Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway has been around for over 40 years now and one of the most familiar faces around the place has without a doubt been Syberen ‘Dutchy’ Rietdyk who sadly passed away earlier this week.
Simply known as Dutchy, he was a loyal member of the Valvoline Raceway crash crew since the track’s beginning in 1977, but he was more than that, he was regarded as one of the nicest guys around.
Dutchy loved his speedway and the people involved with it, everyone from the race fans to officials and of course the competitors. There was no one that had a bad word to say about Dutchy, as that was just the type of friendly guy that he was, as he always had plenty of time for everyone.
Prior to being a vital member of the Valvoline Raceway crash crew, Dutchy was a track creator at the old Sydney Showground. To say that he was passionate about speedway in Sydney would be quite the understatement, as Dutchy was seen at not only Valvoline Raceway and the Sydney Showground but also Liverpool Speedway and he would travel north out of Sydney to the Newcastle Motordrome.
During the 2016-17 season, Dutchy received an honour plaque in recognition of his volunteer commitment to Valvoline Raceway over 40 years, which included over 1000 race meetings. This was presented to him by his good friend and fellow long-time crash crew member Frank Scandolera.
Located in between turns three and four at Valvoline Raceway, Dutchy was one of the first crash crew members on the scene when a competitor would come unstuck while battling out on the race track. When it came to the competitors, they hold Dutchy, along with the rest of the crash crew members, in such high respect, as they play a massive part in their safety.
Dutchy was 84 years old.
Here at Totally Speedway we would like to send out our condolences to all of Dutchy’s family and friends during this difficult time.