Dale Holmes just sent me over this photo that I've never seen before of myself (#1) chasing Andy Patterson at Beek en Donk back in 1982. Back then we would race in Belgium, Holland and France on a pretty regular basis. Our ride was a big Mercedes 608D van that my dad fitted out with blacked out windows decades before any rapper had them in a G-wagon ;) Then we needed seats, my dad said how about I ask at the airport (we airfreighted everything in back then as it was so cheap), and I said don't be daft, but fair enough one day he came back with the van full of real airplane seats that reclined and had flip down trays. So we were rolling smooth, baby.
In '82 we probably raced in Europe more than any other year but I can't remember this race at all or being in a moto with Andy Patterson, must have been Superclass. The tracks were always better than what we had in the UK and were comparable to America. The Dutch had BMX from 1978 - a good couple of years before us and were well organised with Gerrit Does and the IBMXF and his brother in law the famous motocross rider Pierre Karsmakers importing bikes. In fact Gerrit, who has made an amazing job of documenting BMX in Europe, has come up trumps with details of this Beek en Donk race.
Love those white JT Racing pants, I must have ditched the Legaitors that day, the most impractical of all BMX fashion accessories. Even though we were the Max importer, I still couldn't help myself wearing JT because it was just so cool. Helmet is a custom team painted Premier, no gloves as the fashion dictated. Wizard plate.
July 17th. and 18th., the 1st I.BMX.F "Open European Championships of BMX" at Beek & Donk - Holland.
Under leadership of its club chairman Jan Leenders the organization was of high standard. Over 5.000 visitors/spectators in 2 days that was just great and unprecedented. Also riders from the USA took part: Charlie Litsky, Andy Patterson, Kathy Schachel and her brother John Schachel, Mike Salido and others.National TV was present, bicycle trial demo's by Spanish specialist Andreu Codina, and all kinds of other activities were organized. Number of entries: 750 and number of countries present: 6. AVRO TV, one of the leading public TV stations at the time, broadcasted the event on TV on August 23rd. 1982 (national TV).
UPDATE: Gerrit just sent me this over re the race. Thanks Gerrit!
Additional info .... As General Secretary of I.BMX.F., actually the initiator of I.BMX.F., I promoted very strongly within our group of countries involved in the I.BMX.F. to get the permission of organizing the 1st. ever OPEN European BMX Championship of 1982. I wanted it to be an OPEN event, to be able to get riders especially from the USA to compete, purely for promotion here in Holland and Europe. I was able to select a very good club of which I knew they could get the job done, which they did. Because of my relations with the AVRO BMX TV Series, one hour of action was broadcasted by the AVRO organization. Overall I believe it was a great success as first EC event in Europe. It took a couple of years before the same level of organizing such an event was met and that was always my intention, to show how to organize and then hoping other organizations in other countries would try to improve what we did. Just like sport itself, trying to be the "rabbit" leading the way to challenge others to do better ..... you know what I mean? Hope all of this is enough for your BLOG Alan.
You can see a full report and all results here on the page where Gerrit documents 1982.