The Team

The team was Mike and Jeanette van Ginkel, Roger Pearce, Koos Roets, Marc Campbell-Gibson and Steve Pickering.

Mike van Ginkel (73)

At the time of the Adventure Mike was a young 73 year old with a fascinating and distinguished career behind him. He was born in East London and educated in Grahamstown. He became a pupil pilot with the SAAF and got his ‘wings’ in 1955. In 1959 Mike started his own flying training school in George.

Mike has been a charter pilot, survey pilot, crop sprayer and had an exciting time spraying tsetse fly in the Okavango at night! Mike founded Avex Air, together with Nick Turvey, in 1965. He resigned in 1993 to become Director General of the Aero Club of South Africa for the next 8 years. Mike spent his entire working career as a pilot, clocking up over 27 000 hours in over 100 different aircraft.

Although a commercial pilot by profession, Mike flew gliders for many years as a hobby. He is also a lover of old cars, having owned a 1948 Chevrolet and a 1954 Vanden Plas Princess.

Mike received his Springbok Colours in Aerobatics in 1968 and represented South Africa in Magdeburg, East Germany. In 1969 Mike and Jeanette won the State President’s Air Race and in 1972 they won it again for the second time.

Mike van Ginkel
Team Leader,
Rolls Royce Driver
and Dreamer
Jeanette van Ginkel (70)

Jeanette met Mike when still a schoolgirl and ballet teacher. They married in 1955. Jeanette assisted Mike at the flying school in George where she was taught to fly aircraft by Mike and was the first licensed hot air balloon pilot in South Africa, representing South Africa in the World championships at Castle Howard in York, UK in 1976. Jeanette went on to become a balloon instructor and testing officer and is an international ballooning event judge.

Jeanette is a successful interior decorator and has owned the well-known Tylers of Rosebank for 38 years. Jeanette is an enthusiastic driver and is a vibrant person.

Mike and Jeanette have two sons who are pilots, one in Australia and one in South America.

Jeanette van Ginkel
Rolls Royce Co-Driver,
and ‘Feet on the Ground’
Roger Pearce (58)

Roger Pearce is a well known and very experienced travel adventurer. He competed in the London to Cape Town in 1990, the London to Sydney in 1993, the London to Mexico in 1995, Shield of Africa in 1998, two Targa-Tasmania events in 1996 and 1998 and a further London to Sydney in 2000. In 2004, he single-handedly drove from South Africa to Silverstone, UK in an MGB GT! Roger has also won the South African Historic championship three times, for which he received South African colours.

Roger runs the well-known EmGee Workshop in Randburg, which is acclaimed for servicing, rebuilding and general maintenance of classic cars.

Roger enjoyed an illustrious racing career, and competed in the Porsche Turbo Cup with the likes of Sarel van der Merwe and Chris Aberdein. He was the team leader for the MINI Odyssey in 2006, when 5 Mini Coopers did the Cape to Cairo trip. He travelled in the support car, a BMW X5.

Roger Pearce is the current Chairman of Motorsport South Africa.

Roger Pearce
Planner, Co-ordinator, Mechanic
and Backup Vehicle Driver

Koos Roets (65)

Koos has had a long and distinguished career as a cameraman and film director. He has directed the photography for productions of all kinds - commercials, documentaries, TV dramas and full-length movies.

Koos started his career in 1962 as assistant cameraman , working for Jamie Uys (The Gods Must be Crazy). After a variety of documentaries and feature films he graduated as a camera operator working on international features at SA Film Studios. In 1969 he photographed his first feature, the highly acclaimed “Geheim van Nantes”. After photographing more than a dozen features in a short span of time, winning high critical praise from the media, he graduated as a director for both television and the big screen.

Koos has won numerous awards, including the Kodak Spectrum, Rapport Artes, Star Tonight, SA Academy for Arts & Sciences, Artes, M-Net Vita & ATKV.

Koos Roets
Cameraman, Director and
Backup Driver

Marc Campbell-Gibson (Medical Support)

Marc has 14 years experience as an advanced life support paramedic. During this time he has held a variety of specialised positions in medicine, rescue and firefighting. Marc represented South Africa as an international judge in the world motor vehicle rescue competition: Plymouth, UK and Hamilton, New Zealand in 2004 and 2005. Marc was Principal and Head of medical training for the city of Johannesburg from 2001 to 2003.

Marc is now a senior flight paramedic for a service specialising in medical evacuations within Africa. Marc’s company Event Medical Solutions provides adventure event medical support including for the Mini Cooper trans-Africa Odyssey in 1996.


Marc Campbell-Gibson
(Medical Support)

Steve Pickering (Mechanic)

Steve graduated as a Chemical Engineer in England in 1975. He then travelled extensively around the world working in sugar processing and waste water treatment.

Steve worked on the Zambian copperbelt from 1977 before moving to South Africa in 1980, where he continued in this field, opening his own business in 1985.

Steve started Classic Motorsport in 2002, specializing in race and rally car building and preparation and restoration of Classic sports cars.

Steve had a notable motor racing career. He raced extensively in the Porsche challenge during the 90’s, achieving many class wins and best position of 2nd overall in the championship in1994. He started rallying in 1998 and competed in the Shield of Africa (1998), Roof of Africa (1999) Africa Rally Championship events (1999), London Sydney (2000), Evo Africa & Kalahari events (2001/2003) & East African Safari (2003).

Steve is currently chairman of Historic Sports And GT racing association.

Steve Pickering


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