For the first time in many years we entered two teams into the Rayner Trophy, one experienced and one with no experience of Rayner.
The competition followed the Highlands Trail which proved beneficial we hiked the trail a few years ago and it was also done as a First Class hike a year or two ago. The competition followed the usual format but due to an error many patrols got lost early on in the competition which set them back by several hours and resulted in several bases being closed. However, even the leading patrols (1st Claremont A among them) only reached the overnight stop at Iona Farm after dark.
Due to lateness, night bases were mostly cancelled (including two which would have required a swim in the dam) and activities ceased at 23h00. By this point it was clear that there were only 3 or so real contenders for the Trophy with our A team being one of them. Our B team however was keeping a good position in the hiking pack and did not seem unduly stressed.
Day 2 was an early start with judges leaving at 06h00 to hike the days route ahead of the patrols and the patrols leaving soon after. Day 2 was a long hike in conditions which turned hot. With time at a premium some bases were shut down after only 2 or 3 patrols had got through. By this point our A team was hiking out front but the other two contenders were hot on their heels. The competition finished at the Kleinmond Golf Club. The competition was won by 1st Bergvliet with our A team a close 2 points behind them, followed by 1st Monte Vista a mere 2 points behind us.
Our B team came an excellent 8th! No other troop placed two teams in the top ten so this was a superb result from both teams and underscores our commitment to producing fine scouts across the board rather than winning competitions at all costs. Well done to both teams on a Rayner that was the toughest in the last few years.