Sun Peaks, B.C., scheduled the return of the Velocity Challenge for this winter. This FIS World Cup Speed Skiing event is one of the longest running speed skiing events in the world. It's also the only event of its kind in North America.
The speed skiing event started 20 years ago as a local grassroots ski race. The 2009 Velocity Challenge sponsored by Subaru will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event as it brings 50 speed skiers from ten countries together for mach speeds.
"Not only will the fastest skiers on the planet be here at Sun Peaks," said event organizer Adam Earle, "but we'll also be showcasing some of the finest automobiles in the world around the resort. You never know, you might even see a shiny new Subaru at the top of the mountain."
This winter marks the seventh year of this event being the only FIS World Cup Speed Skiing event outside of Europe. Spectators can watch the world's fastest skiers Mar. 4-7 as they fly down the steep, icy and treacherous Headwall Speed Skiing Track. Skiers will accelerate from 0 to 175 kilometers per hour in a mere seven seconds.
"Our track is known in the speed skiing circles as one of the world's most difficult tracks to compete on," added Earle. "While most speed skiing tracks in Europe are smooth and concave allowing racers to see the whole track during their run the Headwall Track at Sun Peaks is convex and has several rolls in it. This basically means that racers only see the first 50 meters of the track before it falls away. It gets pretty wild when racers hit a blind knoll at 175 km/h; it almost becomes a free fall."