Meath's Karl O'Dwyer this week hit the high speed of 195.33 kph on the slopes of Vars in France to officially become the fastest Irish skier ever recorded.
He is also - according to Speed Skiing Ireland - regarded as the fastest "non-motorised man" ever in Ireland with his recorded speed said to be similar to someone falling from a plane at "terminal velocity."
O'Dwyer finished the competition in France in 33rd position from a field of 48 professional speed skiers. The Dunboyneman was competing against some of the top speed skiers in the world in France in a competition that was part of a series of events he is taking part in this year.
The competitors on slopes like Vars use skis 238cm long with "an aerodynamic helmet and rear spoilers" made for the backs of their legs. Earlier this year in an article that appeared in the Meath Chronicle Karl O'Dwyer - who runs a bar and cafe with his father Billy in Dunboyne - outlined how he expects to spend in the region of €11,000 this year competing at the various events around Europe. So far he has competed in Swedan and France with the World Cup in Andorra on Wednesday 10th April high on his list of priorities.
His aim is to break the 200kph mark and join the '200 club.' O'Dwyer began skiiing two years ago when there was an open event in the ski resort of Sun Peaks in Canada where he worked and loved for a time. With no race experience he rented the equipment and signed up to compete in the event.
He competed in the speed skiing World Cup in the lower category of speed two. This did not turn out well, however, as the lack of experience was made very evident when he crashed into the side netting on his final run doing a speed of 143.8kph.
The following year he competed at the same event and was far more successful with a fifth place finish hitting top speed of 153kph. He was subsequently allowed to moved up to category one.
"People might think I love speed, I don't, it's only on skis, I don't like to go fast in a car. I feel comfortable on skis, if someone started speeding in a car I would be holding on for dear life," O'Dwyer said in an interview with the Meath Chronicle that appeared early this year.