The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

 

Race Report

The sun shone on over 300 adventure racers all day at the second Questars of the 2007 series.

This was in great contrast to last year's event in the Brecon Beacons National Park when the mud turned the bike stage into an epic. This year a new venue at Llangynidr near Crickhowell brought a splendid modern village hall as the event base, close proximity to the tranquil Monmouthshire & Brecon canal for kayaking, access to some fantastic terrain and clear views in the warm Spring sunshine. What could be better? Certainly from participants' feedback everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The mountain biking stage was the highlight for many teams. With special permission granted by landowners to use some open access land descents not normally available to riders there was plenty of choice of routes both near the village and much further a field. Stronger bikers took in a whole circuit of the remote and delightful Dyffryn valley. The course was designed to really test strategy, route choice as well as biking skills and stamina. Having pedalled hard to arrive at checkpoint 23 and marveling at the tremendous views across to the highest peaks of the Brecon Beacons teams had to decide whether the 130 points available from visiting the three checkpoints below around the Talybont Reservoir were going to be worth the climb all the way back.

Kayaking on the peaceful canal was a real contrast. The lush vegetation along the tow path and splashing from fellow paddlers provided both shade and cooling water to help cool teams down. With 70 minutes available to visit upto 6 checkpoints the kayaking stage was longer than most other Questars as the ease of navigation and flat water conditions made for very fast paddling conditions. Top scorers were able to collect 180 of the maximum 200 kayaking points in just over an hour.

The trail running also provided greatly contrasting terrain. Many teams were attracted by the numerous checkpoints near the village, including two alongside the wonderfully scenic if somewhat scrambling riverside path. The highest value checkpoint of the day was atop the 551 metre high Tor y Foel open hill attracted many to make their way to the summit. They were rewarded with 60 points and spectacular 360 degree views across to the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and way into mid Wales.

Teams returned to tea and cakes at the village hall and an instant replay of their great day out. Jon Brooke, sleepmonsters photographer, projected the photos of all the teams he'd taken across the course whilst teams relaxed after a welcome shower and refreshments. The photos are available via www.sleepmonsters.co.uk

At the very well attended prize giving results were revealed and prizes awarded to winners in no less than 12 categories - all listed below. There were some very strong performances from Novices and the more experienced Masters teams alike. Special mention to Rachel and Matthew Leathwood who demonstrated the benefits of high altitude training. Having recently attended a week long triathlon training camp in the Pyrenees this obviously gave them just the right preparation to tackle the hills and tough terrain. Rachel won the Ladies class with 745 points and achieved 4th place overall beating all but three male teams. Husband, Matthew, who was just pipped at the post at the last Questars, had a very clear lead of 125 points, to win the event with a staggering score of 920 points. You may be pleased to hear that the Leathwoods won't be able to attend the next Questars leaving the field open for others!

The 2007 Questars Series Leaderboard has been updated with results from this second Questars. Remember its the best three scores out of the four events in the Questars series that count. So if you took part in either the New Forest or the Brecon Beacons Questars there is still chance to get onto the Questars series leaderboard.

Entries for the next Questars on 14 July are already high, and as both the first two Questars events of the series sold out well before their closing dates you are advised to book a place early. Quest have just introduced a new on line entry system to make entering even easier.

Next Questars :

* Saturday 14 July : Wiltshire Downs - event centre and kayaking from Pewsey Wharf on the Kennet & Avon canal and a new course over the wonderful chalk land and woodlands.

* Saturday 8 September : North Cotswolds, Worcestershire - event centre at Pershore Horticultural College with kayaking on the River Avon and trail running and biking over Bredon Hill.

 

Top Scorers in Categories for Brecon Beacons Questars:

 

Questars Trio - Masters : Men's Solo and overall event leaders

  • 1st 920 : Matthew Leathwood
  • 2nd 795 : Imperial College Union - Daniel Carrivick
  • 3rd 735 : Total Fitness Bath / TeamBath - Chris Volley (and 5th overall)

Questars Trio - Masters : Ladies :

  • 1st 745 : Rachel Leathwood (and 4th overall)
  • 2nd 700 : Teresa King
  • 3rd 285 : Detica 03 - Amanda Challans, Mivy James

Questars Trio – Masters : Mixed Teams :

  • 1st 630 : Wighttri No Mates - Lucy & Paul Wells
  • 2nd 575 : Team Sheba - Sheila Grey, Anna Rowlands, Ben Lowe, Jim Kemp
  • 3rd 575 : Team Johnson - Dean & Niki Johnson

Questars Trio – Masters : Men's Teams

  • 1st 770 : Dynamo Duo - Paul Pickering, Tom Staunton (and 3rd overall)
  • 2nd 705 : Detica 05 - Paul Scott, Oliver Tait
  • 3rd 645 : Finch and One - Simon Horton, Andy Yarrow, Rod Lees

Questars Trio – Masters : Veteran's Teams

  • 1st 700 : HAVA another GO - Nick Howle, George Ashford
  • 2nd 605 : Dockers Armpit - Ashley Cooper, Peter Foster, Dave Salter
  • 3rd 590 : Against all Odds - Stephen Turner, Wendy Jones

 

Questars Trio – Novices : Ladies

  • 1st 440 : Two Gnarly Dudes - Helen Markland, Julia Shrubb
  • 2nd 400 : LTSB Women - Pippa Grey, Susanne Hughes, Lauran Whitmore, Lauran O'Toole
  • 3rd 375 : Adventure Girls - Pam Ellison, Ruth Leishman, Kate Spear, Helen Croucher

Questars Trio – Novices : Mixed Teams

  • 1st 480 : Menage a Trois - Sarah Gebbett, Emily Kress, Ggraham Hoult
  • 2nd 460 : The lost rhinos - Clare Wilding, Stephen Ollier, Mathew Bloodworth, Caroline McKen
  • 3rd 455 : LTSB IT 1 (A) - Jason Berry, Lauren Carsley

Questars Trio – Novices : Men's Solo :

  • 1st 520 : SoloSoSlow - Jamie Sutherland
  • 2nd 485 : Shawn Duffy
  • 3rd 455 : LTSB IT (4) - Paul Clark

Questars Trio – Novices : Men's Team

  • 1st 570 : Likelys.com - Matt Morris, Barry French, Andrew Boxhall, Dave Wiltshire
  • 2nd 526 : Hot Hard Fuzz - Simon Goddard, Daniel Rainscourt
  • 3rd 510 : The Crofters - Tom Stroud, Liam Thomas

Questars Trio – Novices : Veterans :

  • 1st 333 : Total Madness Torre - Phil & Maggie Wilson

Questars Duo:

  • 1st 570 : Up the Duffryn - Rob & Greg Dunning
  • 2nd 550 : SportsCover - Julian Hucks, Chris Roddick
  • 3rd 465 : Nick and Ginnie - Nick & Ginnie Short
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