Speed Skiing – Great year for rookie Karl O Dwyer

Irish speed skier Karl O Dwyer finished the season 24th  in the world cup. This is a fantastic result for his first year competing at the top level. The sport is dominated by teams from Sweden, France, Italy and Austria.


Karl began speed skiing two years ago when there was an open event in a ski resort named Sun Peaks Canada, where he was on a working holiday visa in a near by resort and decided with no race experience to rent all the equipment and sign up to compete at the speed skiing world cup in the lower category of speed 2. Ths did not turn out well however as the lack of experience was made very evident when Karl crashed out into the side netting on his final run doing a speed of 143.8kph


The following year he competed at the same event and had great success with a 5th and 6th place finish in the two World Cups and a new top speed of 153 kph. After competing in the Speed 2 category he was allowed move up to the Speed 1 category for 2019.


Karl O’Dwyer from Dunboyne Co. Meath biggest achievement came at the World championships in Vars France  the fastest slope on the planet this march . He recorded an amazing speed of 195.33 Kph making him the fastest Irish skier ever recorded.

This is the same speed as falling from a plane at terminal velocity. He finished the competition in 33rd position.


Karl is the first Irishman to compete at this sport and has no intentions of slowing down. He feels he will easily break the 200 kph and join the infamous ‘200 club’ next year with some more races under his belt.

He said “the speed feels very comfortable, the slowing down and getting to the track is the hard part”

After one season Karl admits he has a lot of work to do to become more competitive in the sport with modifications to his equipment and more hours on his skis. “There is a fine balance with speed skiing, the flatter you keep your skis the faster you go, but to ski on the flats your opening

yourself up for a massive amount of risk, there is more movement in the skis and the chances of a crash are much greater. This only comes with experience.”


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