According to a report on Cyril Huze’s blog, Hoka Hey winner Will Barclay is suing the controversial rally’s organizers for $5.29 million.
In its 2010 and 2011 editions, the Hoka Hey challenge took riders on a rally that was thousands of miles long, crossing the U.S. and ending in Canada, with the promise of a big cash prize for the winner, as well as a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It’s running again this year, but not entering Canada.
Riders were required to camp by their motorcycles (only Harley-Davidsons were allowed to enter) and make all checkpoints; they were also required to obey traffic laws. Critics accused the rally’s organizers of all sorts of things – they called it an illegal road race, or even an outright scam.
Will Barclay won the Hoka Hey challenge both years; he claimed to have collected a his prize money the first time around, but things went downhill fast last year, when the event’s organizers disqualified all the top finishers, and said they wouldn’t pay up. Eventually, some finishers supposedly ended up with payouts, but the organizers wouldn’t give the $250,000 to Barclay.
According to Hoka Hey’s bigwigs, Barclay failed the lie-detector test at the rally’s end. He says he passed, they say he beat it, due to CIA training, Barclay claims. So, they never paid up.
Barclay may have gotten mad at first, but now he’s launched a lawsuit that should get even as well. He’s suing the rally’s organizers (Jim and Beth Durham), as well as another contestant (E.B. Chester, owner of the Harley-Davidson dealership that served as the rally’s starting point), claiming they all conspired to cheat him out of his prize money.
In his lawsuit, Barclay is claiming that Chester competed in the rally after helping to design the route; he also says Chester wasn’t happy that Barclay got to start ahead of him, and that Chester himself ended up crashing out of the rally that he supposedly helped design. He also says he isn’t a CIA operative, and has never received training in polygraph countermeasures.
Of course, none of this has been proved in court, but it seems this wacky saga isn’t over yet …