Kon-Tiki Samba

 Report by Emma Dawson, as appeared in the Constantiaberg Bulletin (Published with permission)

Hundreds of Scouts and Girl Guides, from as far as Port Elizabeth and Brazil, converged on Sandvlei this weekend (April 16 to 18) for the 26th annual Kon-Tiki Adventure.

Competing for the coveted Neville Coxon trophy 28 raft teams and 40 fringe (land) teams began construction of their rafts on Friday (April 16) afternoon. As the light began fading the sound of generators filled the air while the teams worked long into the chilly night constructing their rafts.

Rules for raft building are strict. No raft items may be pre-constructed prior to the event. Emphasis is on pioneering and rafts made of drums and poles lashed together had to provide covered, waterproof accommodation for a crew of six as well as toilet and cooking facilities.

The theme for Kon-Tiki 2004 was Brazil in honour of special international guest, EstÍv„o Salles, who arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday, April 14 to be present at Kon-Tiki and represent the Boy Scouts of Brazil.

On Saturday (April 17) afternoon the excitement built as land and raft teams in theme costumes converged for the opening parade to be awarded raft seaworthy certificates.

Judging was strict and safety paramount, but finally, under the watchful eye of 38 judges and safety crew, all 28 rafts, imaginatively painted and decorated in the Brazilian theme were launched in a flurry of colour, despite a strong north westerly wind whipping up the vlei.

The raft teams were kept busy for the 24 hours afloat. Each team had a number of skill testing activities to complete, including carving the Soccer World Cup trophy from soap, making a model of Sugar Loaf Mountain, with complete working cable car system, and cooking a meal, to be rowed ashore for judging, consisting of Frango Ensopado (traditional Brazilian chicken dish served on rice), fried bananas with cinnamon sugar and ice cream and Cafezinho, a Brazilian style coffee.

Land teams were equally busy competing in a volleyball tournament, cross-country race, kneeboard relays and tug-o-war competition. As night fell everyone gathered for campfire on the jetty. On the water the rafts provided a spectacular backdrop of glowing lights, smudges of colour and flags flapping in the wind.

The overall winners of the fringe competition were 1st Durbanville (A) who were awarded the Andrew ďDolphinĒ Lawson Trophy. Other awards, for best raft construction, best dressed, best cooked meal aboard, spare time activities and the raft race were handed out before the overall winners of Kon-Tiki 2004 were announced.

In third place were 1st Fish Hoek Rangers with 430 points just behind the 2nd Plumstead Scouts, with 433 points, who were awarded second place overall.

Tension mounted and finally the overall competition winners, 1st Bergvliet Scouts, with 436 points, accepted their trophy from the Regional Director of Scouting for Africa, Major Murugu.

Bradley Mann, raft team leader for 1st Bergvliet said: ďThis is my seventh Kon-Tiki and Iíve been on rafts for the last four years. Weíre all really tired, Iíve only slept for six hours in the last two days but Iím ecstatic we won.Ē

Event organiser, John Delport, believes Kon-Tiki gives young competitors the opportunity to test their leadership skills to the fullest. ďThe Kon-Tiki Adventure is one of the most successful competitions run by the Scout Association, largely due to the hardworking staff who are on the go for 72 hours non-stop, as well as the enthusiasm of the Scouts and Guides who make the entire effort worthwhile. Iíd like to thank the Cape Town municipality and residents of Sandvlei for their backing and support; allowing the young people of Cape Town to experience this extraordinary adventure,Ē said Delport.

Message from the Cape Western Area Commissioner, Brian February:

Kontiki 2004 turned out to be a real National and International affair with Scouts from the Eastern Cape participating, the ever presence of EstÍv„o Salles ( and his camera) from Brazil and the visit by the Director for the Africa Region Ė Major Kinuthia Murugu on the Sunday.

As in previous years, this yearís event  proved to be most enjoyable and very popular and as I said at the opening ceremony, Kontiki is very special because it is the one competition on the Areaís calendar where the team is allowed some assistance (up till a point) and this contributes to the development of real team work amongst parents, Scouters and Scouts - within the group.

Kontiki will always be one of our premier events and I would like to encourage the organisers to look ahead to our centenary year of 2007 when the world will be celebrating hundred years of scouting. Kontiki will carry the 2007 Centenary Logo in that year and we should use the next two years in preparation for the real big one in 2007.

The Area continues to be proud of this event and I would like to congratulate John Delport and his team for organising yet another successful event and we look forward to even better things in the years ahead.

Brian A. February

Obrigado EstÍv„o

EstÍv„o SallesThe Brazilian theme was hatched in March 2003 when the first enquiry went to our special guest, EstÍv„o Salles, about the possibility of a contingent of Scouts from Brazil attending Kon-Tiki.    An official invitation was sent from SAHQ and it was accepted.   All too soon, the cost and timing were proved to be problematic.   The Kon-Tiki Adventure coincides with the heart of the Brazilian school term and it is difficult for school goers to get time off.   In spite of this there were still a number of Scouts keen to come to South Africa.  The only air carrier from Brazil to South Africa was SAA and their costs were prohibitive for Scouts who's socio-economic background is not too different from Scouts in this country.  That did not deter EstÍv„o from continuing to try until the last minute.  Brazil's national air carrier, Varig, restarted their direct flights between South Africa and Brazil on 1st April 2004.   

We appreciate that he took the time to attend Kon-Tiki, arriving the Wednesday before and leaving early on the Monday morning following the event. He also gave us a lot of help and advice during the research for the Raft Meal and the STA's.  

EstÍv„o did spend some time giving lessons to our Scouts about saying hello and goodbye.   

Thanks to Gavin Withers and his family for hosting EstÍv„o during the first two nights of his stay and showing him the sights of Cape Town.

The photographs that were taken by EstÍv„o will soon be available for viewing on his website http://www.f64.com.br. For those of you who are interested in what Scouts in Brazil get up to, then visit his website.  To EstÍv„o we say Thank You and Hasta la Vista, Baby.

Kinuthia MuruguIt was a special privilege for everyone present at the closing parade to have Major Kinuthia Murugu, Regional Director for Africa Region, present to say a few words.  His message was clear.  A Scout is expected to "Do their Best" and if the Scouts and Guides knew that in their hearts, that is what they had done, then they had every reason to be proud of their achievements.  It was not a matter of whether judges thought their raft was the best but whether they knew the work that they had put into it was their best.  He said that events like the Kon-Tiki weekend would remain forever in the hearts of the competitors as wonderful memories shared with old and new friends alike, and new skills learnt.  

The Kon-Tiki team thank you, for having taken the time out of your private visit to Cape Town to be with us and do the official presentation. 

The Scouts and Scouters of 1st Bergvliet have every reason to be proud of their win.  They had a mission and prepared for Kon-Tiki 2004 and for them it was mission accomplished.   They demonstrated that there is no supplement for hard work and good planning.  Well done to all of you.  Your win is going to be a hard act to follow and the rest of the teams are itching to take the Neville Coxon Trophy away from you.

Durbanville Has What It Takes

1st Durbanville continue to be a force to be reckoned with at Kon-Tiki and they walked away with the Dolphin Trophy for the third successive year by winning the Kon-Tiki Fringe. Not only did their A team take the trophy, but their C team of girls beat their A team in the Tug-O-War.  

Traffic LightThe Team Behind the Gate

One of the critical tasks at Kon-Tiki is to ensure the smooth flow of traffic when the teams arrive, and the allocation of construction sites, along with directions to camp sites.  Jonathan and Andrea Starke and the adults of the 1st Muizenberg Scout Troop carried out this thankless task for the full weekend, being at the gate from 06:30 every morning until after 11pm each night.   Without their dedication and hard work, chaos would reign.  The team worked diligently and quietly while the rest of the team were able to continue with the various other tasks required, without the worry of the traffic at Sandvlei.  Thanks for doing a stirling job, appreciated by all.

From Port Elizabeth to the banks of Sandvlei

Report by Christine Postma, 1st Sunridge, Port Elizabeth

On Thursday night, approximately 21h55 we boarded the Greyhound bus, which was making its way to Cape Town. The trip took a long twelve hours. When you sit next to Darzee and Aqua and just happen to have a loud voice it seems even longer. Inevitably you will have to lift yourself off of the chair (which has only just become comfortable) walk out into the cold rain and (looking like an idiot) run five to ten laps around the bus.  When we got to Cape Town we had KFC for breakfast (they fed us very well throughout the whole weekend, this was after all no ordinary Sea Scout camp) and then walked to the gardens. We saw a tremendous amount of squirrels (I wasted about eight photos on them) and the Houses of Parliament. We then went to the Holocaust Museum, Anglican Cathedral and some of the other sites in the city. At the Anglican Cathedral, I saw the most beautiful stained glass windows ever.  We then went to the train station only to find that our train had been cancelled. We nervously boarded another train, slightly scared off by the words at the bottom of the tickets ĎDO YOU NEED A FUNERAL PLAN?í. We arrived at the Sandvlei Sea Scout Base where the boys got a boathouse to sleep in and the girls shared the boathouse next door, with the Girl Guides.  We had to help 6th Rondebosch and four of the guys from Cape Eastern went on the raft with them, the Stein twins, Kevin and Jason. We had three fringe teams, the original volleyball team was called ĎOuií, itís hello in Portuguese. EstÍv„o, the guy from Brazil, told us. In the end it turned out that it did not matter in which team you were, you would still do volleyball, knee boarding and tug of war. We were humble losers. I think that the the original tug of war team got to the finals of volleyball and the semi-finals of knee boarding (I think), they did not do all that well in the tug of war. Ironic! We also had to run, Ďjuniorsí (under 14) 5kms, Ďseniorsí (over 14) and ĎOld Peopleí (over 18) 8kms. I was sad to leave, but after we had maneuvered around a screaming lady, we were on our way home. On the bus trip we got another minimal dose of sleep and spent a great deal of time talking. Maybe it was because I had school the next day that I did not want to get off the bus, I donít know, but I would have been quite happy to stay on the bus and keep riding all the way to Durban. Unfortunately I had to leave and go to school and as they say in Brazil all I could say was (excuse the spelling, I donít think spell check will correct this) ĎAsta Lavista Babyí.  

Report by David McGillivray,1st Walmer, Port Elizabeth

I was part of the Cape Eastern team that went down to Cape Town for Kon-Tiki. Our team was composed of 17 Scouts and 4 Scouters and we travelled down by bus.  We were made to feel welcome and important when our arrival was announced over the loudspeakers. The way every thing was organised was excellent (although if they could have organised better weather that would have been great!) Our team was not supposed to be building a raft, but just helping where needed and taking part in the fringe events.

Our help was not needed much on Friday night, but on Saturday morning 6th Rondebosch needed 4 Scouts to be part of their raft crew. We all helped to build the raft and hoped that the raft would prove to be better than Titanic. I was interested in the metal T-bar that was used to tighten the lashings, but undoing the knots on Sunday proved very challenging! Building the rafts was tiring but also great fun. It required concentration, hard work and tight lashings but most of all perseverance. It taught us how necessary it is to work together as a team. (Together Everyone Achieves More) 

There was a festive atmosphere when all the raft crews paraded around in fancy-dress costumes before going onto the water.  It was a magnificent sight to see all the rafts being towed out onto the lake. Then the fringe events started. Volleyball and tug-of-war all went very smoothly and, although our team lost, we enjoyed ourselves. I was one of the kneeboarding leaders but it was very tricky for my team and I to compete because the Malibu boards were senior boards and too wide for us to paddle properly. (Maybe next time someone could organise a few under 12 malibu boards). However we did our best and still had fun. The cross-country event was a bit chaotic with everyone starting together, and many of the seniors did not know where to run. Either the juniors did not run 5km or the seniors ran 15km because they ran 3 times our distance. The junior race did not feel like 5km but I was pleased I came third.

I felt sorry for the Scouts spending the night out on the water, as I climbed onto my bunk bed and into my sleeping bag. It was nice meeting new people and also seeing people that I had met just two weeks ago for the Nipper Nationals in Strand. We were looked after well and the food was the tastiest food I have tasted in ages. I really enjoyed myself and am looking forward to next yearís KONTIKI!!!!         

CPR Instruction Proves Popular

On the Saturday evening at 6pm, Peter Niddrie, event First Aid officer, and Cheryl Delport, conducted CPR classes for any Scouts, Guides, Scouters or Guiders who were interested and not busy with anything else at the time.   This proved so popular that they had to run two seperate classes of 20 people each and had they had enough resusci-aids they would have had enough participants to run at least a further two.   This item, all going well, will be repeated at next year's Kon-Tiki.   Both Peter and Cheryl are qualified instructors.

Beaver Weather

For the second successive year, Beaver Rose has resolved the weather problem at Kon-Tiki.  Friday was a soaking day and little respite during the evening and on Saturday with more rain threatening to dampen the event, the skies cleared within a half hour of Beaver's arrival and the rain remained away for the remainder of the weekend.   Thanks Beaver, and congratulations on your 80th birthday from the thousands of Scouts that you have influenced during your more than  70 years involvement in the movement.

Dave Croeser, John Salway and Neil Coxon who received Certificates of Merit for their continued hard work and support at Kon-Tiki.

2007 - One World One Promise


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