in 2011. 14x V3 lances were installed. Now there are over 200 lances and 65 fan guns ensuring perfect quality snow on all the ski slopes. The snow-making system would not be complete without two pumping plants with a total output of 500 liters per second and a compressor plant operating at 42.25 m3 per minute. The system is controlled by the latest version of the ATASSplus software.
The investment in snow-making equipment has been part of a wider program of expansion in Bansko in recent years, however, with new accommodation for over 7,000 people. There is also a ski school, ski hire facilities and après-ski haunts to cater to every taste. There are 70 kilometers of slope around the 2746 m Todorka peak. Bansko is leading the way in winter sports in Bulgaria, as emphasized by the World Cup events.