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California's Great America aiming for May 1, 2013 debut for Gold Striker roller coaster

Gold Striker construction image

California's Great America is continuing to aim to host the first riders on its new Gold Striker roller coaster on May 1, 2013, according to reports.

The Times Herald reports that the "First Rider Day" for the wooden coaster is still tentatively scheduled for the start of May. A full opening to the public should take place shortly thereafter.

Manufactured by Great Coasters International, Gold Striker will stand at 108-feet-tall and will hit a top speed of 53.7 miles per hour at the base of its 103-foot first drop. The ride's circuit will feature a series of banked turns and "airtime" hills, with the design being based on plans that were originally put forward several years ago before being dropped.

California's Great America recently announced that Gold Striker will feature the "world's longest covered initial descent tunnel on a wooden coaster". This has seemingly negated a feature that was billed as one of the ride's unique elements when it was first announced - the first drop that will wrap around the 200-foot Star Tower observation tower.

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