BBC Ski Sunday presenter has a blast in wind-tunnel

Ski Sunday presenter and former British downhill-skiing champion Graham Bell visited the wind-tunnel at the University of Glasgow recently in preparation for a speed-skiing challenge to be broadcast on Sunday 15 February.

The programme, High Altitude on BBC2, follows Graham while in Vars, France, where was covering the World Speed-skiing Championships last month, as he attempts to become only the 12th Briton ever to exceed 200kmph in speed-skiing.

The BBC sports presenter, who represented Great Britain five times at the Winter Olympics, was filmed as he squeezed into a special skiing suit and was clipped into bindings in the wind-tunnel at the University’s Garscube Estate in the west of the city.

A huge fan was then powered up to generate a wind speed of 40m/s – equivalent to 140kmph – and data on wind resistance and drag collected by Prof Roderick Galbraith and Robert Gilmour, research technologist, of the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

They and Scottish speed-skiing record-holder Norman Clark and former speed-skier Miller Reid then gave Graham advice on how to improve his stance.

Prof Galbraith said: “The wind-tunnel simulation gave Graham a very good idea of the kind of wind forces he would be facing during his descent down the mountain, not to mention a feel for the low temperature caused by the wind-chill at such high speeds.”

Graham, who was a dominant force in skiing in the 1990s along with his brother Martin, is also the International Performance Director of the Ski and Snowboard Federation.

The film of Graham at the University will be broadcast on BBC2 on High Altitude at 10pm on Sunday, February 15.

For more information, contact Stuart Forsyth in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email

First published: 11 February 2009