There is an official KZN safety officer, Andrew Lake who along with his son and one or two other paddlers provide a sweeping service. Andrew is very reliable but the rest of his group not so much.
We then also have a number of KCC members who would be unable to paddle the Umko in a glass boat but who are competent in crocs.
Pre-Umko 2017.jpg
We have a few regulars who we can rely on. Umko normally has a lot of offers of help mainly due to the free weekend up at Hella Hella but all this enthusiasm dies away for the other races. We normally put about 12 – 15 safety people on the water. Try and manage
the bigger rapids, No. 1, 4, 5&6 and No. 7 with a sweep team following behind. It would be great to have you on the water, perhaps day two only unless you are up for a marathon down to Riverside on day one?
Colin ‘Ballie’ Roets was an official sweep at one stage but once again his group was hard work. Too much alcohol involved. Not sure if you got the story of the mask and snorkel. Someone brought this contraption along. The idea being they would put it on Ballie when he went to sleep and put the end of the snorkel outside to try and quieten down his snoring. But then some of the boys discovered the local herb and put it in the braai, then had turns with the mask inhaling the smoke through the snorkel.
Umko Dutton pics 2005 (826).jpg
Great fun for them while it lasted but unfortunately the next morning only one of them (Steve Roets) was able to get on the water as a sweep. Tony was in this group and was unplayable that night.
The two guys that stand out as the most loyal sweeps would be Tony Botes and Steve Roets, Colin’s son.
Rob Davey

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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