Gun challenge: Lesotho Defence Force wins

2009-04-08 00:00

The annual Ladysmith Swartkop Challenge that took place last Sunday was won by the Lesotho Defence Force team, which set a record for the uphill climb of nine minutes 10,5 seconds.

In the Ladysmith Swartkop Challenge, teams of 20 plus two leaders draw an antique gun weighing 1 300 kg up a steep hill over a course of some 130 metres.

Once they have got the gun to the top they have to fire it. The event was inspired by incidents in the South African War of 1899 to 1902 when heavy guns were mounted on the top of kopjes after being dragged up by soldiers.

Several overseas teams took part, including the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, whose team members had recently returned from active service in Afghanistan. They achieved a time of 14 minutes 50,1 seconds. The Manchester and Salford University Officer Training Corps, which had 10 women in its team, completed the course in 18 minutes 17,2 seconds.

The 5 SA Infantry’s first team broke their previous record with a time of 15 minutes 59,9 seconds. The second team of SANDF regulars finished in 16 minutes 47,5 seconds. The local municipality’s team, the Titans, finished in 20 minutes 12,7 seconds.

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