The penultimate race of the 2023 Questars Series took place in the beautiful village of Wareham on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. With a challenging and hilly course stretching right down to the south coast and temperatures forecast to be in the mid-twenties the stage was set for a fascinating day of adventure racing.
Swanage & Wareham Rugby Club provided a great and comfortable venue for the event with loads of seating both inside and out for route and strategy planning. It is always interesting to see how teams plan their strategies and Dorset was no different, in the Masters category 50% of teams headed out on foot first versus 90% of Novice Teams! There was a nice even spread of teams heading out within the start window with a number of teams starting right from the go and other teams hanging around (and no doubt questioning their strategies!) until later in the window to start their adventures.
The course was designed to give racers plenty of options with flatter route choices near the event base and hills aplenty and views of the sea along the Purbeck ridge for those willing to venture further afield. The kayak leg took racers on a winding trip to the quieter parts of the river Frome with racers coming back regaling our transition team of sightings of otters and seals!
It really was a course to savour with many teams (including all of the top three and five of the top eight) making the most of the racing available and coming back late, incurring the requisite penalties as a result. The soaring temperatures didn’t deter everyone leaving it all on the course and coming back red, hot, and all adventured-out from an epic day.
Out on course, CP16 (see video here) proved to be challenging for a lot of teams with a false trod taking racers away from the checkpoint into an adjacent field and adventure racing frustration.
There were a number of family groups out with us again with Rebecca Allenby-Smith (14) having an excellent first race alongside Dad Ollie in the Novice Mixed category, Oliver Dencher (14) winning the novice category alongside Dad Mike and Aimee Looker (14 and a bit…) winning the Masters female category alongside Mum Sandra to name but a few.
All in all, it was a brilliant day out.
A special thanks to Lyndon Sutton, not only did he win the super-vets category, he also stuck around after the finish to help with the load up of the van. Thank you Lyndon- a true adventure racing hero!
Full results can be found here. A summary of the results follow:
There were some fantastic individual stage performances with Gary Davies completing (in distance if not points – see CP16 earlier…) the bike course in 3 hours 15 minutes, Dan Thorby completing the run course in a 3 hours 5 minutes and Team Brett (Andy Brett, Chris Humphrey and Charlie Nell) the fastest of 16 teams to complete the kayak course in an impressive time of 47 minutes 35 seconds. It was strategy and consistency that won the day though, with Nick Gracie and Tom Davies (Team Endurancelife) using every ounce of their adventure racing experience to win overall with the 9th best bike, 4th best run and 10th best kayak.
Isla Reynolds pipped Julie Banton to victory in the female solo category with Many Hibberd coming home in third while mother and daughter team The Lookers (Aimee and Sandra) beat the Mad Old Tarts (Maggie Salter and Liz Jones) in the female teams category with The Dynamic Duo (Amy Lambden and Erica Guselli) taking the last step on the podium. In the mixed category, Need for Speed (Andrew Cawthorne and Imogen Walsh) beat first time racers G&T (Ellie Gilham and Simon Tang) by an agonising 5 points! In the Open solo category Gary Davies won the day whilst a ding-dong battle between Tom Hards and Andy Prince saw them finish on the same points but with Tom coming home 26 seconds quicker for the second step on the podium whilst James Brown collected the most points but was pushed down into fourth place due to time penalties incurred by enjoying the course just that little bit too much. In the Open teams category, Team Endurancelife beat Team Brett with Doctoring results (Simon Jennison and Thomas Staunton) coming home in third.
In the novice category, the fastest to complete the kayak were The Greased Trunnions (Rob Bowra, John Foster and Darrell Woodford) a whopping 5 seconds faster than Team Grrr (Grace Lovelass, Rowan Young, Robert Young and Robert Lovelass)! Wohh Two Old Men in Lycra (Matt Ward and Phil Bolton), no doubt buoyed by the aerodynamic gains of their clothing choice, top scored in the run with 255 points in 2 hours 47 whilst Graeme Blair top scored on the bike with 300 points in 2 hours 57.
Brothers Jeremy and Simon Webb battled for family bragging rights in the Novice category with Simon coming out on top by 38 points to take the overall category win, beating Jeremy in second whilst father and son pair Team Dencher (Michael and Oliver) came in in third 7 points behind and 1 point ahead of fourth (Graeme Blair)!
Beverley Darkin beat Micah Mackay in the female solo category whilst in the female teams category Team Griffin (Ann Griffin and Janine Crawford) beat ET Ride Home (Ella Pyman and Tracey Freeman) with Zombie Stampede (Danielle Wyman, Kate Edwards and Nerys Case) making up the podium. In the mixed category, Team Grrr pipped Team Hance (Carolyn and Nicholas Hance) with Team Wilkinson (Oliver and Rebecca Wilkinson) coming home in third. In the Open solo category, Simon Webb beat brother Jeremy with Graeme Blair coming home third. In the Open Teams category, Team Dencher took the win with Team By George, Latimer brought a Barbera (Hakon By, Tim Latimer, Richard George and Massimo Barbera) second and The Unfit Dads team of Thomas Wallace and Rory Dickinson proving that there is sometimes nothing in a name by completing the podium.
In the Duo category, Stuart Whiting (Team Flying(ish) fish) beat the team of Netley Numpties (Nils Jolliffe and Ben Rogers) with a great performance on the bike leg picking up 290 points in 2 hours 31 minutes for a score of 460 overall.
The 2023 Questars Series
Our next race is in the Cotswolds which is the final event of our four one-day races which make up our 2023 Series Championship. Anyone entering into any of our adventure races will be automatically entered into our Series Championship with each individual’s top three one-day results counting towards the final Championship position. Full details can be found on our Series Championship page, a summary of current standings can be found here.