Lancaster ski star celebrates success in first of seven world record attempts

Jan Farrell celebrates breaking the World Indoor Speed Record.
Jan Farrell celebrates breaking the World Indoor Speed Record.

A Lancaser ski star has set a world record – the first of seven he aims to beat.

Jan Farrell is now the fastest man on skis indoors after clocking 104.956kph in Amneville, France, on Monday.

The Madrid-based speed skier announced at the end of last year his plan to beat seven Guinness World Records over the next three years with the World Indoor Speed Record the first to be ticked off the list as he surpassed Austrian Klaus Schrottshammer’s mark of 104.44kph set in 2012.

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-motorised sport on earth and helping me in my aim to bring new young athletes to the sport.”

The new record means Farrell, born in the city he still considers home before moving to Spain as a youngster, is now the fastest non-motorised man indoors of any discipline.

The Snowhall at Amneville, one of the largest indoor ski centres in the world, was used as the location.

The centre, opened in 2006, is 620 metres long, 35 metres wide, and has a 90-metre vertical drop.

Farrell trained and prepared equipment on Sunday before setting the new best time at the eighth attempt on Monday.

He said: “Normally in speed ski we reach 200kph and have 200 to 300m for braking.

“This speed is unthinkable indoors, but despite skiing at over 100kph 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”.

Born to a Czech mother and an English father in Lancaster, Farrell combines his career as a top sportsman with that of an entrepreneur.

As well as trying to develop and expand his sport he also plays an active role in various federations and acts as a mentor to other young business people.

Farrell finished the recent World Cup year sixth in his first season in the S1 category having won the competition in 2014 on downhill skis.