Spinning delightat Swakopmund

SUCCESSFUL EVENT … Stewards Ben Kalla and Erina Persendt with Swakopmund mayor Dina Names and chairperson of the Swakopmund Spinning and Drifting Club Ebrahim Abrahams. Photos: Contributed

The past weekend’s first annual birthday spinning bash at Swakopmund has been described as a success by Ebrahim Abrahams, chairperson of the Coastal Spinning and Drifting Swakopmund Club.

Speaking to Top Revs from Swakopmund, Abrahams said the event drew much interest, with at least 12 entries received by Friday, and spinners from Windhoek and Okahandja showing off their skills.

“Though it is quite difficult to explain spinning, it can be described as when the driver controls his or her car when the vehicle is uncontrollable and without stepping on the brakes. Unlike drifters that make use of their brakes and handbrakes, we as spinners do not use our brakes,” said Abrahams.

“The only time spinners make use of their clutch is when they enter the arena, the rest of the time spinners will not touch that pedal, only the brakes and accelerator. And this spinning and manoeuvring is all executed to the amusement of the crowd,” he said.

According to Abrahams, about 70% of the event is pure entertainment as the driver connects with the crowd, feeding off the enthusiasm of spectators.

Abrahams said spinning has been around in Namibia for quite some time, but it only recently became affiliated with and acknowledged as a motorsport by the Namibia Motorsport Federation (NMSF).

Though spinning is a rather male-dominated sport, Abrahams said there are a few women spinners involved, however, marketing and development are needed to encourage more women to take part.

Keetmanshoop is earmarked for the next event, which will likely take place in the first half of May before returning to Swakopmund, said Abrahams.

Though spinning takes place in a controlled environment, there are rules before anyone is allowed on the tracks, and age is one of them, said Abrahams. The minimum age is 16, as set by the NMSF, and club members will assist aspiring spinners regarding what is needed.

Once approved, they will undergo training under the watchful eyes of an experienced trainer in preparation for upcoming events.

Many people have the wrong perception of the sport being for hooligans, said Abrahams, who pointed out that this is misinformation, as there are many rules and regulations.

If spinners don’t comply with the set rules, they are not allowed to participate, he added.

The sport being recognised has also reduced cases of illegal spinners on public roads, since they now have dedicated spinning tracks to enjoy themselves without clashing with the authorities.

Any car can take part in spinning activities as long as the vehicle is equipped and fit for spinning, said Abrahams.

Preferred cars for spinning, according to the internet, are the boxed shaped BMWs, but other cars like Fords, Chevrolets and Nissan Skylines are still seen in action. The 3-series BMW is the ideal choice due to its rear-wheel drive and good road stability.

Spinning has it origins in the late 1980s, when gangsters used stolen vehicles to perform funeral rituals to honour their deceased colleagues. It was only in the 1990s when spinning was performed outside the criminal world that it started to be seen as a regulated sport.

In many unregulated events, spectators often stand too close to the vehicles, which often results in injuries.

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