2010 Subaru Velocity Challenge comes to Sun Peaks Resort Mar. 3 to 6.
ADAM STEIN/Sun Peaks Resort
SUN PEAKS, BC — There won’t be any speeding tickets handed out as 40 of the fastest skiers on the planet reach speeds in excess of 175 km/h at the 2011 Subaru Velocity Challenge. North America’s only speed skiing event will rocket ahead Mar. 3-6 at Sun Peaks Resort in the B.C. interior with the support of a national sponsor, Subaru Canada, and local presenter, Zimmer Autosport.
“This is the one time each year at Sun Peaks where speed is not only encouraged, but rewarded,” said Adam Earle, Subaru Velocity Challenge Organizer. “While there won’t be any traffic police lining the course, race officials will be closely monitoring the safety of the racers as they get progressively faster over the course of this thrilling race. It is a wild sight watching skiers fly past at nearly 175km/h.”
With Subaru Canada and Zimmer Autosport backing the event for the third year and the event celebrating its 22nd anniversary, organizers expect to see growth in its local and international appeal.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be involved with the Velocity Challenge for a fourth year,” said Rob Zimmer, president of Zimmer Autosport. “We’re fortunate to have such a fantastic facility to host this world-class event and are excited to showcase our athletes, and to support our community and its events.”
Granted FIS World Cup status for the ninth year, racers from nearly a dozen countries will compete at the 2011 event.
“We start preparing the Headwalls course over a month before the race is held, building up snow at the start finish areas, as well as grooming the course with a winch-cat groomer specifically designed for grooming steep pitches like the Headwalls,” outlined Jamie Tattersfield, director of mountain operations for Sun Peaks Resort Corporation.
Plenty of air
“It’s a steep and challenging course with an average grade of 55% that requires special attention from the most experienced members of our team.”
The steep and treacherous Headwalls Speed Track also includes several rolls that will likely cause racers to become airborne during their controlled free-fall descent, creating some exciting moments for those watching the race.
“Imagine a ski racer wearing a Darth Vader-like helmet, a bright red skin-tight rubber suit and 240 centimetre long skis flying past you at over 175 km/h two feet off the ground,” said Earle. “Combine that with the sound the racers make as they cut their way through the air, and it becomes a spectacle not to be missed.”
The race may be viewed from the Sunburst Restaurant at mid-mountain and accessed by the Sunburst Express chairlift.