Varsity 2018-2019


Date: 02-Mar-19
Area: Ventnor Downs
Location: Ventnor, Isle of Wight
Organiser: Ben Windsor
Planner: Ben Windsor
Organising Club: DRONGO


Men A7.233029
Men B6.129023
Men C3.58012
Women A6.129023
Women B3.58012


ENTRY DEADLINE: Sunday 17th February 23:59

Student Entries

Alumni/Guest Entries (Students DO NOT use this form)

Questions to

Approximate timings

  • Individual early alumni/guest starts: 10:30-11:00
  • Individual student starts: 11:00-13:00
  • Individual late alumni/guest starts: 13:00-13:15
  • Courses close 14:30
  • Beer race 17:30
  • Social 18:30
  • Pub closes 01:00 (or whenever it's empty if sooner)
  • Relay mass start 10:30
  • Relay mass start leg 2 11:15
  • Relay mass start leg 3 12:00
  • Courses close 13:00

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.

Uncrossable features

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 course

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!

Relay, Headon warren & Tennyson Down - Sunday 3rd March

This event will also be open to the public as a Level D event. Courses available will be Blue, Green, Yellow (Blue is a long relay leg, Green is a short relay leg, Yellow is separate to the relay).


Parking and assembly will be in the Needles Car Park. The nearest postcode is PO39 9JD but do not follow SatNav there, it's not where the car park is!

Start, Finish, Handover, Spectator Runthrough

These will all be about 150m from the south end of the car park. If the weather is not too horrible, spectators can walk a further 200m/50m climb up to the ridge where a large proportion of the area can be seen from one place, as well as great views over the sea.


This map was dated 2001 originally. Vegetation has been updated from a recent aerial photo with a small amount of ground survey, which is hopefully good enough.


Whistles will be compulsory. In the event of bad weather, hooded, waterproof coats may be required, this information will be available at registration and on this website.


We suggest that whilst you're here, you shouldn't miss out on the view of the needles. It's a short walk from the car park over to the viewpoint (it's the far western part of the map not used on the courses). There's also a museum there about how they used this place to launch rockets during WW2.



If you are staying in the accommodation, park in the car park at the end of School Lane, PO30 4JD. If you are only coming for the social, use the pub car park which is about 50m west of the pub.


Accommodation will be available for Friday and Saturday nights on the floor (sleeping bags + mats required) at Calbourne Community Centre, School Lane, Calbourne, PO30 4JD. This postcode takes you to the correct place on Google Maps. TBC: Accommodation will open at 6pm on Friday and close at 3pm after the relay on Sunday (you can return for showers if you wish).

Beer race

This will be held on the playing field outside the community centre before the evening meal.

Saturday night social

This will be held in The Sun Inn about 100m from the accommodation. Food will be a buffet, please ensure any dietary requirements are stated on the entry form. The meal will be followed by prizegiving and if there is enthusiasm for it, the tables can be cleared to make a dance floor. A live band will be playing - if the party is to continue after they finish, somebody should bring their iPod or equivalent to play tunes off. When you leave the pub please be quiet so as not to disturb the residents

Other meals

If staying in the community hall, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday will be provided, as well as very basic ingredients for making lunch.