Growing Old

We had a really busy week at work this week and I was remiss in not writing a blog so am now doing it on Saturday afternoon. Maybe it just seemed busier because we are all growing older.
Every now and then I meet someone from years gone by who I have not seen for some time and I think how much older they seem to have become. I realize that I have aged just as much and the thoughts are probably mutual.
One of our closest friends these days turned 81 last year and is about to turn 82. He still drives from Gordons Bay to Cape Town harbour every day to run his very successful business. I think that knowing someone like him has made me realize that your age in years is not what matters but your health and mental agility count for everything.
Despite all this I got something of a shock this week when I got a phone call to ask if I could help place a school pupil to do job shadowing with me for a few days. The person who called me was Margaret Loubser. She is the sister of Alastair Gibson who I wrote about a few weeks ago and described how he came to help one Friday afternoon in his army uniform. The shock I got was that she told me Alastair had just turned 50. That meant he came to help me about 25 years ago !! Time has just flown past.
Being asked to allow a pupil to job shadow my days is something of a compliment to me as I feel someone considers me capable of providing a worthwhile input to some young persons possible future career. I hope I can help and that the few days to be spent with me prove worthwhile to the young man.
I started racing Formula Fords in 1976. At that time I looked up to people like Arnold Chatz, Hennie Vanderlinder, Basil van Rooyen, Peter Gough, Dave Charlton and many more. Some of these people were many years older than I was at the time. I sometimes wonder where some of them are now. I do still know a few of them. I still do business with Vanderlinder Developments which is the business started by Hennie Vanderlinder many years ago and still run by his family. He now has a grandson racing VW Polo’s. I could probably go on to name quite a few of the people I met in my early days but there are many I have no idea what has happened to in the past 36 years ( That is a scary number ).
In 2000 I moved from Johannesburg to Gordons Bay. I have built a new life here with Tandy and am very happy to be living here. When I came here I had no intention of getting involved in Motorsport again. I envisaged going fishing and walking on the beach or sitting at a pub on the beachfront watching the sunset while enjoying a cold beer or a glass of wine. Tandy and I do all that. But I still got involved in Motorsport again.
Some of the first people I met on moving here were Arno Church and Eric Salomon. Their passion for racing influenced me to get involved in preparation of race cars and I now spend quite a lot of time in my business doing work on race cars. As a consequence of this work I got to know Hennie Trollip who owned an immaculate roadgoing Lotus 7 replica. I used to tell him he should race it and eventually he did and has not stopped doing so ever since. He came to my office about 4 years ago and asked me to co-drive his car in a 2 hour race at Killarney. I was not very keen as I no longer owned race overalls or a suitable helmet and had not had a competition license for about 8 years.
He and Tandy eventually convinced me to do it and since then I have on several occasions shared with Hennie, Gavin Gorman and Arno Church for endurance races at Killarney, Port Elizabeth and East London. I was quite surprised the bug bit as deeply as it did as I really thought that driving race cars was a thing of my past.
Thanks Hennie and Tandy for convincing me to do it.
The moral behind all this returns to one of the first things I said in this blog today. It is not your age in years that matters at all but your attitude toward life and your health make for everything.
Good luck to all the old guys like me out there – Keep enjoying your lives and try to pass on as much of your experience as you can to the younger generations. It would be a shame if we all passed on one day and simply took all our experience with us and left those following us to rediscover everything we know for themselves.
Lastly – Alastair I hope you have a great party on Sunday and enjoy your future with your passion for Art.
Until next time
Dave Sinclair

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About Dave

I am a motorsport fan through and through. This Blog is all about my experiences and history in Motorsport - Personal and Technical. I hope I can pass 50 years of following, supporting, participating and officiating experience on to those who it may one day help.
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