Photos & Musings: Other Riders

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Harry Everts

This photo shows Harry Everts, father of Stefan, checking out lines at the British GP at Farleigh, I guess about 1980-ish.

Harry was pretty much before my time, and so I never really knew him. I do have a good Harry story though.

It was late eighties, can't remember exactly when, and Harry had quit racing GPs full time and instead was just racing the lucrative French International circuit, picking up good start money each week in the twilight of his career.

I turned up at this particular race and Harry was also racing, on a 500 Honda. He would always get good starts and was still quite fast.

In the first moto I came up behind Harry, who had gated well and was in about 4th. I was finding it difficult to get past him on the tight circuit. We came up to a section of track that comprised a ninety degree right, straight into a short, steep downhill straight with an off-camber 180 left at the bottom. I gassed it hard around the outside of him at the top and overdid it a bit. Drawing level with Harry, and on the inside for the 180 left, I couldn't stop. My back wheel was doing all it could, virtually off the ground, and there was no way I was going to make the inside of the upcoming turn. Harry peeled in for the corner and I had no choice but to bump him, knocking him to the outside of the off-camber turn. He didn't crash, but thankfully he took a bit of my momentum and I was able to slot into the corner, make the pass and head off.

After the race had finished I was just putting my bike on the stand back at the truck when Harry cruised by through the pits. He glanced over and just wagged his Belgian finger at me twice.

In moto two I again came up behind Harry and once again he was proving to be very 'wide'. I was never a dirty rider, and after accidentally bundling him out in the first race I was doing my best to give him some space and not collide with him a second time.

We came to the downhill section again and Harry took the left line, guarding the inside for the forthcoming off-camber left. However, as he rode out of the turn at the top and headed down the hill he stood up straight and looked down at the back of his bike. 'A problem' I thought. 'Chain off perhaps?'. I moved in for the kill, blasting around my stricken rival on his dead bike. As I drew level, Harry glanced over to his right, looked me in the eye and gassed his fully working, and not-at-all broken Honda for the outside berm at the bottom, sending me sailing through the ropes.

'Hook, line and sinker', is, I think, the correct expression.

Harry Everts at Farleigh Castle in his factory Suzuki days Enlarge image