140kph Camcat keeps pace with skiers for the ORF

The premiere of the Camcat High Speed system at the FIS Alpine Ski world cup in Schladming/ Austria has proved for Hans Peter Trost, sports manager at ORF TV, that the final rehearsal for the Ski World Cup 2013 in Schladming has been absolutely successful, writes Birgit Heidsiek. The spectacular footage which was delivered by the Camcat, crane and super low motion cameras sparked not only the FIS and the Austrian Ski Association but also the colleagues from international TV stations. The ORF seems to be ready for the World Cup.

The Austrian television audience was able to watch really up close Marcel Hirscher’s winning tour at the giant slalom which earned him a victory at the whole world cup. It became possible to see the ski runners close to the action with Camcat High Speed, an advanced, fully remote controlled cable camera system designed to run between two fixed points up to 1000m apart at speeds of up to 140kph. Developed in the Nineties, the Camcat system has been used at huge events as the Four Hills Tournament, the New Year’s Concert or Formula 1. For the first time, two Camcat High Speed systems were used in Schladming to shoot innovative pictures with ‘a flying camera’.

The planning and preparations for the application of the camera guide rope system started in collaboration with the ORF in spring last year. Ten days before the first running the engineers of the Camcat system began with the construction. For this purpose, three 14m high, one-tonne aluminium towers were flown by helicopter on the mountain. Also as partners involved were the local organizer Panaibahnen and the FIS.

For the Men’s Downhill a ropeway was installed at the roof of the Planaibahn while the second system for the Ladies’ Downhill was used directly in the course. The parts for it were brought in position by a steamshovel which had to go across barely passable wintry forest streets. The longer distance – about 500 meters – was set up at the Ladies’ Downhill, along the so called ‘Wellentals’. The second distance – about 450 meters – run along the Gentlemen’s Downhill.

For the first time at the FIS Alpine Ski world cup tracking shots could be made above the race course. The Camcat system is certified by German based TUV Health and Safety Group, one of the strictest industrial safety authorities in the world. Thanks to the security of the Camcat system the camera ropeway was allowed to cross the pistes during the downhill race.

The Camcat High Speed System can run at up to 140kph. whereas the camera buggy is able to accelerate from 0 to 100kph in only 2.8 seconds. The camera buggy runs on two independent guide ropes made of heavy duty synthetic material and can accept a range of payloads. Under the Camcat buggy hangs a 5-axis spinning top-stabilized camera head with an integrated HD camera which provided excellent image quality of the ski runners.


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