"I am delighted to have been invited to serve as Honourary Chair of this special event," said Ms. Sharpless. "Canada has an amazing array of motorcycling talent, and the Annual Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion is a way to show our appreciation for those who have either achieved competitive excellence or who have raised the profile of motorcycling in Canada."
Toni grew up in a motorcycling family. Her competitive streak appeared early and Toni began ice racing when she was 10, eventually becoming National Junior Class Champion. She also took to flat track, rising to senior level with a series of wins and podium finishes. At 22 years of age, Toni's tenacity and perseverance was rewarded with a fifth-place finish in her road racing debut. The next year, she received the British Empire Motor Club's historic Kaye Don Trophy, awarded for "the most meritorious high-speed performance on a motorcycle." In 1984, Toni received the R.A.C.E Amateur of the Year Award along with seventh overall in the Amateur 600 production class of the Castrol Road Race series. She also excelled at dirt, ice and indoor short track races. Over the next few years, she had podium finishes in Amateur Superbike at Mosport and Shannonville as well as a 10th overall finish in the AMA CCS Race of Champions at Daytona. After turning Pro, she also earned three top-10 finishes in the Canadian Castrol Series.
In 1987, Toni Sharpless and Kathleen Coburn became the first women to qualify for and finish the prestigious Daytona 200. Spotted by scouts, they were soon in Japan racing in the Suzuka 8-hour World Endurance Series event for Yamaha Motor Co. It was an arrangement that lasted three years and also extended to rides in the historic Bol d'Or and LeMans 24-hour races in France.
Since retiring in 1991, Toni continues to be involved in motorcycling - a true ambassador for our sport. When not riding, Toni works in the motorcycle industry as district sales manager for a Canadian powersports distributor and is the newest columnist at Inside Motorcycles.
The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion is the annual signature event of the Canadian International Motorcycle Heritage Museum Foundation, a non-profit association with charitable status. It is governed by an independent board of volunteer directors located from coast to coast and is sponsored in part by the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC). Founded by Bar and Hedy Hodgson in 1999, the Canadian International Motorcycle Heritage Museum Foundation preserves and promotes Canadian motorcycle history for the benefit of the motorcycling community and the public. Since the first induction banquet in Toronto in 2006, almost 100 distinguished motorcyclists have been inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
-- From the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame