Individual, Ventnor Downs - Saturday 2nd March
Parking and assembly will be at Ventnor Social Club, Down Lane, Ventnor, PO38 1AH. Park on any of the surrounding residential roads but please do not obstruct driveways. You can use this area to leave your bags and get changed and warm afterwards. No muddy/wet shoes inside please. Drinks and bar snacks (nuts/crisps) will be available to buy from the bar, we encourage you (especially alumni) to use these services to make it worth it for the social club allowing us to use their building. You can eat packed lunches in the room as well.
The start is about 400m from assembly with 60m climb. The finish is about 200m from assembly and is on the way to the start. No clothing dump.
The map quality is poor, sorry, it was 12 years old originally. The organiser has updated the vegetation fairly extensively, but sadly he doesn't have unlimited free time and therefore the vegetation is mapped accurately around control sites and where it significantly affects route choice, but it may be inaccurate in between controls. Generally this consists of wrongly mapped gorse bushes in the rough open area - gorse bushes are generally not large enough to take a significant role in route choice as you can weave between them even if they are out of place on the map. The contours and paths are reasonably reliable. Double hashed vegetation is generally passable but is often brambly and a very slow walk.
High fences will be overprinted with a pink line. Although not a condition of access, the fences are quite high so we have decided to forbid crossing them to prevent damage (both to the fence and the competitors). You may come across a gate on your course marked "footpath closed". You may use this gate to cross the fence, but you may NOT continue down the footpath. Courses are planned such that continuing down the footpath would be a stupid idea anyway.
The terrain is mostly runnable, with sections of very runnable heathland, but there is vegetation on the ground in parts and this can be very slow if you find yourself stuck in it. Courses have been planned to avoid most of the manky stuff. Expect to encounter some very steep slopes on your course, which may be slippery when wet. The beginners course does not visit these steep slopes. You'll also find a couple of boring path legs - these take you through a section of map where the gorse bush mapping is poor. On control descriptions, the charcoal burning platform control description is used to indicate a platform. The advertised climb on the courses can be reduced depending on your route choices.
- There is a control which is visited twice. Make sure you follow the numbers on your map in the correct order when exiting this control.
- One area of the map is visited twice, so again ensure you follow the numbers correctly and don't end up punching a control which is meant for later.
- There is significant overlap between Men's A and Women's A - but they are not identical so make sure you follow your own map.
Whistles will be compulsory and checked at the start. No whistle, no go. Waterproof, hooded cagoules may be compulsory in the event of bad weather, you will be notified at assembly if this is the case. The wind blows straight off the sea across the top of the area so in bad weather it is very exposed. On the plus side, there are fantastic views out to the sea if the weather is nice!