Vikersund 2011, Friday night and Johan Remen Evensen sets a world record – 246.5 m this time – more than two football fields put length to length!
And it looks so effortless…
But why ‘ski flying’ and not ‘ski jumping’? Well, essentially, ski flying is a more extreme form of ski jumping. The skiers themselves use slightly modified equipment, the hills are built bigger, and the jumps are far more akin to “floating” through air, whereas ski jumping is more of a straight up-and-down off a ramp.
Vikersundbakken was officially inaugurated on Wednesday. Standing 135 m (440 ft) high off the ground, it opened this week in southern Norway and is now the world’s largest ski flying hill at 225 meters long, capable of jumps up to 250 m (820 ft) and beyond. Evensen set an immediate world record with his first jump – 243m. The previous longest jump ever made on a hill was by fellow Norwegian, Bjørn Einar Romøren’s whose record of 239 m was made at Slovenia’s Planica Hill.
“It’s just unbelievable. It’s a dream come true. It is difficult to ‘reset’ yourself after this. Maybe it is possible to jump five meters further on the hill and this record will probably be beaten” – said Remen Evensen to NTB. But it was he, himself, who jumped the ‘5 metres more’ (or nearly) to set another World Record of 246.5m.
The Guinness world record for the largest ski flying jump set by Romøren had stood since 2005.
Everson is what one calls a ‘late bloomer’. He only started ski jumping at the age of 23 in the 2008/9 season, but earned an immediate place in the Norwegian World Cup team following consecutive top-12 finishes at Granåsen. On 14th December 2008, Evensen finished on the podium for the first time in his career, when he finished third in a World Cup event.
But it was on 11th February, 2011 when he made the world’s longest ski flying jump with a 246,5 meters in the qualification round at Vikersund, that, at the age of 25, he won his first world cup competition in the main event.