The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series
 

The Likeys 2009 questars Adventure Race Series - Race 4

Results:

Full race results are kindly provided by EMIT and are available above. The 2009 series leaderboard has been updated with the scores from this race and it can be found on this page here.

Photos:

A Sleepmosters photographer, took photos of teams during this race. These will be put on the Sleepmonsters website here a few days after the race.

Race Report:

The fourth and final event in the sell out Likeys 2009 Questars Adventure Race Series took place on Saturday in what were described by participants as ‘absolutely stunning surroundings’.

At the pre race briefing teams were welcomed and advised that they had ahead of them some great terrain to explore on foot, bike and on the water. The north Cotswold Hills, countryside and villages made for very varied terrain with a lot of off road biking and trail running and great views. What’s more teams were told to look out for and enjoy copious amounts of free energy boosting food liberally distributed all around the course….wonderfully plump blackberries were in every hedgerow, and were devoured in large quantities by those teams not intent on winning positions in the hotly contested eleven prize categories and the overall series leaderboard.

Teams from all across the UK took part, including some who had travelled all the way from Northern Ireland, Perth in Scotland and even Dubai. The weather was considerably kinder than there with ideal conditions for adventure racing – calm, cloudy and cool. As with all Questars there were key choices to make right at the start of the race. The location of the three dummy checkpoints on the trail run and mountain biking stages plus the value of all 36 available checkpoints were revealed on the start line as team collected that all important Checkpoints Card.

Those teams with early kayaking slots headed down the taped route to the nearby kayak transition point. Kayaking time slots have been distributed evenly over the four event series so that teams in each category had a mix of time slots. In this way the different options of kayaking first, last or in the middle of the race have been provided to all competitors. Once on the River Avon teams quickly adapted to the moving water, to locate each of the six bankside checkpoints. It was a real strategic decision whether to go for the furthest and most valuable kayaking checkpoint. Collect 45 points was enticing but also held the risk of being late back and picking up a 50 point penalty.

The trail run stage kept close to the river for a significant section. Indeed sleepmonster photographer, Kirk, took many great action shots of kayakers on the river and runners on the riverside path. One riverside string of checkpoints entailed the runners crossing the Avon over a weir and a lock before deciding whether to head back to base or take to the slopes of Bredon Hill in search for the highest value checkpoints. Those that did brave the heights were rewarded with panoramic views of the Cotswold Edge to the south, across to The Forest of Dean and Black Mountains and nearby Malvern Hills in the west and the extensive Midlands Plain to the north.

There were even more points available to the mountain bikers with checkpoints scattered over both the flat river plain and the far from flat southern part of the map. Many teams reported that the ride up the hill was very tough but this was rewarded with exhilarating descents. Every one of the top teams took different routes when collecting the biking checkpoints. So again it goes to show that the fourth discipline of Questars events – making key strategic decisions about which checkpoints to visit, in which order and with which route - is as important as fitness, stamina, technique and transitioning quickly.

All these skills were amply displayed by the winners of the event prizes. These consisted of vouchers to spend at either the on site mobile store or at the internet site (www.Likeys.com) of series title sponsors Likeys. In addition the series prizes consisted of some great adventure racing kit including items provided by other Questars sponsors, Infinit, Timex and Silva.

As ever top honours were strongly contested. Patrick Meldrum, running as ‘UK Adventure Sports Magazine,’ amazingly managed to visit all the trail run and mountain bike checkpoints and all bar one of the kayaking ones. He amassed 955 points but this was scaled back by 30 time penalties for being slightly over the allocated 6 hours competition time. This total was still sufficient to win the overall event. Without those 30 penalties he would have equalled the total number of points achieved by the overall series winner Matthew Leathwood who was awarded the handsome Questars Series trophy for the third year in succession. The series leaderboard has now been updated to reflect the best three scores across the four event series.

Details of the 2010 Questars Adventure Race Series were also announced during the Prize Giving. Every Questars event in 2009 sold out weeks before closing dates for entries. So Quest is expanding the series in 2010 to enable more people to take part.

The first event in the 2010 Questars Adventure Race Series in the New Forest is always very popular so it’s going to run on two days. Masters teams will compete on Saturday 27 March and Novices on Sunday 28 March.

On 24 & 25 April there will be the first ever two day Questars. This new event is designed, like all Questars, to appeal to all comers from complete novices to the most experienced adventure racers. There will be a great deal of choice as to the distances and routes taken to enable everyone to set their own level of challenge. There’ll be rest and recovery time between the various parts that will comprise this multi stage event. Expect some novel innovations, new formats and challenges. More details shortly. Known as Q2 this weekend Questars will be based in the wonderful Purbeck area of Dorset and will include an event campsite at the event base.

All the other dates in the 2010 series are one day Questars events. On 29 May Questars will be in a new part of the fabulous Brecon Beacons. On 17 July Questars is to be in the Home Counties for the first time in ages at a new location in the Chiltern Hills. The final event in the series will be in the mountain biker’s mecca of Cannock Chase on 11 September. On line booking will open later this month.

Quest looks forward to welcoming you to these events in 2010.
 

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