Over 40 racers from 10 countries will be in Sun Peaks this week with one goal in mind — to go as fast as they can on skis.
The 2014 Sun Peaks FIS Speed Skiing World Cup commandeers Headwalls ski run once again this year from March 5 to 8. The event, formerly known as the Velocity Challenge, is celebrating its 25th anniversary and its 12th year as an FIS sanctioned event.
Speed skiing is the fastest non-motorized sport on earth, regularly exceeding speeds of 200 km/h. In Sun Peaks, the record time at this event is held by local racer Kenny Dale at 177.21 km/h.
“Headwalls is simply too short to reach the world record speed. That being said, racers will still be reaching speeds over 175 km/h in around eight seconds — and slowing back down to zero in less time,” says local racer and event organizer Adam Earle.
The track, known as the Headwalls run, is unique in that it has a slightly convex shape, making it possible for skiers to become airborne during their run and creating an exciting, edge-of-your-seat atmosphere for both racers and spectators.
“This event is perfect for spectating,” says Brandi Schier, media specialist with Tourism Sun Peaks. “You can see the entire track, and the mid-mountain location means it’s easily accessed by both skiers and those on foot. Plus, you’re viewing something that’s completely unique in Canada and soaking in a true Sun Peaks tradition. There’s a great energy up there!”
Spectators can view the event from the Sunburst Lodge or at a designated area at the top of Elevation chairlift. Foot passenger tickets are available for $15 at guest services.
Don’t miss out on the only speed skiing event held in North America and the only FIS sanction world cup event outside of Europe. Training begins on Wednesday, March 5 while Thursday and Friday will see the world cup races happening between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 8 racers will attempt to break the Velocity Challenge course record.
“It’s steep, it’s icy, it’s fast and we’ve got the best in the world here eager to conquer the course,” says Earle.
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