Cornwall BMX sees 500 rider weekend

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Cornwall BMX sees 500 rider weekend
Dominick Brodofske, number 748, looks off at the track as he and his 7-year-old competitors wait for the green light (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News photo).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall BMX Club, home to one of North America’s newest BMX tracks, saw a 500 rider weekend from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23 as competitors put the pedal to the metal during a Pre-Race, Provincial Qualifier and Gold Cup Qualifier.

“We had 98 racers on Friday, 245 on Saturday and 158 on Sunday,” said Dan Drouin, President of Cornwall BMX Club. “So that’s phenomenal numbers we brought into the city, with most riders coming from Ontario, Quebec and the North Eastern U.S. (including Boston, New York and Vermont).”

Drouin was totally blown away with the turnout, especially on Saturday. He said that he received nothing but positive feedback about the event, especially from competitors who traveled from out of town.

“We were selected this year to host a Gold Cup Qualifier,” said Drouin, who explained that only two locations in Ontario are selected every year to host that series’ qualifier competitions.

The Gold Cup series requires racers to compete in both preliminary competitions before they can compete in the championship, which will be held in New York this year. The winner will receive a gold plate to ride with and a trophy among other prestigious accolades. This year, Drouin believes that five or six local riders might attend the championship, including Carter and Julia Jackson, and his son Sam Drouin.

Lincoln Owens, who competed in the 10-year-old Novice category, and Eli Neiville, who competed in the 8-year-old Novice category, stood out as locals to watch this weekend. Both riders placed first during their Saturday and Sunday competitions.

“I think the volunteers really stepped up to make this event the success that it was,” said Drouin. “Obviously with the coordination with the City and Choose Cornwall, and all our sponsors, we have been able to make substantial improvements to the track this year. Cornwall is now a standout destination to come for BMX racing in the North East of the continent.”

Drouin also thanked the Rotary Club of Cornwall for donating $2,000 during the event.

“It’s my passion, I love the sport,” said Drouin, reflecting on the weekend. “After racing with all these people, we are a very tight knit community…even the riders who are younger and older…you just get to know each other and its such a cool group of people….I just love the sport so much and I’m invested in how these kids do.”

To learn more about Cornwall BMX, visit their Facebook page here.

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Jenni MacDonald, Dominion Lending, Cornwall, Ontario