Independent Online

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Biker pauses N3TC Drak Challenge to rescue teen paddler in distress during his first race

Anthony Halliday stopped his race in the Euro Steel Drak Descent to rescue 15- year-old paddler Keegan Morris taking part in the N3TC Drak Challenge in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture : Supplied Gameplan Media

Anthony Halliday stopped his race in the Euro Steel Drak Descent to rescue 15- year-old paddler Keegan Morris taking part in the N3TC Drak Challenge in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture : Supplied Gameplan Media

Published Feb 3, 2022

Share

DURBAN - Anthony Halliday emerged as the real hero of the weekend after stepping in to rescue a paddler in trouble on the uMzimkhulu River in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.

The paddler, Keegan Morris, 15, was a participant in the N3TC Drak Challenge canoe marathon.

Story continues below Advertisement

According to N3TC Drak Challenge spokesperson Dave Macleod, Halliday was riding in the Euro Steel Drak Descent with his partner Geoff Nightingale. They were enjoying the trails alongside the very full river on Saturday morning when they rode up to a rapid called the Ugly Sister.

Halliday spotted a paddler in distress in the middle of the rapid, separated from his partner and without paddles, said Macleod.

It was Morris, who was paddling with his father Richard in his first Drak when they ran into trouble in the big technical water and they wrapped their K2. Richard was swept downstream after freeing the broken boat.

Story continues below Advertisement

Halliday is a seasoned paddler himself and a regular sweep at the MyLife Dusi. Nightingale said they spotted the youngster on a rock in the middle of the river, and the reaction from Halliday was immediate.

“There was no hesitation. He dropped his bike and waded into the river in his cleats to get to the paddler. The paddler was battling and at times I saw his head go below the water.

“Anthony got to him and helped him get to the bank, checked that he was okay and then we went on with our ride,” outlined Nightingale.

Story continues below Advertisement

Halliday, who has three Drak finishes to his credit, shrugged off his act of bravery.

"It is standard procedure," he said. "As someone who paddles I know that you don't think twice to go and help a fellow paddler in need.

"Besides, I was really tired and I needed a break, and I was intrigued to see how my cleats would handle the water," he quipped.

Story continues below Advertisement

Macleod said that at the post-race prize giving the hosts Canyon Kayak Club took the unusual decision to present the Alick Rennie Fellowship Award, usually reserved for a fellow paddler who performs an act of bravery or selflessness, to Halliday.

“While the race winners basked in the limelight on Sunday afternoon mountain biker Anthony Halliday emerged as the real hero of the weekend,” Macleod said.

Alick Rennie was an Underberg local and a passionate paddler who loved nothing more than to get onto the uMzimkhulu when it was heaving. He was a class act paddler in big water, and one of the best slalom paddlers South Africa has ever produced. He went to the Barcelona Olympics as part of the Team SA that made history on the return of South African sport to the Olympic fold. Rennie died in a plane crash in December 2013.

Daily News

Related Topics:

Share