ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – It was so cold Thursday that officials had to delay the start of time trials at the Red Bull Crashed Ice Championships in St. Paul.
The cold temperature caused chippy ice, making conditions difficult and too dangerous for the competitors. They started action Thursday night, and with slightly milder weather Friday the event is back on as scheduled in downtown St. Paul.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to attend the event, and there’s a full slate of events on tap. One local skater who finished third in the U.S. time trials said the start of the course is intimidating and almost indescribable being at the start. Skaters tend to calm down after going through the course one time and making it the whole way.
About 100 American racers did time trials Thursday, with the top 32 advancing to Friday’s elimination rounds. This year’s course is more challenging as it’s longer and features a steeper start than last year. The start is four-and-a-half stories tall, which is 18 feet higher than last year. There’s also more jumps and obstacles around the course after skaters get off to about a 40 mile per hour start. The competition has also gotten better from last year, making it that much more difficult for every skater.
Time trials for the international racers are on Friday and later on, the field will be whittled down with elimination heats. The action starts around 12:45 p.m. and goes to about 2:30 p.m. There’s also a team challenge between U.S. and international skaters from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday.
The event is free and there are also free shuttles to Red Bull Crashed Ice.