Rayner Trophy 1996 Report

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Route: Grabouw and Nuweberg

Winners - 1st Pinelands

Twenty four teams met alongside the N2 at Somerset West on Saturday afternoon 24 February to receive instructions as to the Eikenhof Dam, Elgin, start of the Rayner Trophy Competition. The theme of the competition was the latest James Bond movie, Golden Eye.

Teams set off up the Wesselsgat river which winds its way through the steep mountainside towards the Boland Hiking Trail. After transporting kit and themselves across a small dam they climbed steeply through the pine plantation to the jeep track where tests such as sand story, first aid, weather prediction, marksmanship, Scout Laws, rope climbing were done whilst following the track upwards. The first team arrived at the overnight campsite under the pines at 18.30 and settled in to do STA's such as codes and Logic Quiz/Puzzles.

A meal of a chicken dish and rice, together with a dessert of stewed apples and custard, had to be served before the night stunts began at 21.00. These tests continued until 24.00 in a radius of 500 metres from the campsite. They consisted of blindfold tent pitching, crossing an electrified fence, estimation, deadmanscrawl, stalking, knotting, position finding, splicing, needlework and further logic puzzles.

At 06.30 on Sunday morning the assembled teams were trying to distinguish between Handel, Mozart, Bon Jovi and Queen on a tape recorder. Breakfast was eaten whilst making map of the campsite or making a plaster cast, or making a water filter. By 08.00 the teams were roaring up the steep mountain track to the neck overlooking the Nuweberg Forest station.

At the neck the path changed direction towards the Landdroskop hut on the Boland trail. Swirling mist forced the judges to re-position some of the tests ie pin-pointing position on a map with a compass, but fortunately as we climbed higher so the cloud lifted. Tests such as semaphore signalling, outdoor code, knotting, direction finding were done without problems.

An hour or so along this path brought the teams to the start of the Palmiet River in the valley below them. A careful descent to protect the fynbos brought them to the river only to find that they had a broken leg and stretcher case on their hands. On descending further down the steep, rocky but beautiful river kloof, much to the teams' dismay, the judges seem to have devised another test which entailed them getting into the clear, but cold, mountain pools.

The sun shone weakly through the high clouds, a weak cold front having passed through during the night. Water rescues, patients across pools and artificial respiration were amongst the tests asked of the teams.

At last the first teams starting emerging onto the jeep track at the bottom of the kloof at 15.00. A few kilometres further on they did the final test of the tea making before changing into uniforms and striding to the finish point at Nuweberg Forest Station.

The first six teams were very close in points, followed by a large gap.

The results were as follows:

1 1st Pinelands 279 13 1st Somerset West 191
2 2nd Bergvliet A 277 14 2nd Fish Hoek 184
3 2nd Kenridge 270 15 1st Stellenbosch 183
4 1st Rosebank 268 16 1st Fish Hoek 175
5 1st Durbanville 256 17 1st Milnerton 166
6 1st Bergvliet 254 18 1st Strand 161
7 2nd Hout Bay 227 19 6th Rondebosch 158
8 3rd Pinelands A 221 20 1st Muizenberg 158
9 1st Observatory 213 21 1st Table View 150
10 2nd Bergvliet B 208 22 1st Paarl 146
11 1st North Pine 203 23 1st Matroosfontein 135
12 3rd Pinelands B 200 24 1st Factreton 122

Chief Judge: Richard Goldschmidt