My twin brother and I managed to complete 7 or 8 umko marathons in a row from around 1989/1990. We however never made a Hella to Josephines qualifier. We managed to wrap on every one!
Here are some memories:
- I do fondly remember the campsite at riverside in the valley. Everyone seemed to limp in with lots of sunburn and damaged kayaks. We slept on matresses under the 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!
- I do recall the one year the second day was from Josephines to Mphophememi (72kms) in one day. We broke our nose clean off with 20 kms to go and spent many hours hacking down the river with the boat on our shoulders. We covered ourselves in mud as we got so sunburnt and ran out of water. We completed that day in 9 ¾ hrs!
- On the one hella to josephines qualifier we wound down the valley to see the river bursting it’s seams! We were all school boys and were kucking ourselves. I do recall Stu Mcloed Henderson and his partner catching a lift to the finish on the toilet truck following a swim at approaches. We were convinced that they had taken a rock to the their boat on the bank so that they wouldn’t have to paddle on.