14th May 2012 - Harley-Davidson® Euro Festival 2012 - REVIEW
One thing that we can never control is the weather, but when the sun shines on the Golfe de Saint-Tropez for three straight days over Euro Festival weekend, there is surely no more glorious and glamorous experience on the Harley-Davidson® calendar.
The rally site, in its usual position right by the beach overlooking the sparkling, crystal-clear sea, had been improved and redesigned from last year, with the stage and seafront area pedestrianised to allow easier access to the dealers, bars and restaurants. There was plenty more on offer to entertain more than 11,000 rally-goers, with H-D® Demo Rides available to trial the latest models, a huge trader area, the Jumpstart experience for those new to riding, and of course the many miles of stunning riding roads in the surrounding area.
Once the sun had set, three stages provided live music over all three nights, with ever-popular headliners Elvis and the TCE Band, Bogus Brothers and Paul Personne joining a host of other acts in entertaining the crowds into the early hours.
On Friday the main attraction was the Custom Bike Show, held in the picture-perfect location of Grimaud Village, with breathtaking views across the verdant French countryside. More than 80 bikes across 10 categories packed the village’s picturesque square in glorious weather conditions, to be judged by a multinational panel with prizes presented by Harley-Davidson’s Steve Piehl, founder of H.O.G. back in 1983. Best In Show was awarded to the stunning antique creation entered by Abnormal Cycles of Italy – see below for a full list of winners.
The Freeway Village hosted plenty of activities throughout the weekend, including its own custom bike show and displays by custom paint specialists. The event also spread into the surrounding area, with live music and a BBQ at the local dealership in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, a ride-out to Gigaro and a party in the nearby town of Cogolin.
Women riders enjoyed the new additions to this year’s event with a technical workshop for ladies only, make-up demonstrations by chic specialist Make-up Forever and the opportunity to lead Saturday’s spectacular parade.
The parade, as ever, was the highlight of the rally, including the Chapter Parade of Flags, which snaked its way out of Port Grimaud through the town of Saint-Tropez, where thousands of people, young and old alike, lined the streets to enthusiastically greet the seemingly never-ending train of Harley® motorcycles. From there it was back up to the hills, meandering through the quaint cobbled streets of Grimaud Village, before returning to the rally site via the town of Cogolin.
As the sun rose over the bay on Sunday morning and the Harley family packed up for the ride home, so closed another chapter in the enduring story of the Euro Festival – let’s hope the weather treats us equally well for the rest of the summer!
Harley-Davidson® Euro Festival 2012 – Custom Bike Show winners
Ladies of Harley
1st Gloria Holland, UK
2nd Fabienne Delbrouck, Belgium
1st Daniel Imbert, France
2nd Patrick Jacobs, Belgium
1st Shaw Speed and Custom, UK
2nd Nazaret, France
1st Xavier Rayner, France
2nd John Honore, France
1st Patrick Brodelet, Belgium
2nd Franck Benhaiem, France
1st Harley-Davidson Factory Nice, France
2nd Gary France, UK
1st Shaw Speed and Custom, UK
2nd Ed Van Hooff, Holland
1st Benjamin Duval, France
2nd Shaw Speed and Custom, UK
1st Bob Holland, UK
2nd Luca Mandelli, Italy
1st Abnormal Cycles, Italy
2nd Art Shop Kustom, France
Best in Show
Abnormal Cycles, Italy
Giuseppe Raimondo, Italy