Timmins toddler turning heads with her snowmobile skills
TIMMINS -- A young girl in Timmins is turning heads with her ability to operate a snow machine at the age of three.
Hannah Roy took a shine to snowmobiles when her dad took her to see them at dealerships. Not too long after she started walking, he decided to buy her an Arctic Cat ZR 120.
“When she was 18 months, me and my wife would stand a distance apart, she’d drive straight lines between us and we’d turn her around and send her back (and forth) and that’s how she got used to it," said Randy Roy, Hannah's father.
Roy said the snow machine maxes out at 18 kilometres per hour and has a remote shut off that allows him to cut her engine for safety reasons.
Her mother, Danielle, created a TikTok profile showing what Hannah can do with her sled. In one of them, Hannah described a couple of features her parents added to her snow machine.
Heated visor, remote shut off
“We added a heated visor and we added (a) remote shut off in case I go rogue," she said.
The remote shut off is similar to a remote vehicle starter. It allows her parents to bring the sled to a stop safely when necessary.
“She’s got the confidence and the skills so we’re not too concerned," Roy said. "So if she’s going to get in any trouble, we can shut it off before she gets injured.”
Hannah will turn four years old in a couple of weeks. She's too young to ride Ontario's trail system, but next year, she plans to start racing in Canadian Snowcross Racing Association events. She would have raced at the end of this month, but events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For now, she gets her training on a snow track her family made for her on their private property.
Another Timmins woman who's no stranger to snowcross racing is Angela Vacchino. She raced for 12 years and now she organizes events.
“She has so much opportunity with the way sleds are developing and they’re lighter," Vacchino said. "They’re more exciting so I’m looking forward to seeing her grow (into) this young racer that she wants to be."
She said children who learn about the sport at such young age have greater respect for the machines and will be more advanced than youths who take it up later.