The U.S. Effort
Last month we summarized how our guys did overall, not too well. It was a tough test for our somewhat less serious people. Penton's team did a terrific job until that final day, and many of the others individually carried on in a respectable manner. As teams, we still lack the all-encompassing organization of the Europeans, and the sophisticated cheating abilities used to keep the bikes going in the major trophy and vase contests. This rotten core to the event seems to be well established, and we are rank amateurs in our small efforts at competing at this level.
The AMA nominally led the U.S. contingent. Ed Youngblood did yeoman service throughout the stay keeping the many hassles and paperwork details straight. Russ March presumably represented us well in the Jury meetings, since ordinary folk do not get to go to these affairs, we must draw this conclusion from the lack of any adverse circumstances arising from the Jury. Don Woods and Dave Welch sort of circulated around, seeing how it all happened, Woods ostensibly overall manager of the U.S. effort, but in fact more of an observer, sort of let A1 Eames take the responsibility for the dozen or so unsupported (by factory people) riders. These included our Yankee and Ossa riders, so the Yankee people got together with other U.S. onlookers to supply the entire dozen with fuel and refreshment. Particularly helpful were the Webco group. Tom Heininger, who is president of the Motorcycle Industry Council, and members of his family, worked all week at gas stops, and their stop was generally regarded as the neatest one by all the riders they served.
Bryon Farnsworth rode the routes in advance as a scout, and his input was helpful to all.
In sum, our effort was the best yet in terms of people knowing what to do, and working together despite differences back home. The AMA people were far less heavy-handed than in 1971, which helped immeasurably. As we face the prospect for hosting the ISDT next fall in the Berkshires, it is encouraging that our very amateurish outlook on this rather highly professionalized event has been at least partly trained in the hows and whys of running an ISDT.