Trailblazers 72th Annual Banquet
Held at the Carson Events Center, Carson, California
April 23th, 2016
Tom White presents the awards from the Tom Cates Bike Show.
Nick Johnson of Hagerty Insurance presents Carry B with best of show. Sonny Nutter's Triumph was peoples choice.
Clyde Williams' Trackmaster-Norton was best race bike. Kelly Owen's Penton received the Going The Distance Award from Hagerty. Brad Owen accepted the award.
A Toast to Tom Heininger
The Trailblazers Toast Tom Heininger, Founder of Webco. Jeff Sam and Willie Tolishi make the presentation.
Tralblazers President Don Emde and MC Keith Mashburn present the 2016 Trailblazers Hall of Fame inductees.
As young boys, Mike Bast and his brother Steve watched their Uncle Harlan race off-road and flat track events. Mike, who was born in Los Angeles in 1953, started riding when he was nine and racing when he was 10. Mike’s biggest hero was Dick Mann, whose career he hoped to emulate. Inspired to become a champion, Mike raced TTs and scrambles around Southern California. By the time he was a teenager, Mike was also becoming a top short track racer. His growing skills on the short tracks would soon have a profound effect on his career.
Dan Haaby was born in North Dakota in 1945, but grew up in Northern California. When he was eight his father bought him a 1948 Harley 125, then his first race bike was a 1954 Tiger Cub upon which he started scrambles racing. He turned pro in 1963 and with his 200cc Bultaco headed for the Ascot season opener and managed to win the Novice Main event. Later Dud Perkins asked Dan if he wanted to team up with a first year expert named Mert Lawwill, and ride his Harley Sprint. Dan accepted and finished the year second in points at Ascot, winning 8 out of 12 Main events including the California State Championship.
Bruce Ogilvie was born in 1953. His father, Don, was an avid off-road rider and Bruce’s happiest memories were of riding through the desert with his dad. As Bruce grew he graduated from his first bike—a Tohatsu 50—to larger and faster motorcycles and began racing in the hotly contested District 37 Desert Series. By the time he was a teenager Bruce was one of the top riders in the series. Accepting the Award are daughter Isabella, wife Marcia, and son Nick Ogilvie.
One of this year’s Trailblazers Hall of Fame inductees is Southern California native Wayne Rainey. When he was about six-years-old, his dad fixed him up with his first mini-bike and it was full speed ahead from there. Rainey started in amateur racing in Southern California, then came the professional license that allowed him to further develop his skills at Ascot Park and other dirt tracks from coast to coast.
Steve Storz was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1950. As a youngster, he was always interested in high performance machines, particularly hot rods. Then his best friend in High School bought a Triumph 650 and let Steve ride it. That's all it took to get Steve hooked! He immediately purchased his own motorcycle. As much as he loved riding his Triumph, Steve enjoyed tinkering with it even more. Soon he was working on his friend’s bikes and he got the idea that being a mechanic could lead to a career in motorcycling.
The late Gilles Vaillancourt, founder of Works Performance, will be one of two posthumous Trailblazers Hall of Fame inductees. Vaillancourt was born in 1940 in Montreal, Canada. Always interested in machines, Gil got hooked on motorcycling as a teen and started working in a local shop. When he was 20 years old his family moved to Santa Monica, California, and he chose to ride his Royal Enfield twin the entire way from Canada. He worked for Triangle Motorcycles while studying welding, tool and die, and pattern making at Santa Monica City College. Among his other skills, he was a concert violinist and played in the Santa Monica City College Orchestra. Accepting the award is Debbie Vaillancourt
Lucy Flanders Award
Susie "Sidecar Susie" Ellsworth
The Trailblazers 2016 Dick Hammer Award
Former Dick Hammer award winners Skip Van Leeuwen, Kenny Roberts, Dennis Mahan, Sammy Tanner, Ralph White, Everett Brashear, and C.H. Wheat.
Dennis Mahan and Hammer Award Winner Kieth Mashburn
Trailblazer Hall of Fame Members
Tom Cates Bike Show Page
Trailblazers Official Website
Trailblazers Banquet Index Page