Rayner Trophy 1983 Report

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This year's Rayner Trophy teams were charged with undertaking an exploratory hike to investigate the Suurvlakte Valley, which lies in the mountains between Wolseley and the Voelvlei Dam. This area was actually investigated by Escom a few years back with a view to building a dam for a pumped storage electricity generation scheme, similar to that at Steenbras Dam. The Scouts had to assess the viability of that scheme, choose the dam site, investigate the impact of such a scheme on the local ecology and draw up a plan for possible recreational activities.

A record 44 entries were received, but last- minute cancellations reduced to 33 the number of teams who set off up the mountain from Kluitjieskraal Forest Station on Saturday 12th February. Fourteen judges preceded the teams and set up bases along the route, covering subjects such as Scout Law, Knotting, Semaphore Signalling, Heart attack treatment, Estimation, Observation and Decoding. Weary Scouts reached the overnight camp on the edge of the massive pine plantation at about 19h00, immediately to produce an "exotic version" of the traditional Scout camp meal of "bully- beef-hash". To the judge's disappointment this meal did not turn out to be quite as "exotic" as hoped for from the majority of Troops; however, Rennies Tablets put the matter right'. Six night stunts in the forest around camp, tested the teams on leadership, ingenuity and technical ability. They consisted of crossing obstacles, rescues from heights, night stalking, pouring "heavy water" from a distance etc. Most teams managed to get to sleep by 01 00 on Sunday.

On Sunday morning a breakfast of Welsh Rarebit and Piperade was required, which was followed by further basic tests around the campsite, such as; measuring the height of a mountain, estimating the width of a river, treating fractures, solving a tracking story, singing their own Rayner Victory song and tying a Rolling Hitch around a tree from a distance of three metres away.

The teams set off again on the hike northwards down the valley in the order of the speed at which they presented the judges with a cup of tea at 10h30. The hiking was now through beautiful pine plantations, criss-crossed with rivers. The valley is about 8 kilometres long by l km wide and is totally enclosed by mountains, almost like a lost world.

Along the route teams had to deal with hyperthermia (heat exhaustion) demonstrate the Heimlich Manoeuvre in a case of choking, pin-point their position on a map and cross a deep river with kits. There was no time to stop for a formal lunch at the weir at the bottom of the valley and teams descended sharply on the side of two huge waterfalls to the kloof 100 metres below. Here they made a hydrographic survey of the huge pool at the base of the kloof, before setting off down to the next stop, which was snake-bite treatment. (Scouters are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new official treatment of snake-bite in the First Aid advancement and Proficiency Badge books now on sale, as this base was badly done by most teams).

An hour's hike down 'the very rough kloof brought: the teams to a pool at which they had to rescue a patient from drowning. A further 30 minutes tough hiking brought the teams to the weir at Waterval Forest Station, where they had to cross· the river on a single rope as the last test. Ten Troop Scouters had spent the previous night at this spot, having accepted the open invitation of the Chief Judge to do so and to witness some of the competition on the Sunday. This concession was mainly due to the distance of the venue from Cape Town and will not necessarily happen again.

The trophy was presented to the winning team, 1st Somerset West by the Chief Scout Colin Inglis at Waterval Forest Station at l7h30. Area Commissioner Garnet de la Hunt, drove out especially for the presentation. The results of the competition are printed below: - I should like to thank Messrs A Wilsont G Pretorius and A Roscher of the Department of Forestry for very special permission to use the area; also Winston's HQ staff for all the preparation of the paper-work. I give a special word of thanks to my fellow judges, C Inglis, E Bryant, K Wall, E Kotze, J Wilding, B Figaji, P Milner, D Page, J Mutti, T Smythe, C Hendricks, A Snyman, C de la Hunt and A Wilkinson.

Richard Goldschmidt
Chief Judge

1. 1st Somerset West 199 72%
2. 2nd Somerset West 194 70%
3. 3rd Pinelands - A 191 69%
4. 4th Rondebosch 186 68%
5. 1st Pine1ands - A 176 64%
6. 1st Durbanville 173 63%
7. 2nd Rondebosch 172 63%
8. 1st Monte Vista -A 170 62%
9. 3rd Claremont 166 60%
10. 1st Camps Bay 155 56%
4th C1aremont 155 56%