Oct 18, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Rick Shaw in action at Daytona in 2005. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Two riders died from injuries sustained in a two-bike crash during a Team Hammer Advanced Riding School event Thursday, October 17 at Daytona International Speedway.
Rick Shaw, a long-time Daytona 200 mileage record holder and an instructor with the Team Hammer Advanced Riding School, and Eric Desy, a student and amateur racer from Repentigny, Quebec, Canada, collided coming off the West Banking and crashed. Both riders were transported to Halifax Health hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.
The fatalities were announced by CCS Race Director Rick Breuer during a regularly-scheduled riders' meeting held at about 11:00 a.m. Friday at the track.
The Team Hammer Advanced Riding School has been held in conjunction with the CCS Race Of Champions weekend at Daytona for about 20 years. Thursday marked the first fatal incident in the school's history.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
This just in:
Daytona International Speedway statement
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the riders and their families, and we are deeply saddened by their loss. Rick Shaw in particular had a long history of racing at Daytona, and for several years held the record for most miles raced in the DAYTONA 200. He was loved by many in the motorcycle community and we will miss him greatly.
The safety of fans and competitors is always our top priority and we work closely with event officials to ensure the best safety protocols are in place and followed. Team Hammer Advanced Riding School has an outstanding track record of safety at Daytona International Speedway, hosting thousands of riders since the early 1990’s.
Whenever an unfortunate incident does occur at our facility, we take the opportunity to learn and refine any event procedures.
This just in from Team Hammer Vice President John Ulrich:
Everyone at the Team Hammer Advanced Riding School is saddened following the tragic loss of student Eric Desy and long-time instructor and former professional racer Rick Shaw at Daytona International Speedway. Rider safety is at the very forefront of all we do and our track record at Daytona speaks for itself. Over the last two decades more than 5000 students have gone through our advanced riding school program at the Speedway, without major incident.
Our thoughts and prayers go out for the families of Eric and Rick. Eric was a passionate motorcycle enthusiast and amateur racer who was very excited to be riding at Daytona. Rick was an excellent instructor and a great friend. His riding resume at Daytona was outstanding, and for many years he held the record for the most miles raced in the DAYTONA 200. He really enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experience, and he was very popular with our students.
We are fully committed to providing a safe, thrilling and unforgettable riding school for our students and will carefully review our processes and procedures closely to see if there is anything we can improve in the future.
Godspeed, Eric Desy. Godspeed, Rick Shaw.
By David Swarts
Shaw, 65, was a retired Miami-Dade police officer who relocated to Port Orange, Florida, in recent years. He raced for nearly 40 years and raced professionally for 35 of those years. He entered his first Daytona 200 in 1981. In 2003, he surpassed Warren Sherwood’s unofficial Daytona 200 mileage record of 3187 miles.
"I wanted to celebrate [on the record breaking lap], but I was trying to keep my head down," Shaw was quoted as saying in a press release issued by Daytona International Speedway at the time. "I tried to get my hand up there and I just about lost it on the second lap trying to celebrate. Boy, was that stupid. I put my head back down and went for it. It was an exciting lap. I felt it. Finally, the weight was lifted off me after the second lap and I could go out and race. I put some more pressure on myself to get this done."
Shaw went on to accumulate 3728 miles while racing in 24 Daytona 200 events until he retired from professional racing at the end of the 2006 season. Shaw’s unofficial Daytona 200 mileage record stood until 2011, when Ricky Orlando surpassed the mark.
"I appreciate having the record," Shaw said when he announced his retirement in 2006. "It's been a thrill and an honor to be able to race here against all of the people. If you think about all the champions who have raced here in the Daytona 200 the past 25 years, I've had the honor to race with some of the best in the world and the best that motorcycles has seen in a truly golden era of Superbike and Formula One racing.”
Asked at the time what he would do next, Shaw said, "I might manage a team, maybe, sit back and watch. We'll see what happens. I really like instructing. I've been doing a lot of instructing for the Team Hammer School, the Penguin School and the Track Day School. I really enjoy teaching the kids how to ride. I'm still good enough where I can stay out in front of some of them, and I think that's probably my future, to be able to impart some of the skill and knowledge that I've accumulated over the years and help these kids come along."
Shaw’s involvement with the Team Hammer Advanced Riding School began sitting in and listening as a student would, and Shaw began helping as an instructor with the school toward the end of his professional racing career.
“He slowly worked his way into the school,” Team Hammer Advanced Riding School Chief Instructor Michael Martin told Roadracingworld.com. “He (sat in and) took the class for a few times. I asked if he could help instruct. Then one year he was there in the classroom a bit more, so I asked if he could come back and do some more.
“He loved it, man. He was more excited to come do the school than you could imagine. I mean, he loved it. He loved helping people. He enjoyed teaching people. He was doing what he loved to do, and he was certainly good at it.
“This is pretty hard to stomach. I was teaching class with him, and we came back and he wasn’t there. And I’m just his friend. I can’t imagine what it’s like for his family. When people go who are thoughtful, caring individuals it makes more difficult.
“It’s unfortunate. I feel really bad for his family. Hopefully something good will come of it. But right now I’m kind of speechless.”
Roadracingworld.com will report more information, including any funeral or memorial arrangements, when it becomes available.