Summer ski flying at Copper Peak in 2017?
Plans for the re-activation of Copper Peak hill are becoming more concrete. From 2017 onwards the finale of Summer Grand Prix could be staged at Ironwood. The modernization as the world's only summer ski flying hill shall start in spring 2016.
Already a couple of years ago efforts were started to reconstruct the former ski flying hill at Copper Peak in Ironwood, Michigan and make the 1969 built hill ready for jumping again. About 2 years ago first plans came up for a possible summer use of the hill with its impressive 73 meter high steel-made inrun tower, which had last been used around 20 years ago.
In July 2015 FIS race director Walter Hofer and ski jumping hill committee chairman Hans-Martin Renn had inspected the recent status of the hill. Then the plans for the re-activation were specified together with the local club and its chairman Charles Supercynski. During the FIS autumn meeting in Zurich in mid October these plans were presented by Copper Peak organization committee head Bob Jacquart and discussed further.
As an outcome, the prospect of holding the final events of FIS Grand Prix at Ironwood in September 2017 was presented. Furthermore, summer competitions of Nordic Combined and Continental Cup are to be held there. Therefore the profound modernization of the ski jumping hill and its infrastructure is essential - and, of course, a covering with plastic mattings for summer ski jumping.
Concrete plans therefore haven't been made yet. The local organization committee has anounced to start a foundraiser for the financing and work on the detailled plans in the up-coming months. Already in spring 2016 re-construction works shall start.
However, it seems questionable whether there will be an actual summer "ski flying" in Ironwood, since this would officially not be allowed by current FIS rules. Furthermore, the hill would have to be significantly enlarged in order to have a K-Point of 185 meters or more and officially be considered as ski flying hill - so far the hill record from 1994 is only at 158 meters, held by Matthias Wallner and Werner Schuster from Austria. Nevertheless, a return of Copper Peak would mean a great comeback for the international and US-American ski jumping community.
Ski Jumps:Ironwood (Copper Peak)
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