Belfast Telegraph

Red Bull Crashed Ice 2015 comes to Belfast

Red Bull Crashed Ice – an extreme winter sports race – will be staged in Belfast in February, it was announced today.

Red Bull said that Belfast will stage one of the four stops of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Series 2015, on the grounds of Stormont Estate on 20th and 21st of February 2015.

Over 100 competitors will take part in the action-packed race on a heart-pumping assault course that has been specifically designed for Belfast.

The track will be positioned in front of Parliament Buildings and enjoyed by 40,000 spectators over two days in February.

Red Bull Crashed Ice is a world series in the winter extreme sporting event of ice cross downhill. It is a “four man full-contact, high-speed, downhill ice skating race along a 440 metre track, with steep turns and vertical drops, reaching speeds of up to 60 km/h in a timed battle, where the first to the bottom wins”.

The “energy and competitive spirit” of Red Bull Crashed Ice makes for a breath-taking spectacle and a hugely entertaining event for all, says the company.

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, 14 November, at 9am priced £11 for adults, £5.75 for children and £28 for a family of two adults and two children (including booking fee).  Tickets will be available through http://www.ticketmaster.ie/ and usual Ticketmaster outlets.

Belfast has been selected as one of the four stops to host this major sporting event and will be the only non-winter sports location on the tour.

Previous host countries have included Canada, USA, Russia, and Finland, countries where sub-zero temperatures and winter-long snowdrifts are norm.

The Red Bull Crashed Ice 2015 season will kick off in ice-cold Saint Paul, Minnesota (US) in January before moving on to Helsinki (Finland).  Belfast will welcome the third stop before the series moves to Edmonton (Canada).

Constructing the 440 metre long course is an epic undertaking in itself.  Expertise will be sourced from the four corners of the world, working in partnership with the local Red Bull team.

It will take three weeks to construct the world-class course on Stormont Estate.  Once construction is complete, the painstakingly slow task of setting the ice begins.

In order to ensure the ice surface meets the highest possible standard – the ice is gradually set over a period of five days, millimetre by millimetre. The event will be broadcast live around the world.

Christian Papillon, sports director of Red Bull Crashed Ice, said: “I am delighted that Belfast will host Red Bull Crashed Ice next February.

“The World Series has grown massively over recent years and in bringing it to a non-winter sports location such as Belfast, its popularity will only continue to rise with a new and excited audience.  The Belfast track will be one of a kind, a rhythm track that Ice Cross Downhill has never seen before, where athletes and spectators are sure to have an action packed experience.

“The track will also provide an opportunity for local riders to test their skill and earn a spot on the top Ice Cross Downhill World Championship, Red Bull Crashed Ice.”

Northern Ireland Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA said:  "I am delighted to have secured this global event for Northern Ireland.  It gives us a unique opportunity to showcase, not only the iconic image of Stormont to an international audience but also to promote Northern Ireland as a great place to visit, work and invest. 

“This outdoor family spectator event puts Northern Ireland on the world-stage by playing host to over 100 international competitors and the world’s media.

“There's no doubt it will bring a significant boost to our hospitality industry, in one of the quieter trading months of the year, and deliver benefits to the wider Northern Ireland economy.

“Red Bull Crashed Ice coming to the Stormont Estate is yet further evidence of Northern Ireland's growing reputation for staging world-class events.”

Red Bull says the growing popularity of Ice Cross Downhill has been fuelled in part by the “tremendous improvements in skill and experience among the top racers”, who train all-year round for the sport.

Huge crowds at all races have also significantly contributed to the sport’s growth – with over 225,00 spectators attending the four events of the 2014 World Series.

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