I’d be keen to contribute to the Umko book with a story. It’s from when Chris Volbrecht and I did the 1999 Umko in a K2 – we were both 15. We ended up being at the back of the field, breaking our boat on No. 4, hiking out the wrong side of the valley, spending the afternoon in a kraal (where they gave us the main hut to sleep in and fed us pap and spinach) while waiting for a bush taxi to take us back to Hela Hela (who we paid with chris’s t-shirt and my shoes), all while the race helicopter was searching for us – unbeknown to us. When back at Hela Hela, we found a farm house, called our school master (we were at Hilton College), who came and picked us up and took us to the over night camp, where we arrived well into darkness to be crapped on by John Oliver from a dizzy height, people were starting to think we had drowned.
In the week after the race, there was a Kingfisher CC email discussing the incident and the decision was made to only allow under 16’s to paddle with an older paddler! (I see it’s now no under 16’s though).
I’d be happy to write this up in a proper/humorous short story if you would like?