West German competitors have taken the men's and women's titles in the latest round of the European grass skiing championships held in Scotland.
West German competitors have taken the men's and women's titles in the latest round of the European grass skiing championships held in Scotland. Summer skiing on grass has rapidly grown in popularity since the European competition began five years ago.
SYNOPSIS: The races were held over the weekend at the Hillend Ski Centre in Edinburgh, the first time they've been held there. It was the third meeting in a series of six to decide this year's winner of the Europa Cup, Europe's top grass skiing trophy.
On this occasion after two days of spectacular skiing it was two Germans, Karin Winter and Harfried Langer who came out ahead of competitors from six countries in the men's and women's races. Ingrid Hirschhofer of Austria was second in the women's competition and Erwin Gansner of Switzerland second in the men's. Gansner finished second in the overall honours last year after winning the title in 1975, and is considered to be one of the favourites again this time.
Over the past few years grass skiing has made enjoyment of the sport available to thousands of people who couldn't afford to ski on snow. Man-made slopes have eliminated the need to travel to expensive winter resorts in the Alps or Scandinavia. Scotland already has a well-established winter sports reputation, and is making a bid to become a year-round centre for ski enthusiasts. The six competing countries are taking turns to stage this summer's events.
The meeting began with a Special Slalom that tested the skiers' ability to negotiate forty or fifty gates over the quarter-mile course. The Giant Slalom with fewer gates and a longer course was followed by the team races -- the most exciting and hotly contested event. But it will be the end of the season before the champions of Europe finally emerge.