The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

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Wiltshire Downs Questars - Final Details for 16 July 2011

These Final Details give you all the information you need to know before you arrive. Do take time to read them thoroughly before the weekend.


Team List & Start Times

Check your details on the Team List are correct and note down your team number, start time and kayak time slot.


Team Changes

Any entry amendments should be made on the day at the Enquiries Desk BEFORE your Race Briefing. Please do not contact Quest with these in the week before the event. 



The gates to the school will open at 8 am. Please do not arrive before this as you won’t be able to get in.


•    0830-0900 Suggested Arrival Time
•    0900-0930 Team Pack Collection
•    0930-0950 Race Briefing
•    1015-1045 Teams Start
•    Time Limit – 6 hours
•    1615-1710 Teams Finish
•    1730-1745 Results & Prize Giving


•    0930-1015 Suggested Arrival Time
•    1015-1045 Team Pack Collection
•    1045-1110 Race Briefing
•    1130-1210 Teams Start
•    Time Limit – 5 hours
•    1615-1710 Teams Finish
•    1730-1745 Results & Prize Giving



A list of things you need to bring and a list of things we recommend you to bring can be found midway down the race entry page.

In addition you are advised to bring and carry the following with you:
•    Appropriate leg cover (some paths are a bit overgrown and the nettles are high)
•    Insect repellent (there can be a lot of flies in sheltered spots)



Facilities at the event base include:

  • a large indoor sports hall for the Race Briefing and Results / Prize Giving
  • changing rooms, showers and toilets
  • food and drinks available throughout the day from the Quest Kitchen - a range of both hot and cold refreshments will be available including breakfast baps upon arrival and throughout the day, and a hot dish after the race. View the menu here
  • event partner Mule Bar are providing free samples for participants to fuel your adventure
  • map pens available to buy from the Enquiries Desk  
  • a qualified sports masseur, Emma Joy will be providing pre and post race massages
  • emergency medical technician on standby to provide any necessary first aid
  • Rob Howard, managing editor of adventure racing website sleepmonsters, will be taking pictures of you in action around the course. Do wear your team number clearly on your front so that you can easily find images of your team afterwards at

Directions & Car Parking

The event base is St Francis School, Marlborough Road, Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5NT

Due to the popularity of this event and building work going on at the school, car parking space is severely restricted. Team members should therefore meet up on route and travel to the event base together in one vehicle. This is much kinder to the environment (and your pocket) and you’ll also be able to talk tactics on the way! Please do not come in large vans / motorhomes. Cars, small vans and minibuses (with more than one team in) are ideal.

The school is on the west side of the A345 at grid reference SU 157 610. The entrance is opposite the British Waterways car park in front of The Waterfront Pub. View map of the event base.

From the north: Turn right into the school just after bridge over the canal.

From the south: Approx. 500m after going under the railway bridge (on the way out of Pewsey) turn left into the school (about 100m before bridge over the canal).

Car parking is in several different places around the school grounds. Follow signs and marshals instructions. Please park closely as space is very limited. All access routes must be kept clear at all times in case of an emergency. Vehicles causing an obstruction will be removed.

Not stopping? Just being dropped off? Tell the marshal upon arrival and they’ll show you where to unload. Vehicles must not be left unattended in the drop off area.

No parking in the pay and display car park opposite the school.

The school has a separate entrance and exit and a one way system operates between them within the school grounds. When you leave please follow the signs and do not attempt to exit the same way as you came in (view map).  


On Arrival

Park where directed.

Take your bike and transition bag / box to the bike depot (see map). Lock your bike to keep it secure whilst it’s in the bike depot. The bike depot will be marshalled from 0830 until 1730. So please ensure you remove all your belongings from the bike depot before 1730.

Make your way to the Sports Hall. No registration is required.

Grab a breakfast bap and hot drink from ‘The Quest Kitchen’. View menu.

At the appropriate time, collect your team pack from around the edge of the Sports Hall. These will be laid out in numerical order. If your team pack is not there, come to the Enquiries Desk to collect it.

Each team pack contains:
    1 event map (printed on waterproof paper and pre marked with all the available checkpoints)
    1 race number (to be worn on the front of one team member)
    4 safety pins
    1 EMIT card (electronic scoring device)
    1 piece of cord (to secure your EMIT card)
    1 plastic wallet (to protect your map)

You will be given the checkpoint descriptions and values as you start.


Race Details


•    This event is in the usual Questars format.
•    The bike depot is the transition point between the trail run and mountain bike stages.
•    Ensure that your competitive instincts do not override your common sense.
•    Always follow the Countryside Code.
•    Each team must carry a first aid kit and a whistle with them.
•    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. Then phone one of the Quest emergency numbers (shown on your map) to let us know. A Quest staff member will probably get to you before the ambulance.


•    If biking first: Start under the yellow arch on foot. Proceed on foot to the bike depot. Collect your bike. Exit the school on your bike.
•    No bikes are allowed on the canal towpath at any time.
•    If finishing on your bike return your bike to the bike depot BEFORE you go on foot to the yellow arch. Dib your EMIT card on the FINISH control to stop the clock.
•    Always wear a bike helmet.
•    Always follow the Highway and Mountain Bike Codes (see bottom of the Questars Race Format page here)
•    The terrain varies widely and includes some busy roads. Take care. Always expect to find oncoming traffic around the next corner. Moderate your speed on steep descents. Keep within your technical riding capabilities. It's much safer to dismount if you are uncertain.


•    You can break either your run or your bike stage to kayak.
•    No bikes are allowed at the kayak transition. If you break your bike stage to kayak you must leave your bike in the bike depot and run to the kayak transition point.
•    Kayaking is on the Kennett and Avon canal. The kayak transition point is at Pewsey Wharf which is accessed from St Francis School by going on the canal towpath under the A345 road bridge.
•    There is VERY limited space at the kayak transition point. To avoid congestion, spectators are kindly asked not to go to the kayak transition point – there is plenty of room to watch from other parts of the canal towpath.
•    Maximum of two people per kayak. Solos & pairs use 1 kayak. Teams of 3 and 4 use 2 kayaks.
•    Always wear a correctly fastened buoyancy aid. 
•    Ask the Quest marshals at the Kayaking Transition Point for help if uncertain about kayaking technique.
•    The double sit on top kayaks are like giant floats, cannot sink and rarely capsize. They are great fun to paddle.
•    Always follow the Navigation Code whilst on the water. Stay in control and keep clear of barges. Pass oncoming vessels on your left (as if you were driving on the Continent).
•    All kayak checkpoints can be reached from the water without having to get out of your kayak. The checkpoints are attached to white floats which are tied to objects on the canal bank. Glide up to the checkpoint in your kayak, 'dib' 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 as you may pull the checkpoint off. If this happens reattach the checkpoint and inform the Quest marshals at the Kayaking Transition Point.




Checkpoints are easily found if you are in the right place. Refer to the checkpoint descriptions handed out as you Start so you know exactly where to look. 

Ensure you know the difference between bridleways and designated cycleways, on which you can take bikes, and footpaths on which you must not take bikes. On open access land you must stick to footpaths or long distance routes. If you are unsure about your navigation abilities do review the hints and tips on Navigation here.

You must keep to public rights of way. Do not trespass onto private land or property.


Race Conduct

•    Respect the area and the local community.
•    Be great ambassadors for adventure racing.
•    Give way to members of the public.
•    Give a wide berth to all livestock.
•    Close all gates.
•    Follow the Countryside Code (see bottom of the Questars Race Format page here)


After the Race

Proceed immediately to the Download Station. Remove the cord and hand in your EMIT card. You’ll receive a printout showing your time and the split times between all the checkpoints you visited. This print out will not show your points. Results will be announced at the Prize Giving in the sports hall and put up on display afterwards.

Before the Prize Giving, collect your bike and return it to your vehicle.

Eating within 20-30 minutes of the finish significantly aids recovery via the restoration of all important glycogen levels within the body. A hot dish cooked on site by ‘The Quest Chef’ will be available along with other fresh food. See the menu here.

Changing rooms, showers and toilets are available in the sports hall.

An emergency medical technician will be on standby at the event base throughout the day. If you pick up any minor injuries do see them afterwards as prompt attention can aid rapid recovery.


Final Word

Don't forget to make a note of the timings (see timings section above) along with your team number, start time and kayak slot time (available from the team list attached to the top of this page).

You can also download and print a copy of the information on this webpage here.


We look forward to seeing you on Saturday

The Questars Team 


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