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Oct. 28, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
St. Davids teen wins Wonderland thrill ride
Davin Warner was one of the first people to ride the new Yukon Striker roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland. (Melissa Warner Photos/Supplied)

A 14-year-old St. Davids boy literally had the ride of a lifetime last week.

Davin Warner was one of the first people to ride the new Yukon Striker roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland.

He was among 72 lucky riders who were drawn from among those who participated in a Wonderland fundraiser for SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

The campaign raised more than $34,000 for the SickKids Foundation and on April 17 Davin found out he had secured seat number 17. He raised $510 for the hospital.

The Yukon Striker is billed as the world’s longest, tallest and fastest dive roller coaster, with a 90-degree drop from 75 metres in the air.

“It’s a bit crazy,” Davin said in an interview. He’s a “coaster enthusiast,” as they call themselves, and riding Yukon Striker was quite a thrill.

Riders hang over a 90-degree drop, frozen in space for three seconds. “You can feel the suspense,” Davin said. And then you drop “straight down,” reaching speeds of up to 130 km/h.

Riding it once wasn’t enough, though. He went on it 10 times last Wednesday.

A Grade 8 student in French immersion at Prince Philip Public School in Niagara Falls, Davin was born with congenital hypothyroidism. He said riding the Yukon Striker was fun but helping out SickKids was important to him because he understands what many young patients have been through.

“I had tons of needles when I was younger. Tons of them,” he said. “I’m lucky because now I only need it once a year.”

The children at SickKids “are some of the bravest of any in the world.”

His mother Melissa said Davin is something of an expert on roller coasters and closely followed the construction of the Yukon Striker for most of the past year.

Coasters are one of his passions, said Davin, who is keenly interested in their engineering, components and manufacture. “Roller coaster design could be a career,” he said.

In addition to last week’s coaster preview, Davin who is a season pass holder, received a Wonderland day pass for raising more than $500.

So, he’ll be back at the park soon, riding the Yukon Striker with one of his friends.