It was a historic moment for the 1st Muizenberg Sea Scouts when they won the Rayner Trophy competition for the first time since the group’s inception in September 1909.
This year’s Rayner Trophy competition was held in the Hottentots Holland Mountains and started at Nuweberg on Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5.
Scout leader Angela Lee-Wright said the coveted Rayner Trophy is a senior scout hiking competition that was first held in April 1954.
A team of four senior scouts, aged from 14 to 17, set out on an overnight hiking trail, and hike from base to base.
They get tested on various activities along the way, including first aid, sense training, advanced knotting and pioneering, orienteering and solving complex ciphers and codes, which allow them to demonstrate their leadership and problem-solving ability.
Ms Lee-Wright said the route took the scouts to Landdroskop hut where they spent the night. They then walked down the Sphinx trail back to Nuweberg.
Bad weather was an issue, she said, but the scouts were well prepared to counter rain and were in high spirits. She said this year’s entry of 32 teams was the highest number of teams that had taken part in years.
Kaelan Lamberth, 16, the patrol leader of the winning team, said: “I was expecting to do well, but after not hearing our team in the tenth to fourth position, I felt defeated, and I gave up, and then they said the names of those in second and first place, but since I had given up already when they said team 16 had won, it took me a solid three seconds to understand that it meant us. I was filled with surprise and joy, and I definitely, definitely did not cry,” he said.
Troop scouter David Bosch said it was an “immensely proud moment” to see the last four years of skills development, teaching and participation, culminating in the 1st Muizenberg Sea Scouts winning the Rayner Trophy for the first time in the history of the competition.
The trophy has been brought home for the year and sits proudly on the walls of the Sea Scout Base for all to see, said Ms Lee-Wright.