Masters World Championships 2023
 

Masters World Championships 2023 - Seefeld, Austria

Why?

 

The MWC is what we live for as BMCCSA members and ski racers (apart from our armchair members only interested in the excellent Newsletter!), and Seefeld is one of the best places for it to be held. The MWC has been there twice before: 1988, when there were 1 480 participants, making it by far the largest-ever MWC, and then again in 2003, with 1 070 racers and a goodly number, 9, Brits. The tracks, in those days, were harder than they are now, with some tricky downhill 180o turns. Then, of course, we were back early in 2020 for the World Winter Masters Games, an excellent event on the more recent tracks, and the last time several of us were able to compete on snow.

 

Seefeld is surely one of the spiritual homes of cross-country skiing. It’s easy to get to, the tracks are excellent and are always kept in great condition, the race venue is within easy walking distance of most places within the town of Seefeld, and there’s plenty of accommodation at reasonable prices. If ever you’ve thought about racing at an MWC, this is surely the place and time to do so!

 

 

 

The iconic church, which is skied past on the way to the race start

 

Travel

 

Two main airports serve Seefeld: Innsbruck is the closest, at just 35 minutes from Seefeld with easy transfers, followed by Munich, at 165 km away but with regular train connections.

Travel by car from the UK is also very feasible, useful if you don’t want to be limited on what you take with you, and you should reckon on taking about one and a half days, with one hotel stop on the way, in each direction. If you can get three people in the same car, it’s more environmentally friendly than flying, apparently. A car is not really needed once you’re in Seefeld itself, though.

The tracks

 

I’ve selected the 7.0 km track because it’s fairly representative, in terms of profile, of the other tracks, and is the basis for most races in the younger age categories. The black dot is the start area (see below), at the bottom of the ski jumps near the biathlon stadium. There are a few new loops in the valley on the west side, but the track on the east side will be very familiar for anyone who’s skied in Seefeld, because this is what the normal World Cup racers user. All races at the 2023 MWC event will stay on the east side of the valley, which stays in the shade much longer into the day and which, therefore, avoids the potentially large temperature differences were they to use the tracks on the west side. I’m afraid that track profiles aren’t yet available.

The stadium

 

The stadium, see below, has been radically redesigned, the main advantage being that the start is now right by the stadium building and hospitality tent. So no more of that having to go through the tunnel to get to the start area.

 

 

 

The race tracks will use a relatively small amount of the total tracks in the Seefeld area. So anyone who just wants to come to ski, and watch the races, should find plenty of tracks for them to use.

When

 

The official dates for the event are from Friday 17th March until Saturday 25th March. You’ll notice that the whole event has been shortened by one day, as a result of both medium-distance races now being on the same day. The schedule is:

 

  • Friday 17th March: free training, registration

  • Saturday 18th March: free training, registration

  • Sunday 19th March: middle distance classic races morning; middle distance free technique races afternoon (30, 15, 10 km depending on age)

  • Monday 20th March: short distance classic races (10/5 km) morning, free races afternoon

  • Tuesday 21st March: rest day with cultural events

  • Wednesday 22nd March: relays

  • Thursday 23rd March: long distance free technique races (45, 30, 15 km)

  • Friday 24th March: long distance classic races

  • Saturday 25th March: departure

 

Some of us will be going for a full two weeks, so arriving on Sunday 12th March. The race tracks will be open, but there will be the normal charge for using them until the event starts on Friday.

 

Accommodation

 

Seefeld offers a very wide variety of accommodation, from AirBNB self-catering options up to 5* hotels. I’ve not yet booked anything (apart from one AirBNB place where I’ll be staying), but we have been warned by the Organising Committee that we should book sooner rather than later, in case Seefeld once again attracts the 1 400+ competitors it did before! You can make your own private bookings, of course, but it you want ‘official’ rooms at low-season rates, you need to book through me. So, please, send me details of your likely dates and general preference (self-catering, hotel, half-board, etc.) and I will do the necessary. Just remember that, as some people discovered two years ago when the MWC in Cogne was cancelled, it was only people staying in official places who received any refund.

 

You don’t commit yourself by telling me your dates and plans early, and things can always be adjusted a little nearer the time. But what you will do is ensure that you have a place to stay. Normal BMCCSA principles apply: if you want a room on your own, you have to pay for it, but if you end up in a room on your own because we have an odd number of skiers, the cost of the unused bed is shared between everyone.

 

Likely weather conditions

 

Average temperatures in March are something between -0 oC overnight and +10 oC during the day, with about 50 mm of snow during the month. Typical total accumulated snow depth is somewhere between 1.5 and 6 metres, but snow is guaranteed because of Seefeld’s snow-making capability, which means that they can produce enough snow to lay a 4 km circuit within just 76 hours. Remember, too, that much of the track remains in the shade until well into the morning, so track temperatures might remain a little lower than those above. Despite this, though, for us classicists, think about packing the klister and the skin skis!

 

Entry and deadlines

 

The entry form will be on the general website, http://www.mwc2023.com/ (see also link below) but, at the moment (June), registration isn’t yet open. Entries will close on the 26th February 2023. Remember that you can enter any three races; you don’t have to enter one of each distance. So, if you’re a nutcase, and fancy two 30 km races on Sunday, 10 km on Monday and away on Monday evening, knock yourself out!

 

Final words

 

If you want any further details, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you’re thinking about it, ACT NOW, and start thinking, dreaming, planning and training for a fantastic event.

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