The Speed Masters is not an event for the fainthearted. Played out on the world’s fastest ski race track during the recent Easter weekend, there were some absolutely phenomenal speeds being recorded. While the likes of you and I might feel like we’re hooning it down the runs when we’re on our budget snow holidays, these skiers take it to the next level.
The Speed Masters is an annual event, held the ski resort of Vars, France alongside the regular World Cup calendar events. The reason Vars holds the event is because the course there is considered to be the fastest around. To give you an idea of its potential, Italian skier Ivan Origone recorded the World Record here, two years ago, on the 26th March, clocking a speed of 158.424mph!
Unfortunately for the spectators and the racers, the fresh snow and bad weather that occurred in resort this year hindered any attempts to beat the record.
Jan Farrell, who represents the UK, commented following the race: “My runs were good and stable, I felt solid every time, and it has given me confidence for next season. I’ve been speed skiing for eight seasons now, but I’ve only ever gone above 200kph (124.274mph) around a dozen times, it’s not something you can train easily.
“I’m satisfied with the result, finishing 8th in the most difficult race of the year is a good achievement, and I feel I’m ready to attack at higher speeds, rather than concentrating only on having safe and solid runs. I have my eyes set on the podium on my home track this Saturday at our World Cup finals with speeds expected to peak at 200kph.
“It was a tough track. My friend and fellow racer Juanki Sanchez had a crash at over 200kph, although he almost managed to save it which was truly incredible. He’s not an overthinker; I’m confident he’ll be back stronger and continue his racing career without any problems”.
Today, the racing kicks off again in Grandvalira, Andorra on the renowned Riberal slope in Grau Roig from April and will run until April 7th where our man Jan will be aiming to advance his goal of exceeding his current 5th rank world placing in what is the last World Cup race of the season.
When discussing the future, Farrell said: “I feel that I’ve got the speed now since improving dramatically this season and I feel completely recovered after my crash at 216kph (134.216mph) in 2016. I’m attacking and looking for speed on every run. My equipment is optimised for World Cup speeds of up to 200kph, but I feel that my skiing is solid and I’m able to attack at higher speeds too. My goal now is to get as close as possible to 250kph – I want to go fast”!
Let us know if you make it over to Grandvalira; we’d love to know what you think of the speed racing!
Image: Perarneandersen under Creative Commons.