The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

QUESTARS 14 JULY 2007 : RACE REPORT - Wiltshire Downs

A very welcome break in the summer showers provided a day of sunshine and clear views for 300 adventure racers at Questars third event of the 2007 series on Saturday. The Wiltshire Downs is a favourite part of the country for Questars. The course covered many new areas and was greatly enjoyed by experienced and novice adventure racers alike.

The event base was in the Hemery Sports Hall (named after the 1968 Olympics Gold Medal winning hurdler David Hemery) right next to the canal wharf at Pewsey. So there was no distance to the kayaking transition point onto the Kennet & Avon canal. With a 70 minute time allocation teams had to make some strategic decisions early on the kayaking course - whether to head east in an attempt to get to some very high value checkpoints, or to head west and pick up some nearby lower value ones. No team cleared the whole of the challenging kayaking course this time, but three of the Mens Teams did get 170 of the available 210 points by demonstrating some power paddling.

Overnight rain had added to recent rainfall to make the bike trails especially wet and tricky. One track gave the nature of its terrain away by its well chosen name - Mud Lane - and it certainly lived upto this accolade. Alot of route choice enabled some avoidance of the worst tracks where nettles and other verdant undergrowth added to the challenge. Those that ventured into West Woods in search of the four biking checkpoints located there were greeted with some of the hardest routes. Special congratulations to the five teams that managed to clear the whole biking course and earn maximum points.

Alot of options were also available on the trail run stage. Encouraged at the Race Briefing to get up onto the chalk ridge above Pewsey many teams saw the intriguing crop circle visible from the checkpoint located on the edge of the White Horse hill figure. This ancient landscape is full of prehistoric remains including tumuli, barrows, the magnificent Wansdyke and a deserted medieval village. Racers may have missed some of these as they ran over the downs and the area certainly deserves a return visit. Four teams cleared the whole running stage and interestingly they are all Veterans showing that stamina grows with age!

As teams completed their chosen routes and finished under the big yellow Quest arch they were greeted with the enticing aroma of barbequed sausages and burgers. These together with cakes and drinks were consumed in quantity as teams enjoyed the sunshine after the race.

With just one Questars event left in the 2007 series the competition for series leadership is hotting up. Top three scores from the four event series count with the Mens Team of Paul Pickering and Tom Staunton - the Dynamo Duo - currently leading the pack with 2320 points.

The fourth Questars is in great new area in the north Cotswolds. The event base will be at the Royal Horticultural College at Pershore, kayaking on the very scenic River Avon and running and biking over great terrain including Bredon Hill. Entries for this race are already at record levels and the event is likely to sell out well before the closing date. So do book early to assure yourselves of a place in what will be a spectacular culmination of the Questars 2007 series.

Great images of teams in action over the Wiltshire Downs were again taken by sleepmonsters photographer Jon Brooke and can be viewed at :http://sleepmonsters.co.uk/photoshop.php?event_id=4414

Full results can be found at http://www.emituk.com/

 

Results

QUESTARS TRIO MASTERS:

Men's Solo

  • 810 Me, myself and I Phil Beadsworth
  • 770 Gerry King Gerry King
  • 755 Detica Solo Paul Scott
  • 755 Clunk Patrick Meldrum

Men's Teams

  • 805 OvaTheHill Gary Davies, Matt Unsworth
  • 790 Dynamo Duo Paul Pickering, Tom Staunton
  • 680 Clowns Utd Ryan Copeland, Khairy Mabruk, Robin Jordan

Ladies

  • 615 Las Cheeky Chicas Selina Dicker, Lizzie Stilemas
  • 470 HP Red Ladies Victoria Wibrew, Marlene Hammond

Mixed Teams

  • 750 Against all Odds Stephen Turner, Wendy Jones
  • 665 Wighttri No Mates Lucy & Paul Wells
  • 665 The Touchpaper Trio Marina Stedman, Guy Chessell

Veterans

  • 760 HAVA another GO Nick Howle, Chris Atherton
  • 745 Team Clem James Clemence
  • 670 Michael James Michael James

QUESTARS TRIO NOVICES

Men's Solo

  • 545 Mike Garvin Mike Garvin
  • 515 Team Huffnpuff Jon Heissig
  • 500 Taranaki tyrant William Stanley

Men's Teams

  • 530 Team NATS Nuts Noel Smith, Christopher Day
  • 514 Should've stayed at home Mark Hamilton, Ben Rowlands
  • 466 2 Kiwis and a Donkey Andrew Haines, Matt Main, Duncan Elley

Ladies

  • 460 Team Harries Nikala Harries
  • 430 LloydsTSB Ladies Suse Hughes, Lauren Whitmore
  • 410 Double Trouble Helen Croucher, Kate Spear

Mixed

  • 507 R & R Richard Church, Rachel Striebig
  • 480 Hot, very Hot Sally Freeman, Chris Squirrell
  • 470 New Forest Nutters Nicky & Sam Thomas

Veterans

  • 485 Royston Riff Raff Mark Thompson, Ian Stubbs
  • 470 Team Tubster John Humpherson
  • 445 Lost! Ian Sperry, David Osborne, David Ward, Paul Heagren

QUESTARS DUO

  • 735 Dogend Neville Baker
  • 620 Globe-trotters Simon Liebling, Debbie Simpson
  • 605 The Dingles Johnny Tripe, Ben Hardy, Richard Beard
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