From the Home Office in Durham, USA
(Oct. 16, 2020) – With the sliding sport season fast approaching, the reworked bobsled, skeleton, and luge schedules have been mostly updated. Currently there are no schedules available for either the IBSF Para Sport World Cup or the North American Cup, with NAC tentatively aiming for a February/March season if things start to turn around.
With what is currently out there for scheduling, the biggest difference that fans will notice is a significant increase in two-man bobsled races and an equal decrease in four-man races. The IBSF season opens with two weekends in Sigulda, which cannot handle four-man sleds. So both of those events will be double two-man races. From there, the IBSF World Cup moves to Igls for two weekends and four more two-man races.
Winterberg will host the fifth week of the schedule, and with it both the European Championships and the first four-man bobsled race of the season. From there-on, race weekends will look at little more familiar, with a two-man, four-man, women’s bob, and skeleton races, plus a few women’s monobob races mixed in for good measure. When the season is over, the IBSF World Cup will have held 12 two-man races and just four four-man races.
For the FIL World Cup, not quite as much has changed from the original schedule, save for the loss of the Lake Placid World Cup race and Whistler World Championships. The tour will still host six relays and four sprint races, plus their World Championships now moving to Königssee.
Both IBSF and FIL Artificial Track World Cup tours will finish their seasons on the Olympic track in Yanqing, China.
The FIL Natural Track World Cup will be in its traditional “six races and a championship” format, but with less stops than in previous years. Back on the schedule in its traditional December opening weekends slot is Kühtai, while Winterleiten will also host a race in December. The tour will then kick off the 2021 part of its schedule in Passeiertal for a double-race weekend before the Umhausen World Championships. Laas will also host a double-event weekend to round out the six race schedule. Most notably off the schedule for this year is Moscow after a disastrous European Championships last season that saw the track be greatly shortened due to track conditions.
For the IBSF Intercontinental Cup, the season will be three races shorter than the traditional eight-race tour, with double-race weekends in Königssee and Igls, bookending a single-race weekend in Altenberg. The European Cup schedules are also shortened, though there will be eight European Cup two-man bobsled races on the schedule. Women’s bobsled, men’s skeleton and women’s skeleton will all hold six races, while the four-man season will be just four races long.
Currently, save for the season opener in Igls for the FIL World Cup, start times for races are still mostly TBD.