Rayner Trophy 1963 Report

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Route: Du Toit's Kloof and Elandskloof

The Rayner Trophy for Senior Scouts for 1963 was held over the weekend 2nd-3rd March, 1963.

This year the Competition was held in the du Toit's Kloof mountains in an ideal area of not too difficult hiking and containing an excellent campsite with spectacular scenery. Elandskloof down which they hiked and operated on Sunday is one of the most pleasant in the Cape.

It is my opinion, and that of the other judges that this year's competition was (a) the most successful and enjoyable to date, and (b) the teams displayed the highest efficiency and spirit we have yet seen.

Teams met at the top of du Toit's Kloof at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Tests 1 (inspection) and 2 (registration cards) were judged before we moved off down the kloof by car to the Fisantekraal road turnoff - the reasons for this were:-

(i) it would enable latecomers to arrive before teams set off into the mountains.
(ii) it is easily found and well-known.
(iii) it has a suitable open space big enough for all teams to parade without danger from traffic.

Teams set off up the Fisantekraal road keeping logs of route, weather, nature etc. On the way they completed the Observation, Scout Law and Decoding tests. It is important that the tests on the way to camp be short to obviate teams piling up and delay. The teams reached the nek and then descended to the Fisantekraal campsite under large trees next to a fair-sized stream. For tests see details attached. Cooking was done in aluminium foil.

As the general theme of the camp was that of Chindit Patrols fighting the Japanese in Burma, the Night Operations were an important feature of the competition - an obstacle course comprising dead man's crawl over the river, the handling of a radio-active egg out of the top of a tree, the making and ascent of a 20-foot rope ladder, demonstrations of transporting patients and surmounting a 15-foot electrified fence all in the dark, tested leadership, efficiency and morale very effectively. On completion of the obstacles teams hiked in the dark over very rough country for some 2 miles to a flashing light. They had no maps or compasses. On arrival they were given a 40-word message to memorise (4 minutes sight) before they returned to camp via another route involving plenty of uphill work. The scout spirit was everywhere evident and it appeared that the whole operation was much enjoyed by the boys. Out of all the teams only the non-competitive 10th Green & Sea Point (they had a 2nd Gasp scout as replacement for one of theirs who fell out at the last minute) did not complete the arduous Operation.

On Sunday after various tests at the campsite, teams proceeded downstream through the gorge (stalking, as Japanese (judges) were dropping grenades (firecrackers) down near them from the top of the gorge as teams proceeded down the riverbed). At the junction with Elandskloof several popular water tests, which were much enjoyed, were held, including diving into 15 feet of water for an object, crossing the river by bridging a steep gap and 50 yards of swimming.

Teams then hiked down Elandskloof to the road bridge in du Toit's Kloof, arriving at 5 p.m., the last team at 5.45 p.m.

Colin Inglis, Impey Bryant, R. Ritchie, 'Dassie' Axten, David Sinclair-Smith, Colin Sinclair-Smith and Peter Barnard. For this type of competition, it is necessary to have the assistance of judges who have some knowledge of mountaineering, good scouting knowledge, and fitness, to enable them to cover the course.

Most of the judges assisted last year and this experience definitely contributed to making us an efficient team and helped to make things go smoothly. I am grateful for their cheerful and able assistance in the arduous job of Rayner Judge.

Entries: There were originally 22 entries, but 7 teams withdrew for one reason or another and 1 team was non-competitive.

The 15 teams were as follows: -

  • 1st Strand
  • 10th Green & Sea Point (non-competitive)
  • 1st Bellville
  • 11th Green & Sea Point
  • 2nd Rondebosch
  • 7th Green and Sea Point
  • 2nd Claremont
  • 2nd Green & Sea Point
  • 1st Parow
  • 2nd Pinelands
  • 1st Pinelands
  • 4th Rondebosch
  • 3rd Pine lands
  • 1st Wynberg & Plumstead
  • 1st Camps Bay

1st 1st Pinelands
2nd 2nd Pine lands
3rd Tie 7th Green & Sea Point and 2nd Green & Sea Point

The efficiency this year was higher than previously. Morale was high throughout and there was less evidence of 'giving up'. As is usual, with a very few exceptions, the standard of the logs was very poor and a determined effort is called for to overcome this weakness in the Division. Obviously, no training in this aspect of scout training is being given.

All the contestants deserve congratulations on a good effort.

Chief Judge: Colin Ingles
4th March, 1963