IPC Snowboard, the global governing body of para-snowboard, has announced the 2015-16 season calendar will feature seven World Cups and the addition of Asian and North American (NORAM) Cups for the first time. …
The calendar also features three Europa Cups, two new World Cup venues in Les Angles, France, and Trentino, Italy, and the new discipline of giant slalom.
Dimitrije Lazarovski, Head of IPC Snow Sports, said: “We are really excited about the coming season as we believe it will help us to cement the growth of snowboard, following a successful first World Championships under our patronage.
“We have added Asian and NORAM Cups to expand the depth of competition across the world and continue to grow the sport, giving athletes more opportunities to compete.
“It will also be the second full season of banked slalom, head-to-head format for snowboard-cross and the separation of the lower-limb impairment classifications, as well as the new addition of giant slalom to the Europa and new Asian Cup programme, so we really hope to accelerate to new heights.
“We are aiming to attract more athletes and countries as we build towards the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games where we will now have an incredible 10 medal events, a significant increase from the two we had at Sochi 2014.”
As has become traditional, the season gets underway on the indoor slopes at SnowWorld Landgraaf, the Netherlands, on 18 November with a Europa Cup closely followed by two World Cups on 19 and 20 November. All will be in banked slalom.
Athletes will get their first chance to test themselves in snowboard-cross at a NORAM Cup in Aspen, USA, on 4 February closely followed by a World Cup from 5-6 February also in Aspen.
They will then travel to Big White, Canada, for a snowboard-cross and banked slalom NORAM Cup (4 February) and a World Cup (10-13 February) in the same disciplines.
Then it is back to Europe to the site of the 2015 IPC Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain, on 4 March for a Europa Cup and a World Cup in snowboard-cross from 5-6 March.
From 6-7 March, riders will have the chance to try giant slalom for the first time at the slopes of the Yongpyong Alpine Centre, the venue for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
After hosting the Europa Cup Finals on 8-11 March, a World Cup in snowboard-cross and banked slalom will take place in Les Angles from 9-12 March.
The World Cup Finals in Trentino will take place from 17-18 March.
In 2014-15 French banked slalom world champion Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon won the women’s SB-LL1 overall World Cup, whilst Dutch rider and Paralympic and world champion Bibian Mentel-Spee secured the SB-LL2 title.
The USA’s Mike Shea also finished the season as the winner in the men’s overall SBLL-2 having won banked slalom gold at La Molina 2015.
Dutch youngster Chris Vos, 17, showed why he is the face to watch in the men’s SB-LL1, completing the season in which he won two world titles with the overall World Cup win.
Austria’s new banked slalom world champion Patrick Mayrhofer picked up the men’s upper-limb impairment crown.
The full 2015-16 calendar can be viewed by clicking here.