Nelson snowboard cross racer Finnegan Megale recently returned from the Speed Nation Canadian Finals, where he won a bronze medal in the boys’ under-15 division. Below is a letter sent to the Star from Megale and his father Kevin about the experience.
Finn and I are writing to thank you, our donors, once again for your generous support for our GoFundMe effort. Special thanks especially to our sponsors Ripping Giraffe Boardshop and Retallack Resort Catskiing as well as B.C. Snowboard, who really came through for us.
We’d like to give you a final update on the success that you helped create.
Finn was the top B.C. snowboard cross racer in the U15 category this past season (for the second year), earning him a spot at the nationals. Last weekend, Finn and I travelled with the B.C. Snowboard Team to the Speed Nation Canadian Finals at Mount Tremblant, Que., for an exciting finale.
We were joined by two other B.C. racers and also our great coach, former World Cup boarder cross racer Matt Tunnecliffe. After a day of training on the course, the boys hunkered down to wax and tune their boards. Then they made our group a great meal of lasagna and salad, which we all enjoyed.
Race day dawned with spectacular bluebird skies. There were 16 race slots, and 20 racers from across the country, so the day began with qualifiers. Each racer took two runs solo through the course, and the group was ranked according to their best time. Four racers were dropped at that point, but all three B.C. riders made it through. Finn’s qualifying time was the third-fastest, behind the top riders from Alberta and the Yukon (the only racers who had bested him all season). That would prove to be foreshadowing.
Snowboard cross races are exciting. Racers run four-at-a time, and there is plenty of jockeying for position at every jump and corner. After each heat, the bottom two riders are dropped and the top two riders advance to the next heat. Everything is on the line with every race.
Finn won his first heat, and came second in his second heat. That brought him into the final, where he faced off against the same two riders from Alberta and the Yukon and a third from Ontario. In that last race the boys left it all on the course, pulling out all the stops and riding as fast as they could. It was thrilling at the finish line, and Finn came third winning the bronze medal.
The snowboard culture is so friendly and welcoming, it’s great to be part of it. All the boys congratulate and support each other strongly, and showed excellent sportsmanship. Finn learned a lot this past weekend, met a lot of great people, and had an amazing experience. At the end of it, he was stunned and honoured to be gifted with a beautiful race board donated by former Olympian Derek Wintermans, the board he raced in the 2010 Olympics.
Thank you all so much for your help. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Kevin and Finn