50 Years of Umko 1966 - 2016 1966 - 2016 - Page 48

No.5&6 - 2007 ©Jon Ivins A Big Rapid to shoot - or not No.5&6 rapid has tight turns and narrow channels and places where you can go wrong. Long and sleek racing craft sweep around the bend and cannot always make the turns. However, varying water levels open up different options at 5&6. Some paddlers opt to carry around it regardless of water level, especially in the old days as it was early in the marathon and with over 100km still to go they didn’t want to risk damage. Today it’s 48km into the 68km marathon but still many portage it. Maybe they’ll mumble “Well, I needed to empty anyway” or “I needed to stretch my legs / have a leak anyway”. UMKO 50 Years The rapid has changed considerably over the years. In early times the river had a dependable right channel that would fill as the level rose and run to the right of the rapid proper to 100m below it, making it unnecessary to weave through the trickier main channel. Subsequent floods have scoured out and deepened the main channel and silted up the right bypass channel so the river no longer flows there. This is the only rapid race officials have made a compulsory portage on a marathon race day. 48