Skier Tawny Wagstaff destroys NZ speed record

27 Mar 2023

Old Boy Tawny Wagstaff (11820) has broken a 20-year-old New Zealand speed skiing record, recording a stunning 248.610km/h run at the Speed Skiing World Championships in Vars, France.

The Flower’s House Old Boy has broken the national record twice within four days, recording a speed of 233km/h, and then topping his record with 248.610km/h. He is now recognised as one of the fastest skiers in history.

Snow Sports NZ reports that for the Methven skier, the “speed is still sinking in”.

“Breaking the NZ record was a goal, but I still want to get as fast as 250km/h and above,” Tawny says. “I love the intensity and the purity of this sport.”

Tawny, who also coaches for Team Hutt, has been competing in the high-speed discipline since 2017, lining up in the top echelon on the international circuit.

The Vars track starts at the 2700m altitude, with a vertical drop of 400m over just 800m.

“To ski really fast and do it well is very hard, and to ski really fast you have to start high, which brings its own mental challenge,” Tawny says. “Thirty seconds is all it takes to complete a run. Dropping from the top of the track in Vars is another world.”