Rayner Trophy 1991 Report

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Houw Hoek Inn to Nuweberg Forest Station

All the teams met below the bridge at the turnoff from the R44 to Cape Town where we reported to Peter Foster, Chief Judge, received our instructions and were told to meet at Houw Hoek Inn. At the Inn we had Inspection and were given codes and a quiz. The route was very rough and there was a trail for only the last half of the afternoon.

Only a few bases had practical work, the rest were all quizzes. At some of the bases we had to wait in the queue for over half an hour. We arrived at camp at 20:30 and it was already dark. There we had to build a bivvy (shelter) and cook our chicken pressure-packs. That night we had a few night bases until 24:30. We then had supper and did our Spare Time Activities (S.T.A.'s).

After a good 4 hours' sleep we woke up to clean the campsite and prepare breakfast for Inspection. After Inspection we were given a code, then we set off hiking. The route until lunch was all steep uphill and there wasn't a path. At the lunch-spot, along the road, we were given more quizzes and there we had to make tea to hand in.

Then it started to rain, and when it rains in the mountains it rains hard! Many bases were cancelled because of the rain and the last bases were all quizzes where we had difficulty writing in both pen and pencil. Our packs and clothing were all sopping wet, the rain had soaked through our raincoats and we were carrying at least 3 litres of water in our boots alone. Among the bases were: pioneering, first-aid theory, mapping, observation, identification of plants and snakes, and many more.

Luckily the road from lunch was all downhill. We changed into our dry uniform at Nuweberg, which had been transported from the beginning. Our folks were there and were anxious to see us and hear all about it. All our pain and perseverance had paid off, with our team coming third. 2nd Hout Bay won the trophy, with 2nd Kenridge second,1st Durbanville fourth and 1st Pinelands fifth.

The 2nd Somerset west team consisted of Bruce Shelley (PL), Craig Wright (APL), Neil Robertson and Neville Howell.

Bruce Shelley
Troop Leader
2nd Somerset West