50 Years of Umko 1966 - 2016 1966 - 2016 - Page 63

beforehand if he could follow the race in a helicopter. They came to an amicable agreement where he put R10 000 towards race sponsorship, transported the paramedic around - and got to follow his son’s progress in the race. A win-win for all! Officials are sometimes asked ‘ernest’ questions that puzzle Kahlua-soaked paddlers: Dear Ernie On last year’s (1998) Umko I spotted two elephants behaving in an odd manner (see photo). Please can you forward this picture to the Natal Parks Board and see if you can get some answers for me. Due to the strange behaviour it was rather difficult to determine the age of the two specimens. Would it not be kinder to put them out of their misery? I look forward to hearing from you. Concerned Canoeist. PS: Can you also explain what the small balding fellow with the Aqualung strapped to his back was doing. Dear Concerned Canoeist As can be seen by any observant and experienced Elephant Watcher, these are in fact very mature bulls who know when and how they must musth. They also appear to have consumed vast quantities of marula extract which leads to the sloppy trunk syndrome - the same effect can be induced by Kahlua injected by means of a dose gun. NOTE: The most desirable shot when culling is to the brain which is administered on an imaginary line from the bore of the trunk through the eye to the top quadrant of the ear. If this shot were delivered in the above case a balls-up would be on the cards. As to what the small balding fellow was doing, I don’t think even he knew in the end. Regards - Alderman Ernest Alder Esq. 63 A chapter could be written on the small balding fellow who was so busy on so many races (hell, he even won one of them, making a famously brief winner’s speech, “I’m glad that’s over”!). Here are just three Kahlua-soaked tales: Dave Gillmer once REFUSED his sheep dip! Ken and Mark Perrow had to actually pin the ungrateful bastid in a half-Nelson and squirt the nectar in at 2bar pressure from the dosing machine till it came spurting out of his nostrils. And yet still Dave wasn’t grateful. Ken now thinks there may have been a misunderstanding. Rob Davey sent Kenny home in the helicopter once and there was a spare bottle of Kahlua which Ken hated to waste, so he got wasted instead, having to be poured out of the chopper when it landed back in Durbs. Once the sponsored Kahlua dried up Ken had to resort to a home-made concoction. A cheap substitute was mixed with milk and condensed milk in a manual pump-action weed sprayer. Ken and Steve Burns of Clover roamed the camp dangerously looking for ‘volunteers’ while ingesting two or three pumps each themselves between victims, thus fine-chuning their IQs. Fond Memories Roger Fitzsimons fondly remembers the campsite at Riverside in the valley. “Everyone seemed to limp in with lots of sunburn and damaged kayaks. We slept on mattresses in large marquee and drank beer around the pub into the early hours of the morning. By far the best part was waiting for the sun to start setting and to line up along the river bank to watch the Russian girls strip topless and dive into the river!” His twin Matthew remembers: “1989 was the year that the European women’s whitewater team came to paddle the Umko. I have this clear memory of all the unfazed European girls heading down for a naked evening wash in the river at Riverside. Never have I seen so many men suddenly also need an instantaneous river bath . . like lemmings over the river bank into the river!” Official KCC comment: “Shapely Czech or Polish lasses I believe. They were wildwater paddlers. Not 100% certain about this. No pictures though - just fond mammaries. UMKO 50 Years