Bell launches World Record ski attempt

9th March 2016, by Abi Butcher

Olympic skier Graham Bell wants to ski at 170mph

Olympic skier Graham Bell wants to ski at 170mph

Ski Sunday presenter and British Olympian Graham Bell is developing jet-powered skis with car-maker Jaguar, in an attempt to become the fastest man on skis.

The World Record attempt, which will take place in Sweden in a year’s time, will require jet-powered skis and an aerodynamic, reinforced suit to protect Bell when he reaches planned speeds of 170mph.

The skier, who most recently presented the catastrophic TV series “The Jump”, has teamed up with Jaguar Land Rover for its support with engineers, facilities and expertise in aerodynamics.

“I approached Jaguar to become my lead technical partner due to their experience in aerodynamics and love of all things involving speed.  As lead technical partner in the attempt, Jaguar will provide the aerodynamic expertise to develop the Iron-Man-style suit I need, as well as helping me acclimatize to speed and external forces using high performance vehicles including the Jaguar XE AWD - designed to provide maximum traction in adverse conditions including snow and ice,” said Graham, who has already begun training for the record by ski-joring behind a Jaguar XE AWD at over 100mph in the Austrian Alps.

Graham Bell launched his challenge at the Geneva Motor Show last week. The record attempt will take place at Jaguar’s cold weather testing facility in Sweden in early 2017. Although there is no comparable record, the current World Downhill Speed Skiing World Record is currently held by Simone Oregone at 156mph.

Ian Anderton, thermal and aerodynamics manager, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As engineering challenges go it doesn’t get more unique than this, so the next few months are going to be very exciting.

“We kick-started the technical partnership by ski-joring with a Jaguar XE AWD to determine what factors should to be taken into consideration when designing his suit, such as wind, skiing position and chill - especially in minus conditions.

“In many ways, it’s very similar to the car design process, necessitating the perfect balance between aerodynamics, engineering and design for ultimate performance.”

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