Speed skiing action set at Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Speed skiing action set at Snowmass

Ben Husband

Jeff Hamilton is feeling the need for more speed.

And he’ll get it next week.

The three-time World Speed Skiing champion (1995, 97-98) will begin his attempt to defend his title at the Red Bull U.S. Speed Skiing Championships at Snowmass beginning Tuesday, Feb. 23.

The event, which will conclude Thursday, Feb. 25, with the finals, will take place on The Slot run below Sam’s Knob lift.

The multi-day event will feature the most extreme skiing as 90 competitors from 14 different countries exercise their mastery of aerodynamics.

“I’m excited,” Hamilton said. “Aspen is such a racing town that I think it will be a success with the fans.”

This will mark the first of four stops on the U.S. Speed Skiing tour and the first stop on U.S. soil since 1991. The other three events include one in Switzerland and two in France, including the finals.

Racers will accelerate up to 125 mph and will earn points throughout the four-race series. The racer who has accumulated the most points at the end of the series will be crowned the World Champion.

The winner of next week’s race will be crowned the U.S. Speed Skiing champion.

Hamilton, who moved to Aspen last year, has traveled all over the world in his nine years of speed skiing. He was the first person to break the 150 mph barrier at 151 mph, which at the time was a world record. The record was broken by Philippe Billy of France, who hit 151.5.

The event will also introduce the fastest women in the world as the U.S.’s Carolyn Curl and France’s Karine Dubochet will compete for the U.S. and World titles.

Darrin Powell of Australia, the fastest snowboarder in the world, who has been clocked at 120 mph, will be on hand as well as speed bike racers.

More information on the event is available by calling Hamilton Sports at 925-1200.