Rayner Trophy 2012 Report

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Route: Assegaaiboskloof to Jonkershoek

Winners - 3rd Pinelands

Report by Monica Goemans of 2nd Bergvliet Sea Scouts

The Rayner competition was great fun and a big challenge. I was calmly enjoying my weekend when I got a phone call from Thomas. I was the second reserve for this competition and as no one had been sick the night before at scouts, I was already making plans for the weekend. Basically I was given one hour to get ready and get to the Scout Hall. Anyway, I ended up getting to the hall just in time with a very hurriedly packed bag!! which was repacked at the hall. Fifteen minutes later we left and made our way to Franschoek where we did not know where we were going or what our route was to be. The whole thing about Rayner is that no one except the organizers knows where it is going to be or what the route is.

We got to the starting place and our bags were weighed, uniform checked, and maps given out. Several people had to repack their bags and send some belongings home as they were above the limit. Thanks to excellent troop preparation, every one of my team's bags weighed less than11kg and did not have to be repacked.

The route on the first day was easy enough, with many bases in between. It was mainly contour path and there seemed to be a base every few hundred metres! The bases included things like rescuing a drowning person from the dam, 1st aid for a broken leg, concussion, and broken arm, drown proof swimming, panoramic sketch, and many more!! We reached the stopping point for the night at about 5pm. Supper was rice, peas and corn with tuna after which night bases ensued.

2nd Bergvliet Rayner team setting off, Fabio, Carmel, Monica, Chris

The night bases were great fun, and quite easy with our experience from our troop meetings and we were able to finish them in one hour rather than the two hours that were allocated. As with any scout competition, everyone was keen to socialize and didn't get to sleep for a while, though I am sure they regretted it later when they couldn't sleep because of the rain!! It started raining at 3am and continued until about 7am. Only one team had brought a tent, and one had made a rough shelter, some of the teams had brought groundsheets but most had only their sleeping bags. We had been told to wake up at 6am, and I think this may have been the first scout event where they did not have to wake anyone up!! Everyone was keen to go as this would mean they could get warm by hiking.

The second day of hiking was much tougher than the first, 800m up. The path started as a contour path for about 5km, but then zigzagged upwards on a slope of about 45 degrees! It was steep! The bases were more spread out as the path was narrow and it was hard to stop. The bases were the same sort, a lot of mapping and drawing with knots and orienteering thrown in. Once we got to the top of the mountain we were glad that the climb was over and started our descent. On the descent there were more bases, and one where we got to swim in the beautiful river.

Near the end of the hike we ran back to deliver an STA (Spare Time Activity) and ended up missing the last base, which was a pity as it would have made us come 2nd instead of 3rd! Finally we got to the end and relaxed, to wait while the judges compiled the marks and worked out the results.

In all it was a great competition, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The scenery was beautiful, an untouched part of nature. A big thank-you to all those who helped. It really was a great competition and a great experience with a rewarding finish of 3rd place overall!