RAW AIR with or without Vikersund?
Currently, there's no venue listed on the FIS competition calendar for the weekend of March 16th and 17th 2019.
The calendar is still empty on the weekend on which the final of the RAW AIR competition series should take place in Vikersund (NOR). The reason for this is that the organizers in Vikersund had not fulfilled all the requirements of the International Ski Federation FIS regarding the huge Ski Flying hill until the time of the calendar planning. As a result, the Monsterbakken in Vikersund does currently not have a valid hill certificate of the FIS and as long as there's no valid certificate, no competitions can be held there.
On Wednesday, the Norwegian Ski Association presented new, modified plans to the FIS, which have been improved in four points and that should be enough to obtain a valid certificate for the upcoming winter. Now the plans have to be approved, then the FIS Council could still give the green light for the competitions in Vikersund mid-November.
As a result of this situation, Clas-Brede Brathen, athletic director for Ski Jumping of the Norwegian Ski Association, is already thinking about an alternative location for the great final of the RAW AIR. “It would be possible that the two final jumps of the RAW AIR take place in Trondheim instead of Vikersund. Many good competitions in the World Cup were hosted on the 1997 World Championships hill in Trondheim,” Brathen said to the Norwegian TV station NRK.
This would reduce the RAW AIR to three venues, Oslo, Lillehammer, and 2 x Trondheim, while the number of competitions would remain the same.
"I think everyone involved is hoping for competitions in Vikersund on a hill that fully meets the FIS criteria", Brathen said to the FIS. "We are looking for alternative solutions because we, as the Norwegian Ski Association, want to have a complete RAW AIR. The most important thing now is to ensure that the Vikersundbakken meets the requirements of the FIS for safety and good competitions", said Brathen.
The RAW AIR is a competition series of FIS World Cup events where the results of four individual and two team events are added up. What makes it special is the fact that also the qualification jumps count for the overall ranking, that consists of a total of 16 jumps for every athlete. In the end, the Top 3 are awarded a prize money of 100 000,- Euro (60 000,- for the winner; 30 000,- for the 2nd place and 10 000,- for the third place).
The first edition of the RAW AIR was held in 2017 and it gained a lot of public interest in the first two years. The winners of the RAW AIR 2017 and 2018 were Stefan Kraft (AUT) and Kamil Stoch (POL).