dash for ziltch 

Dash for Cash slashed The Dash for Cash FIS slalom on Whistler Mountain has been cancelled due to television and sponsorship problems. "If the plug’s not pulled there’s not much of it left in the drain," Bill McNeney said Wednesday afternoon. "We had to have a drop-dead date because of accommodation and athletes’ commitments and so on and they weren’t able to give us an answer." "They" is Halva, the Italian media outlet that owns the international television rights to World Cup races, and APF, the umbrella group representing the European sponsors of many of the World Cup races. Halva and APF are still negotiating what level of television exposure the World Cup — and its sponsors — are going to get this winter. The issue goes far beyond the invitational slalom race the FIS had granted to Whistler. Halva, which recently bailed the Norwegian Ski Team out of its crippling debt, has moved aggressively onto the World Cup scene in recent years. It now appears they are expanding into the event side of things, McNeney says. "Donny (McQuaid) went to Switzerland earlier this month and got (Alberto) Tomba to sign for our race, and everyone else, but without any TV we don’t have any sponsors," he said, adding: "We thought that would be the easy part." McNeney, who acts as chief of race for the Whistler World Cup races, was meeting with Whistler Mountain Ski Corp. President Doug Forseth late Wednesday. Race organizers could still attempt to find sponsors for the event but McNeney says trying to put on an event when sponsorship is not locked up beforehand is risky. The Dash for Cash was to have been a one-day elimination slalom race involving the top 24 slalom skiers in the world and eight invited racers. The format would have divided the field into four groups, with half of the field being eliminated after each run. First place would have been worth $50,000. The race was granted to Whistler by the FIS because no World Cup downhill is scheduled for Whistler this winter. The World Cup will return to Whistler annually in December, starting next winter.

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