SPEED SKIING NIGHT RACE MAKES HISTORY
14th February 2020
Last modified on May 15th, 2021
Imagine skiing downhill at speeds of more than 150kph – at night. The fastest men & women on the planet – including GB’s Jan Farrell – have just done it.
It was the first FIS Speed Ski night race in the history of the sport.
It took place in the Finnish resort of Salla and Britain’s Farrell achieved his best result in three seasons.
He finished 4th, clocking a speed of 155.776 kilometres an hour.
Taking part in the fastest non-motorised sport, the brave men and women donned their space-age style suits and aerodynamic helmets, along with skis designed to exceed 250kph, to race under the Arctic night sky.
Watch Jan’s run here:
“Psychologically it has been less difficult than I thought,” Jan Farrell said.
“Although we faced the unknown, visibility was good and I was able to get a good performance.
“Competing for the first time at night and on a track like Salla, has forced us to use ourselves to the fullest in every metre of the track and I am very happy to be among the 4 best in the world in this historic race.
“This experience has been a highlight for me, mainly because of how beautiful the night landscape looked, all illuminated with powerful spotlights; it was magical out there.”
The men’s race was won by Italy’s Simone Origone (158.77 kilometres per hour).
The winner of the women’s race was Sweden’s Britta Backland (155.51 kilometres per hour).
The night-time conditions posed particular challenges for the skiers.
There was far less visibility than they are used to, despite the spotlights.
The track was colder and harder, making it harder for them to adapt to track irregularities.
Farrell followed up his 4th place in the night race with an impressive 4th in the World Cup race, also held in Salla on Friday 14th February.
He recorded a speed of 158.59kph.
Simone Origone, once again, was the winner with a speed of 162.74kph.
Farrell is now hoping to go at least one place better and get on the podium in a World Cup event for the first time in a few years.
The Speed Skiing season continues until the end of April.
At an undetermined date, some time between the middle and end of March, there will be a World Record attempt at Vars in France.
More about GB Speed Skier Jan Farrell
* Overall FIS World Cup Speed Ski DH Champion 2014
* Top speed of 231.66kph (Speed Masters Vars 2015)
* 2x World Record holder
* Third fastest human in the world on downhill skis
* Speed 1 World Cup rank 2018: 5th
More PlanetSKI articles about Jan Farrell: