The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

Questars 360

Thames Ridgeway Challenge

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The underlying principle behind this event is that we provide the framework of the challenge - the logistics and a recommended route, but ultimately it's up to you what and how much you do. So if you want to do something different to what's suggested then that's not a problem as long as it fits in within the framework (and is safe and legal of course). With this in mind, you'll find the answers to some frequently asked questions below...

Can we do just one or two of the Stages?

Yes, but you will need to get yourself to / from where the stages begin / end. If you like the sound of the challenge but think it's a bit too long for you we recommend you just do Stage 2 and Stage 3 - the best bits! This means you will need to get yourself from the event base (Pewsey) to the start of Stage 2 (Lechlade). You can either get someone else to drop you off at Lechlade or you can travel there in one team member's car, leaving the other team members car at the event base for when you finish.

Can I use my own kayak?

Yes, but it must be licenced and we are unable to transport it for you so you will need to make your own arrangements to get it to the put in point, and collect if from get out point.

Can we do it as a relay?

Yes, teams are welcome to undertake the route as a relay. It is possible to split up each stage into smaller chunks (legs) so each team member takes part in each of the three stages. You will need your own support vehicle to transport team members around the course when they are not undertaking a leg, but this can be driven by the team members themselves. You can have as many people in your team as you want but a minimum of two people should undertake each leg together (no legs to be undertaken solo), so four or more team members are recommended for this. Let us know the number of people in your team and if you have any preference how your team wants to undertake the challenge; we can then advise accordingly.

Can a team of three take part?

Yes, you can do it as a relay (see above) with two people taking part at any one time and the third driving the support vehicle. Or all three of you can do it all in which case for Stage 2 you will act as a team of 2 so two team members will kayak whilst the third team member treks / runs alongside, swapping around every so often (e.g. at each set of locks). This means that for teams of 3,  each team member will kayak two-thirds and trek / run one-third of the Stage 2 40-45 km kayak section.

Can I do it on my own?

We're not saying no, but it's not recommended. There are a number of hurdles that need to be overcome such as your safety and how you'll portage your kayak round the locks on your own. Obviously if you don't want to kayak and are happy to do the whole of Stage 2 on foot then this solves the issue around portaging. You will need to provide evidence of your experience to prove your competency. Please let us know your plans if you want to undertake the challenge solo.

How many buoyancy aids do teams of 4 need to carry?

Each team member must wear a properly fitting buoyancy aid at all times when they are on the water (i.e. kayaking). If you undertake the kayaking as a team of 4 (rather than as two teams of 2) only two team members will kayak at a time, so you can get away with sharing two buoyancy aids and swapping them around when you change over if all team members are a similar size. If team members are different sizes you will need to take one buoyancy aid for each team member with you on Stage 2. The two team members don't have to carry their buoyancy aids with them whilst trekking / running - these can easily be stowed on the kayak with the other two team members.

Do I need to hire a backrest?

They are strongly recommended, particularly for teams of 2 and teams of 4 who elect to all kayak together (rather than two team members at a time). Backrests aren't included in the entry fee because although Questars has kayaks, paddles and buoyancy aids, we don't have any backrests. Plus we know some of you have your own backrest, having purchased them to take part in other races. We have therefore come to an arrangement where by those that want to hire a backrest for this event can do so.

What happens if I retire?

You should continue on to the next marshal point and withdraw from the event there. We will pick you up and transport you to the next transition point or railway station (whichever is closer). You will then be able to get a train back to Pewsey (good railway links) or a lift with a marshal back to the event base.

Things to bear in mind...

i) In order to keep entry fees down there won't be a designated broom wagon to pick up people who drop out.

ii) We will endeavour to give people lifts back to the event base with marshals where possible but this will be done as a gesture of goodwill and is not something you should expect as standard. We won't have the ability to give lifts to lots of people / a whole team of 4, and we won't be able to lay on any special or extra trips.

iii) Our priority is making sure the event runs smoothly and everyone's kit is in the right place at the right time. Picking up retiree's and transporting them onwards comes second to everything else.

iv) If you prepare and train properly you will have a good idea of whether you are up to covering the sorts of distances involved. If you aren't, or you have any doubt, you should make contingency plans before you start e.g. bring cash/card for the train or know someone you can call to pick you up and give you a lift back.

v) There will be some short cuts you can take on Stage 3 (which will reduce its overall length by 10-20 km) if you want to continue under your own steam but get back to the event base as quickly as possible.

 

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