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What do they do now?


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#1 ex Rhodie racer 2

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 13:13

The last few posts on the 1969/1990 thread regarding Glenn Williams got me wondering. How have the stars of yesterday got on with their lives since retirement?
I was reading the other day, for example, that Mick Doohan is now a fabulously wealthy business man who heads up several companies involved in real estate and money lending, and that his estimated worth is close to 100 million dollars (Australian I presume). When I read that I was a bit surprised, because making bags of money and being really successful in business after retiring from motorcycle racing haven´t always gone hand in hand. Or have I got this wrong?
I know Jim Redman, at one point, was doing exceptionally well, but then Jim has always had an eye for an opening, so that didn´t surprise me, while others, Readie being an example I think, haven´t been that successful.
I think though, generally speaking, most of the guys who made racing their life and mixed it near the top of the tree, have found it extremely hard to adjust to "civvy" life, as it were. Most seem to end up drifting aimlessly, reliving their past glories, which I can fully understand I might add, as normal life must seem like such an anti climax after the highs they experienced.
And racing isn´t alone in that regard. Boxing champions are famous for losing everything and ending up penniless. I recall meeting South Africa´s first ever boxing World Champion, the late great Vic Toweel on one occasion, just before he left to live in Australia, and when I asked him how he was getting on, I was shocked to learn he was broke and unemployed. Joe Louis was another, ending up greeting guests at the door of Caesar´s Palace casino. These stories are not unusual, and it got me wondering about the men from our sport.
Does anyone how our former top riders are doing?

Edited by ex Rhodie racer 2, 09 January 2010 - 13:17.


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#2 fil2.8

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 13:56

Hi , Rhodie :wave: , what a great topic for discussion , I look forward to the results with interest !! :up:
And perhaps i'll do a bit of research !!

#3 exclubracer

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 16:23

The last few posts on the 1969/1990 thread regarding Glenn Williams got me wondering. How have the stars of yesterday got on with their lives since retirement?
I was reading the other day, for example, that Mick Doohan is now a fabulously wealthy business man who heads up several companies involved in real estate and money lending, and that his estimated worth is close to 100 million dollars (Australian I presume). When I read that I was a bit surprised, because making bags of money and being really successful in business after retiring from motorcycle racing haven´t always gone hand in hand. Or have I got this wrong?
I know Jim Redman, at one point, was doing exceptionally well, but then Jim has always had an eye for an opening, so that didn´t surprise me, while others, Readie being an example I think, haven´t been that successful.
I think though, generally speaking, most of the guys who made racing their life and mixed it near the top of the tree, have found it extremely hard to adjust to "civvy" life, as it were. Most seem to end up drifting aimlessly, reliving their past glories, which I can fully understand I might add, as normal life must seem like such an anti climax after the highs they experienced.
And racing isn´t alone in that regard. Boxing champions are famous for losing everything and ending up penniless. I recall meeting South Africa´s first ever boxing World Champion, the late great Vic Toweel on one occasion, just before he left to live in Australia, and when I asked him how he was getting on, I was shocked to learn he was broke and unemployed. Joe Louis was another, ending up greeting guests at the door of Caesar´s Palace casino. These stories are not unusual, and it got me wondering about the men from our sport.
Does anyone how our former top riders are doing?


Yes Rhodie, a good topic for discussion.

I think Stu Avant hit the nail on the head when he said post-racing life went pear-shaped for many.

#4 Orson

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 22:17

After the mid-1980s, it seems that even the mid-fielders did well for themselves, as shown by the recent news that Ralf Waldmann and Martin Wimmer bought out the MZ concern :)

I don't know how much motocross talk is tolerated here, but I read in a Roger DeCoster interview back in the 1990s, that former world champ Joel Robert had fallen upon hard financial times and that DeCoster had given him a job managing a Belgium truck stop that DeCoster owned.

#5 philippe7

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 22:22

When I visited Barry Sheene on the Gold Coast back in '97, I understood that he had invested most of his money in what he called "commercial properties", he bought dozens of empty shop or restaurant spaces in galleries and large commercial centers, usually as they were being built . He didn't take any stakes in the actual businesses occupying the premises, he just owned the "walls" and collected the rents . Told me that from his experience it was the safest investment he knew about - maybe not of a huge profit ratio, but at least very reliable . With hindsight, of course he was right, many people that put all their money on the stock exchange probably wish today that they had been a little more conservative in their investments. Barry was quite fond of Mick Doohan, apparently gave him a lot of good advice and support at the start of his career and I wouldn't be suprised if he had also suggested Mick to invest in property development and real estate...

Of course Barry was also getting some income from TV commenting and advertising contracts, but the commercial property thing was his major occupation, I understood.

Edited by philippe7, 09 January 2010 - 22:24.


#6 ex Rhodie racer 2

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 22:21

When I visited Barry Sheene on the Gold Coast back in '97, I understood that he had invested most of his money in what he called "commercial properties", he bought dozens of empty shop or restaurant spaces in galleries and large commercial centers, usually as they were being built . He didn't take any stakes in the actual businesses occupying the premises, he just owned the "walls" and collected the rents . Told me that from his experience it was the safest investment he knew about - maybe not of a huge profit ratio, but at least very reliable . With hindsight, of course he was right, many people that put all their money on the stock exchange probably wish today that they had been a little more conservative in their investments. Barry was quite fond of Mick Doohan, apparently gave him a lot of good advice and support at the start of his career and I wouldn't be suprised if he had also suggested Mick to invest in property development and real estate...

Of course Barry was also getting some income from TV commenting and advertising contracts, but the commercial property thing was his major occupation, I understood.

Barry had a great business sense I think Phiippe. He displayed that while still racing, so I´m not surprised he kept earning well when he retired. I must say I was surprised he ended up in Oz though.
Korkie Ballington left South Africa and moved to Oz about twelve years ago I believe, and I´ve always wondered how he´s getting on. He was a switched on sort, but I always had the feeling making bags of money wasn´t at the top of his priority list.
Stu, Do you have have any news of where Korkie lives nowdays and what he´s up to? I see he came out to the reunion in Spa in 2008. I´m sorry I didn´t know he was making the trip as I would love to have seen him again. I always found him to be a real gent. :up:


#7 Hasselhoff

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 11:49

Here is a little insight into what Doohan does to make money these days.

http://www.news.com....60-3122,00.html

#8 racer69

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 09:08

John Kocinski got into real estate as well didn't he?

#9 stuavant

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:33

Barry had a great business sense I think Phiippe. He displayed that while still racing, so I´m not surprised he kept earning well when he retired. I must say I was surprised he ended up in Oz though.
Korkie Ballington left South Africa and moved to Oz about twelve years ago I believe, and I´ve always wondered how he´s getting on. He was a switched on sort, but I always had the feeling making bags of money wasn´t at the top of his priority list.
Stu, Do you have have any news of where Korkie lives nowdays and what he´s up to? I see he came out to the reunion in Spa in 2008. I´m sorry I didn´t know he was making the trip as I would love to have seen him again. I always found him to be a real gent. :up:

Barry always told me that he wanted somewhere warm for his "bones"an Australia fitted the bill. Certainly on the odd occasion that we sat down and chatted he was happy with his move, less so his sister as he took mum and dad away from the UK.

Bumped into Korkie last year but had a good idea what he was up to via Geoff Howie. From what I can make out Korkie had a few false starts working out where to live but it seems Australia is a fine place for South Africans to settle in. I think there are more South Africans than Aussi's where I live in Rose Bay Sydney. Even call it Nose Bay as some are Jewish. Kork has a business producing nuts, bolts and so on and told me he has done well. I must say I would expect no less from such a well organised committed person.
I reckon those that suffered financialy typically did'nt know when to stay or fold as regards racing and it just went on to long. There can't be many things in life that shape up to racing, the thrill, the friendships and the freedom. Took me many years to work out what to do on weekends when I should have been racing and the years that you really "grew up"( 19-25 IMO) were spent racing and not developing social skills.

#10 exclubracer

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 12:34

John Kocinski got into real estate as well didn't he?


And Eddie Lawson also, I believe.

#11 Coupe Kawasaki

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 14:55

Barry always told me that he wanted somewhere warm for his "bones"an Australia fitted the bill. Certainly on the odd occasion that we sat down and chatted he was happy with his move, less so his sister as he took mum and dad away from the UK.

Bumped into Korkie last year but had a good idea what he was up to via Geoff Howie. From what I can make out Korkie had a few false starts working out where to live but it seems Australia is a fine place for South Africans to settle in. I think there are more South Africans than Aussi's where I live in Rose Bay Sydney. Even call it Nose Bay as some are Jewish. Kork has a business producing nuts, bolts and so on and told me he has done well. I must say I would expect no less from such a well organised committed person.
I reckon those that suffered financialy typically did'nt know when to stay or fold as regards racing and it just went on to long. There can't be many things in life that shape up to racing, the thrill, the friendships and the freedom. Took me many years to work out what to do on weekends when I should have been racing and the years that you really "grew up"( 19-25 IMO) were spent racing and not developing social skills.



That's a great insight Stu. I spent more time on "developing social skills :rotfl: ) and didn't sacrifice enough to do it properly. I wish I had now but then when I read how much it affected you then I'm not so sure. The next best thing to having the balls and determination to get out there is to watch you guys ride. Ta for the show. :clap:

Liked the Nose joke by the way! Reminds me of going swimming with one and dipping my toe in the water 'freezing!" I exclaimed, and deep too replied my mate. My wife applies it to a different part :rotfl:


David

#12 Hasselhoff

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:16

From Nose Bay you drive up thru the esses to Bellejew Hill. Paul Bernasconi, who used to race 4 wheels in the 70's, had the smash repairs in Nose Bay on New South Head Rd, I wonder if it's still there?

#13 MoMurray

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 03:41

From Nose Bay you drive up thru the esses to Bellejew Hill. Paul Bernasconi, who used to race 4 wheels in the 70's, had the smash repairs in Nose Bay on New South Head Rd, I wonder if it's still there?


And speaking of Sarf Africans...or to be more precise Zimbabwayans (?), Robbie Petersen has just been announce as the crew chief for Ben Bostrom in the AMA superbike series for 2010. I will see him in a couple of weeks and look forward to catching up.

Mo


#14 Buzz47

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:58

And speaking of Sarf Africans...or to be more precise Zimbabwayans (?), Robbie Petersen has just been announce as the crew chief for Ben Bostrom in the AMA superbike series for 2010. I will see him in a couple of weeks and look forward to catching up.

Mo


I used to trail ride with Robbie (when he wasn't in SA racing) and a couple of times with his brother Dave up in Zimbabwe. Excellent bloke!


#15 justpassing

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:46

Been trawling through the threads and came across this one.
Oddly enough, I was at the junior motocross world championships in Dardon- Gueugnon, France, about 6 weeks ago and bumped into former 350 world champ, John Ekerold, who´s son was competing. He now lives in Germany and says he´s retired. He looks very well and has hardly aged at all, although he´s now about 64 I think. He´s still actively involved in motorsport and runs his own MX team, guiding Frenchman Piere Alexanda René to the MX3 world title last year.

As an aside, his kid very nearly won the 85cc class world title, but fell in the second moto, ending up 3rd overall. He certainly looks destined for stardom. He´s the youngster holding the helmet.

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#16 Paul Collins

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 14:36

I used to be manager of a forklift truck driver training company in Lincolnshire and one winter morning about 6 years ago a vaguely familiar face walked through the door for a forklift truck refresher course, I struggled as I tried to place this face that seemed so familiar.

This chap had turned up on a beaten up old Kawasaki road bike which looked like it had been round the world a few times, anyway I greeted this fella and told him to dump his soggy belstaffs & helmet in the waiting room and grab a coffee while we waited for other trainees to arrive.

As he put his lid down I noticed a couple of old faded scrutineering stickers on it, this was really bugging me now but I still couldnt place him so I introduced myself to him, he shook my hand and said hi i'm Graeme...Graeme Mcgregor!! bloody hell I thought I knew that face I replied!! we then spent about 20 mins discussing racing, the TT and everything else from his time in the 70s & 80's.

I knew he'd settled in the area before he retired and it turned out he was working as a forklift driver for a local company just up the road who make packaging, i'm not sure if he's still in Lincs nowadays or if he eventually went back to Oz but if he's as quick on a forklift truck as he was on the track he'll certainly be shifting those pallets at a fair rate :)



#17 Russell Burrows

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 15:32

I used to be manager of a forklift truck driver training company in Lincolnshire and one winter morning about 6 years ago a vaguely familiar face walked through the door for a forklift truck refresher course, I struggled as I tried to place this face that seemed so familiar.

This chap had turned up on a beaten up old Kawasaki road bike which looked like it had been round the world a few times, anyway I greeted this fella and told him to dump his soggy belstaffs & helmet in the waiting room and grab a coffee while we waited for other trainees to arrive.

As he put his lid down I noticed a couple of old faded scrutineering stickers on it, this was really bugging me now but I still couldnt place him so I introduced myself to him, he shook my hand and said hi i'm Graeme...Graeme Mcgregor!! bloody hell I thought I knew that face I replied!! we then spent about 20 mins discussing racing, the TT and everything else from his time in the 70s & 80's.

I knew he'd settled in the area before he retired and it turned out he was working as a forklift driver for a local company just up the road who make packaging, i'm not sure if he's still in Lincs nowadays or if he eventually went back to Oz but if he's as quick on a forklift truck as he was on the track he'll certainly be shifting those pallets at a fair rate :)

He's always been a bit of an enigma for me: when did he come over here, and/or when did he begin racing, does anyone know? I know(at least I think I do) that he passengered for one of the Bayliss' and I have some recollection of a hairy bearded bloke in Stan's/Steve's chair in the early seventies, who I think was probably Graeme. I've no memory though of him racing solos. So, did he develop into the quick little rider he was in Britain?

#18 fil2.8

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 16:32

Well , Graeme turned into one of the top 250/ 350 riders in the country , Russ , raced in GP's also , on the Waddon , rode big bikes also , think he came over around '77 /78
Pictured here at Brands , 1980 :up: Also won a TT , IIRC







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#19 Russell Burrows

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 16:39

Hi Phil, yeah sorry, my post wasn't clear: I meant I couldn't recall him racing in NSW. He presumably did though, but just later.

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#20 GD66

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 18:47

Ventured to the UK after making a name for himself terrorising the 350 classs leaders in general, and Chas Mortimer in particular, in the last two seasons of the Marlboro Series in NZ, so Phil's 77/78 pick would be spot-on.

#21 stuavant

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 20:17

Ventured to the UK after making a name for himself terrorising the 350 classs leaders in general, and Chas Mortimer in particular, in the last two seasons of the Marlboro Series in NZ, so Phil's 77/78 pick would be spot-on.

Mr Sayle knows more but he certainly was a star in the UK. I think he won the TT when I was working for DART ( Dunlop) in 1984 IIRC. Macca was a bit different in so much as he never fitted the " standard racer" image. In Aussi we would just call him a good bloke and I am not surprised that he went and had a normal life. Married Niel Tuxworths sister but don't think it lasted. Like to catch up with him some day.

#22 Paul Collins

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 22:30

We chatted about the TT, turned out he actually won 2 on the same day, a Formula 2 on Arnie Fletchers Yamaha & either a Junior or Lightweight on an EMC, we also discussed that KR250 Kawasaki that he rode for George Beale, but he said they never got the thing going properly and it stopped while he was poised for another good TT result on it.

Stu is correct, he did split from Neils sister some time ago, funny thing was we had a good old chat about racing and he seemed to enjoy going over old times, yet some months later I bumped into Neil Tuxworth and when I told him i'd seen Graeme he was quite surprised when I said we'd chatted about racing as he said Graeme rarely if ever wants to talk about his racing past to anyone.

He was certainly a hard man on the track, I first remember him in the old Vladivar Vodka national 250 series in the late 70's and early 80's which is when he first came to prominence in the UK, and as you say Stu also 'a good bloke'

#23 vc1954

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:57

He's always been a bit of an enigma for me: when did he come over here, and/or when did he begin racing, does anyone know? I know(at least I think I do) that he passengered for one of the Bayliss' and I have some recollection of a hairy bearded bloke in Stan's/Steve's chair in the early seventies, who I think was probably Graeme. I've no memory though of him racing solos. So, did he develop into the quick little rider he was in Britain?


He passengered for Steve. He started on solos end of 75 and first went to Europe in 78 for a race in Italy that Chas had organised for me and cos I couldnt make it I suggested Graeme. He only raced in New Zealand for the last series. We had many good battles around Australia and Unzud......top bloke. :up:

#24 philippe7

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 06:04

He passengered for Steve. He started on solos end of 75 and first went to Europe in 78 for a race in Italy that Chas had organised for me and cos I couldnt make it I suggested Graeme. He only raced in New Zealand for the last series. We had many good battles around Australia and Unzud......top bloke. :up:


Copied and pasted from the Marlboro Series thread, courtesy skeeternz and "fistful of revs" magazine...report of the 350 races at the Pukekohe leg of the 77/78 series

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Not sure it's the same race, but it is the same year : Dennis Ireland, Chas Mortimer, Vaughan Coburn and...maybe Graeme in yellow with his number 0... ?

#25 vc1954

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:50

Same year but at Timaru by the looks of it. Macca was 03 and yes thats him in yellow. :wave:

#26 picblanc

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:07

Ventured to the UK after making a name for himself terrorising the 350 classs leaders in general, and Chas Mortimer in particular, in the last two seasons of the Marlboro Series in NZ, so Phil's 77/78 pick would be spot-on.


I saw him Easter 1978 @ Brands Trans Trophy, got couple of pics I shall post later.

#27 stuavant

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:07

Copied and pasted from the Marlboro Series thread, courtesy skeeternz and "fistful of revs" magazine...report of the 350 races at the Pukekohe leg of the 77/78 series

Posted Image
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Posted Image

Not sure it's the same race, but it is the same year : Dennis Ireland, Chas Mortimer, Vaughan Coburn and...maybe Graeme in yellow with his number 0... ?

Quality field. Wish we could still have those days :cool:

#28 fil2.8

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:10

Quality field. Wish we could still have those days :cool:




Don't we all , Stu , and the atmosphere :well:


#29 ravenous25

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 16:26

Graeme still lives in Louth, works for a carboard recycling company - his son is a regular at the Mablethorpe sand races.