In October 2011, after the announce by Hoka Hey organizers Jim and Beth Durham, that all 11 contenders were disqualified (those who finished the 14,000 miles from Arizona to Nova Scotia, Canada inside the allotted time) and that nobody would receive the promised prize money (including $250,00 cash and a $40,000 motorcycle for the top winner) I interviewed William Barclay, already winner of the 2010 edition and again the 1st one to go through the finish line in 2011. At that time, Barclay gave me very little information about his conflict with the organizers, but promised to contact me first as soon as he could talk…
Yesterday, Barclay contacted me and gave me with a copy of the lawsuit he just filed in District Of Arizona against “The Medecine Show Land Trust” (James G. Redcloud, Elizatheth Durham) and E.B. Chester (Harley-Davidson Mesa, AZ) for breach of contract, breach of covenant, intentional interference with contract, intentional interference with business advantage, slander, libel, conspiracy. He is requesting a jury trial and asks the defendants to pay him a total of $5.29 million in damages, plus attorney fees and court costs. I attach a full PDF copy of the lawsuit at the end of this article.
I summarize the allegations made by William Barclay in this lawsuit:
Will Barclay was the first entrant to reach the appointed destination within the allotted time. Organizers refused to turn over the 1st place prizes, $250,000 in cash and the promised $40,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle (plus $10,000 in cash that the winner’s home dealership was supposed to receive.) Barclay was disqualified for failing a polygraph test that he actually passed. Barclay states that he passed the polygraph (as confirmed first by the person who administered the test and by Jim Durham) but that later at the “awards ceremony”, organizers accused him, without any justification, of having used “countermeasures” (techniques to control breathing and heart beats during interview) to defeat this polygraph test.
Other allegations include the fact that one of the defendants, E.B. Chester, owner of Harley-Davidson Mesa (starting point of 2011 Hoka Hey Challenge), conspired with the organizer to fabricate reasons to disqualify him. E.B. Chester was in charge of designing the 2011 route, participated to the Hoka Hey and entered into a rage because Will Barclay was ahead of him during the ride although Barclay believes Chester was driving on some portions at speeds well over 110 mph (Chester ended up crashing his motorcycle and breaking one leg!)
Although Barclay won the competition and passed the administered polygraph test, days later on October 9, 2011 just before the awards ceremony, the Durhams, Chester and Ribacoff (who administered the polygraph) declared to the other 10 contenders (those who completed the challenge inside the allotted time) that Will Barclay was disqualified. They would have publicly stated to the other participants that William Barclay was a CIA Operative with training in polygraph countermeasures who had deceived the organization both during Hoka Hey 2010 (when he won $500,000) and Hoka Hey 2011. In the lawsuit, Will Barclay affirms that he is not a CIA Operative nor that he has ever been trained in polygraph countermeasures…
“I waited for a long time for tracking and other data that was promised to me by Jim Durham. Jim told me at the 2011 “awards ceremony” that he had paid the other riders, and that he would pay me too. I was not present when 8 other riders accepted $10k and a trophy. I was told that I would be paid. Empty promises turned to threats. Over the months that followed, the slander and conspiracy by the defendants was revealed to me by other riders and Hoka Hey insiders. I needed to clear my name and claim what I earned.”
As you can see, the Hoka Hey controversy is not going away, but intensifies with the honesty of the organizers now being challenged in a court of law front of a jury. A full read of the lawsuit is very “entertaining”… The 2012 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge edition is scheduled to start on August 5th. Will this lawsuit forever prevent the Durhams to organize again their motorcycle event? I would be inclined to think so, either the 2012 edition being canceled or being the last one. You can read the full complaint by clicking on William Barclay Versus Hoka Hey Challenge And Chester. (to follow)