Dusi 2011: A second’s tale

2011-02-21 00:00

THE Dusi seconds have a hero. The seconds are themselves the unsung heroes of the Dusi. They are the wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and husbands who spend hours next to rivers in all sorts of weather. They wait anxiously for their loved ones to reach them, handing out sympathy and sustenance, before packing children and baskets back into their cars and worming their way through the tangled mess of traffic on narrow roads, to the next seconding point.

Heaven help them if they’re late. If they’re lucky their paddlers will stop and rest and wait for them. Otherwise they will paddle on to the next stop. The seconds, however, not knowing that their charges have gone, are compelled to wait. Without cellphone contact there is little hope that they will reconnect until the end of the day when, no doubt, some “words” will be exchanged.

On day one of the 2011 Dusi, on the Bishopstowe Hall road, a couple of minor miracles took place. The seconds were not allowed to park in the fields they have used before, near the top of Pine Tree Portage. They were forced to park nearly two kilometres away and walk. The only vehicles allowed on the road were those of the local farmers. A visiting second from Mpumalanga, who was seconding her husband, said that, as she and her sister-in-law were walking down from her car, a local farmer stopped in his loaded two-seater and allowed them to catch a ride on his tailgate. They were immensely grateful, not only for the energy saved, but because her husband and his K2 partner appeared within five minutes of their arrival. Without the ride the seconds would never have made it.

After providing their paddlers with encouragement and sustenance, the seconds began the walk back to their car. A local farmer’s wife stopped. Her open bakkie was packed with weary seconds but they managed to squeeze in two more. At the top they tumbled out, immensely grateful to the local angel. Having unloaded all the passengers, instead of travelling on to town, the angel in disguise turned her bakkie round and went back the way she had come. “What’s she going that way for?” our visitor asked another second who had also hitched a ride. “She’s going to fetch more seconds,” was the reply.

A true second’s second, who can rest well, blessed with the grateful thanks of numerous people whose legs are not quite as weary as they might have been, and who have a story to tell of love and kindness on the river.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.