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Action, fun and horsepower at the PRINOTH Cup

Accompanied by nearly 250 snow groomer operators from throughout Europe, PRINOTH celebrated the end of the season in style in Racines, Italy on April 6th and 7th, 2017.

“The season is drawing to a close. We are one big family, so let’s celebrate the end of the season together”. This sentiment, expressed by PRINOTH President Werner Amort at the opening of the PRINOTH Cup, sums up the unique spirit and camaraderie within the branch. “We are living the passion for snow groomers, and that binds us together!” said Amort.

Regardless of whether a winter has been blessed by plenty of snow or not, every winter presents snow groomer drivers with unique challenges and their skill and acumen must be up to the task. These are exactly the attributes put to the test during the PRINOTH Cup. Nearly 250 snow groomer operators from South Tyrol, Northern Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and Slovakia rounded off their winter’s work with a friendly competition and the battle for the coveted trophy.

Fun was at the forefront throughout the proceedings and was palpable amongst both competitors and spectators alike. During the first game, “Swing the Tiller”, an all-or-nothing knockout round ensued. Swinging the tiller of the LEITWOLF with parallel offset to the side, competitors were only allowed to touch the few blue poles, which were located amongst the many red ones, with the finisher. Operators who were faster than their competitor advanced.

Those who were not fortunate enough to advance, got a second chance to prove their skill during the “Lucky Loser” game, whilst the winners moved on to the “Crazy Slalom” competition. Operating a HUSKY, the skilled operators were tasked with completing a specially designed slalom course, moving forwards and backwards on rough underground, and all this with an altered steering system. Concentration was the name of the game during the “Carry the Weight” event. Using the blade of the BISON X, competitors had to lift an oscillating weight on a chain and place it upon a wooden block with care and accuracy. Regardless of vehicle, LEITWOLF, BISON or HUSKY, each operator pushed the vehicles to the limit in the quest to prove themselves amongst colleagues.

“Let’s take advantage of the very last flake of snow and give it all we’ve got! It’s why were here!” said David Wiedmar of the Lenk Bergbahnen ropeway company in Switzerland. Pepi Furtschegger, fleet manager of Drei Zinnen AG, was equally enthusiastic. “I’ve been operating snow groomers for more than 40 years and I am still as passionate as ever. This is a fitting end to a great season!” He expressed his excitement not only in regards to the community of enthusiasts but also regarding the many innovations of the last years. “It’s remarkable to have seen the development of these machines throughout the years. The technical development in this branch has been gigantic!”

On both days the three winners were chosen. The main prize was an AUDI Driving Experience followed by a Microsoft Surface Tablet and a multifunctional Garmin Fénix 5 sports watch. The winners were:

Thursday, April 6th:
1. Florian Kronbichler // Kronplatz – IT
2. Andreas Hartmann // Skilifte Lech - AT
3. Roland Winkler // QParks - AT

Friday, April 7th:
1. Patrick Bachmann // Silvretta Montafon – AT
2. Johannes Biermaier // Silvretta Montafon – AT
3. Peter Obex // Ratschings - IT

The event was professionally moderated by Star Journalist Birgit Nössing of Eurosport. DJane Tanja Roxx, who has performed alongside big names such as Calvin Harris and David Guetta, got the proceedings rocking and set the mood amongst the operator community. And of course: The SNOWLICIOUS Food-Truck with Andrea Campi was also on hand to provide delicious food and refreshments.

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