The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

South Downs Adventure Race


About the Race

This adventure race follows the usual Questars format, however there may be one or two things bespoke to this adventure race. Don't worry if you don't understand everything that's written on this page at the moment - all will become clear after you see the course map and hear the race briefing.

Start & Finish

The start and finish is at the event base. Come to the yellow arch on foot to start. No bikes are allowed at the start / finish arch - leave them in the designated area.

Once you've started, if you want to Mt Bike first, proceed on foot to collect your bike from the transition area and exit on your bike. Likewise, if you Mt Bike last, return your bike to the transition area and make your way to the yellow arch on foot to finish.

  • The course closes at 1630 with the furthest checkpoints removed before this (so don’t go looking for these if you are late). You should use the Emergency Contact number (on your map) to let us know you are running late if you won't make it back before 1630.
  • Please make sure you hand in your EMIT card at the download station in the sports hall as soon as possible. Failure to do so before 1630 for Masters and 1640 for Novices means you won't be included in the provisional results and will therefore forfeit the chance of winning a prize.


The kayaking takes place from a remote point (i.e. the kayaking is not near the event base). You will need to cycle to this remote transition point. You can visit Mt Bike checkpoints both on your way there and back. Anything you want for the kayaking (e.g. a change of footwear) you will need to carry with you.

The kayaking takes place on a tidal estuary. As the tide goes out, so the water moves quite rapidly at the kayak transition point. You should all be off the water before this happens but if not, please make sure you follow the guidance on the map plus any instructions given to you by the Quest team on the water - these are for your safety and to ensure you don't have a long walk back up the river bank with your kayak!

You should be able to reach all the kayak checkpoints from the water without having to get out of your kayak (unless they have got stuck by the rising / falling tide). 

The checkpoints are attached to white buoys / floats which are tied to objects on the water / river bank. Glide up to the checkpoint in your kayak, punch them with your EMIT card as normal and kayak on. Don’t lean out of the kayak too much as you could over balance. Do not pull on the rope / checkpoint as you may pull it off. Should this happen, reattach the checkpoint and inform the marshal in the safety boat.

For both safety and security reasons, spectators are kindly reminded to stay out of the remote transition area and to keep out of the way of participants getting on and off the water. There is plenty of room for spectating from footpaths alongside the river and from bridges over the river.

  • You can only kayak within your allocated kayak time slot.
  • Maximum of 2 people per kayak. Solos & pairs use one kayak. Teams of 3 and 4 use two kayaks.
  • Always wear a buoyancy aid and make sure it's done up properly.
  • Ask the Quest Team for help if uncertain about where to sit / kayaking technique.
  • The sit on top kayaks are like giant floats, cannot sink, rarely capsize & are great fun to paddle.
  • Always be considerate to other water users. Stay in control whilst on the water and keep clear of other boats / floating objects / anglers lines.

Mountain Biking

Bikes must remain on roads, byways and bridleways at all times. No bikes are allowed on footpaths at any time. See the key on the course map for details.

A roads are generally out of bounds unless they're in a residential area and a 30 mph speed limit applies.

If kayaking, you can split up the Mt Biking and visit some Mt Bike checkpoints before you kayak and other Mt Bike checkpoints after you kayak.

  • Always wear a bike helmet.
  • Always give way to horse riders - it's a legal obligation on bridleways!
  • Slow down and moderate your speed when passing other people and livestock.
  • When descending narrow trails you must give way to riders coming uphill (i.e. get out of their way).
  • Always follow the Cycling Code and the Highway Code.

Trail Run

The Trail Run starts and finishes from the event base (Hove Park Valley Campus). You will therefore not need to carry your running shoes with you on the bike (if different from those you wear cycling) unless of course you wish to wear them for the kayaking.

It is strongly advisable (and certainly most efficient) to visit all the Trail Run checkpoints that you want to visit in one go.

During the Trail run you should remain on public rights of way and other permitted routes at all times - see the key on the course map for details.

  • Always follow the Countryside Code - respect other people and protect the natural environment.


You will transition between the running and biking at the event base (so you don't need to carry running shoes with you on the bike if you don't want to).

Water will be available at the event base and remote transition point for you to top up during the race. There are also a couple of water taps on the South Downs way.

Spectators are kindly reminded that they should not enter the transition areas - these areas are for participants only.

Marshals will keep an eye on transition areas during the race but they get pretty busy at times & space is limited. In the past a couple of people have returned to transition unable to find something of theirs because they left their things loose / on their own and these became muddled up with other participant's belongings. We therefore recommend you take the following precautions to safeguard your equipment:

  • Mt Bike items (e.g. helmet, SPDs etc.) should either be attached to or left (preferably in a bag or box) with your bike whilst you are running / kayaking.
  • Slip a lock round your bike(s) to prevent anyone mistaking it for theirs.


If you have a serious accident, summon help by blowing six short blasts on your whistle every minute. If you hear this go immediately to assist (times of teams that give assistance to others can be adjusted accordingly). Phone 999 and tell the ambulance service where you are - install the OS Locate app on your smart phone to help with this. Then phone one of the emergency contact numbers (on your map) to let us know.

  • Each team must carry a first aid kit and a whistle with them.
  • Ensure that your competitive instincts do not override your common sense.
  • Close all gates behind you and make sure they are properly fastened.
  • Leaving litter on the course is totally unacceptable and won't be tolerated. Please make sure all empty wrappers are securely stowed and carried back to transition / the finish with you.
  • Where routes are different on the ground to those marked on your map, you should follow the route on the ground.
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