North America’s only World Cup speed skiing competition wrapped up at Sun Peaks Resort on March 7 with a new record set for the traditional Velocity Challenge. The previous three year record held by local Kenny Dale of 178.22 kilometers per hour was broke by Italy’s Simone Origone with a speed of 179.57 kilometers per hour.
“It was exciting. Everybody was looking to see it happen,” said Scott Coleman, event organizer. “The prize money for doing so was up and Simone walked away with $2,000 in his pocket.”
Throughout the week of World Cup competition, 23 competitors from around the world took on the Headwalls course. According to Coleman, this week’s event might be the first time an international three time World Cup has been held as the Sun Peaks Velocity Challenge & FIS Speed Ski World Cup held three separate World Cup races throughout the week.
“It is a very unique group of individuals. There are only 200 registered speed skiers in the world and the best of the best were here this week and come here every year,” said Coleman.
This year’s event brought out the top-ranked World Cup circuit athletes including men’s division leader Simone Origone and women’s leader Valentina Greggio.
Greggio took first place in all three races progressing from a time of 164.35 kilometers per hour to 165.72 on day three.
In the men’s Speed 2 category Switzerland’s Michel Goumoens earned first place all three days with the fastest time of 155.13 kilometers per hour. Canadians Brad Wallinder and Rydr Strobl both had top five finishes throughout the competition; Wallinder finished with two silvers and bronze placing.
“The racers were happy they got lots of runs in and three completed world cups leading the racers onto Sweden now,” said Coleman.