Need for speed! British skier Jan Farrell on breaking World Record and making history

Lancaster-born speed skier Jan Farrell has become the fastest non-motorised man indoors in history, breaking the World Indoor Speed Record on Monday.

Farrell took on the daunting task of beating the previous Guinness World Record of 104.44kph, set Austrian Klaus Schrottshammer in 2011, at the 620m indoor slope in Amneville, North Eastern France.

The Madrid-based Brit reached a top speed of 104.956kph (65.2166mph) on his eighth run on the day to be crowned the fastest non-motorised man indoors across any discipline.

BEFORE… Jan just about to start his run to break the indoor speed skiing world record

A triumphant Farrell said: “Speed is a way of life  for  me,  and  during  the  periods  between  competitions,  I  think  these  record attempts are a great way of continuing to do what I like.

“They’re also a great way of promoting Speed Ski, the fastest non-motorized sport on earth and helping me in my aim to bring new young athletes to the sport.”

The record was the first of a planned seven world record attempts, the next being a sand dune descent in late October.

Jan had to adopt a unique preparation schedule tailored to the conditions of an indoor slope. 

He said:  “The most important thing has been adapting the equipment to this piste, as we’re talking about man-made snow, with a very large and abrasive crystal.”

The Amneville SnowHall was set up in 2006 on a former industrial site. Its size makes it unique: the tunnel housing the main piste is 620 metres long, 35 metres wide, and has a 90-metre vertical drop.

Temperature is kept at -2°C to -3°C. Another factor to take into account in indoor centres is that the braking distance is much shorter.

…AND AFTER! Jan looking very proud after breaking the World Indoor Speed Record

Jan said: “Normally in Speed Ski we reach 200 kph and have 200 to 300m for braking. This speed is unthinkable indoors, but despite skiing at over 100 kph here, we have to bear in mind that we only have 50m for braking.

“The timing was set so close to the end of the hall, that I finished braking practically in the nets that separated me from the solid wall at the bottom.”

There will be no rest for the 2014 World Cup winner, who was training at Chill Factore in Manchester last week, as he will now begin preparation for his sand dune descent in October.

With one record down, Jan now has six more to go within the next three years to achieve the epic target of seven world speed records.

Image courtesy of Jan Farrell via YouTube, with thanks.

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