Fred Deyzel – not wasps, too!!

Hi Pete

It goes some thing like this.

A couple of years ago, when I was more brave than wise I decided to enter and do the Umko that was a few weeks away.
KCC had a auction just before the Umko and I would get my Umko boat at the auction.
On auction day there was not much to choose from but a old battered Tiger would do.
While patching the boat I realized it was a bit brittle but so what, I was mos not going to hit any rocks and duct tape can fix anything.
On race day I made No.1 easy peasy.  Very bravely I entered No.2 on the left and tried to make my way to the right. Half way down, having gathered a lot of speed I went over a wave and as I go over the back of it I hit a rock head on. I hit it so hard my pedal brackets bend forward and breaks out the one side. After sitting there for a few seconds (felt like minutes) with water pouring over my back and head some thing gave and I washed out around the side of the rock.
The nose of the Tiger was almost broken right off. Lots of duct tape. The bent and torn pedals wired back into position and off we go.
Having to stop and empty every 100m progress was slow. Some where near No.4 the nose come off completely. More duct tape. lots more.
Still thinking that I could repair the Tiger at the overnight stop I labor on.
At some point I tried fixing the pedals and in the process somehow stabbed myself in the leg. No worries, lets go. Even though I had lost a shoe in the first swim I eventually decide that it is faster to portage and get to a point where I have to jump down a bank. I let the Canoe down and as I slid down next to it a swarm of wasps took revenge on me. That was the fastest portage I had ever done. Eina!
Now my arms were bleeding from the ” wag n bietjies” I had run thru. Aag so what.
At No.8 while I’m begging for tools to fix a bent rudder some poor paddler helped himself to my seat.
That is where I eventually decided that I had tried hard enough to finish the first day and called it a day.
I returned the tools and begged a lift back to the overnight stop. I looked a sorry sight and could only secure a ride on the back of the bakkie.
Fred Deyzel
Fred Deyzel had a bad day at the office on his first Umko. It went something like this-
Head-on collision with a rock in No.2. Boat break. Swim. One bare foot. Limp. Fix nose and pedals. Stab other leg, equalising the limp. Abandon river and walk. Walk into wasp nest. Portage faster. Speed-portage though Wag’nBietjie thorns. While fixing have seat stolen. Abandon race and ride – in the back of a bakkie!!
Fred said it- Eish!!







Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids, paddling rivers, travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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