Inception of the World Cup in 1967, brought a
criterium for distinguishing the major ones,
from an array of other races. Yet, even before that year, the major races were easy to
distinguish from others simply by the strength of the competition, by the number of top ranked
racers. Label I-A was introduced in early 1960s to mark such races in the Calender, which
were then credited with 0,00 FIS points for the winner.
But even before the year 1958, when such FIS
introduced, racers knew which races
were more important than the others. From the beginning, in the year 1928, Arlberg-Kandahar
race was recognized as the most important. Its success encouraged Arnold Lunn to ask for alpine
races to be included in the yearly FIS races (later, after the WWII recognized as the World
Championships). So, from the year 1931, onwards such FIS races were (along the A-K)
considered as the most important of the year. Soon such status reached the International SDS
races at Grindelwald, as well as the Parsenn Derby at Davos, and a few other races. Thus, by
mid 1930s there was a score of races attended by almost all of the best racers.
After the war, it took a while untill such
re-emmerged, and by 1951 it was fully
re-established. It turned out that such a dense programme was hard for even the best to endure.
Never the less, a string of major races was established from early January, till mid March, which
is rather easy to recognize. So easy, that is actually possible to reconstruct, in retrospect, the
would be World Cup for the entire period between 1931 and 1966, with exception of the war time.
Of course, although top international races are
to distinguish from more local ones,
there is a grey zone, consisting of races where the contingent of international racers was not so
strong, which we may label as almost major races. Inter ski club diplomacy, some critical
political moments, as well as personal preference of some racers, provided for quite a number
of such “almost major races”. They were included into the List of Major races, but to distinguish
them from the undisputably major ones, these events were given only in bold letters, while for
the major ones, italics were added too.
Therefore, when searching for strongest races of
the year, you
will find their official names both
boldened and given in italics, while “almost major races” are just boldened
Besides the search on the year by year basis, in
this section it is possible to look for the Major races
with long tradition by the resort. Yet, these traditional races could not always count on strong
international competition, particularly in the early years. Such races are marked only by italics.