Giddy up! Maverick will debut Saturday

SANDUSKY Cedar Point's newest roller coaster will make its debut Saturday. The first 3,000 riders wi
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Cedar Point's newest roller coaster will make its debut Saturday. The first 3,000 riders will receive a free Maverick T-shirt.

The much-anticipated ride was originally scheduled to open May 12 -- the day the park opened for the season -- but was delayed after tests revealed the ride's trains received an excessive amount of stress on three sections of the track.

Park officials estimated the ride would be ready by early June.

But only two weeks later, the ride is ready to greet guests for the holiday weekend.

Three sections of the track were removed and replaced this week with newly fabricated tracks made in Europe.

The ride's original design -- a heartline roll that would flip riders upside down -- was replaced with an "s-curve" that will keep riders above the track as they quickly change direction from right to left. Park officials said the ride's new design helped eliminate the pressure on those sections of track.

"The ride's been running today," park spokesman Bryan Edwards said Thursday afternoon. "The ride manufacturer finished testing today ... (it's) just in time for the holiday weekend and everything just happened to fall into place."

The coaster's delay halted an auction for Maverick's inaugural seats benefiting the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The local chapter and Cedar Point conducted the auction for thrill-seekers who wanted to be among the first 72 people to ride the $21 million roller coaster. The chapter extended the auction after the ride was delayed until 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The top bid came from a Michigan man who bid $2,525. Along with the first ride, he and other bidders will receive a continental breakfast, commemorative medallion and complimentary admission to the park.

Ron Rude, the executive director of the Firelands Red Cross, said the top 72 bidders have a guaranteed seat on the Maverick as long as they can make it to the park Saturday.

The organization received about $32,000 in bids. All the proceeds benefit the Red Cross.