Varsity Match 2010

Penhale Sands39th Orienteering Varsity Match

6-7th March 2010

Penhale Sands and Polly Joke, Cornwall

The information below is subject to change, and will be continually updated as more details are confirmed. Please check back regularly, and make sure you refresh your browser. Last updated Tue 9 Mar 2010.

Scott Collier is organizing the weekend, ably assisted by the lovely Miss Ruth Holmes. Please email Scott if you have any queries.

IMPORTANT: Penhale is being used for all three days of the Tamar Triple on 29-31 May 2010. Anybody who ran on Penhale at the Varsity Match MUST declare themselves non-competitive if they enter the Tamar Triple.


Thank you to everybody who came down to Cornwall for the Varsity Match, and congratulations to the winners. I hope you all enjoyed the weekend at least half as much as I did.
RouteGadget and full results for both days are now available.
Lost property: Jon M has found a light-green woolly hat in his car. Let me know if you think it might be yours.
I would just like to take this chance say a big thank you to Ruth Holmes, who on top of planning the relays did an incredible amount of
work behind the scenes sorting out the accommodation and social, and David Holmes, whose meticulous controlling made my courses much better
than they would otherwise have been. Also thanks to everyone who helped out over the weekend, including Jon Marsden on SI and Blanka Collis on Village Hall Supervision, and to all who helped by transporting equipment and hanging/collecting controls.

Individual - Penhale Sands - Sat 6 March

Penhale Sands map sample
Terrain Sometimes claimed to be the most technical area in England, Penhale Sands is by far the most technical area in the People's Republic of Kernow. The terrain is technically intricate, open sand dunes, bisected by a military road but with an otherwise unreliably vague path network. The vegetation is mostly runnable marram grass, with the occasional small patch of brambles and some distinct areas of gorse in the east of the map. There are a few distinctive marshes, which may turn into small lakes after heavy rain.
Men's A ~9km difficult
Women's A Men's B ~6.5km difficult
Women's B Men's C ~4.5km less difficult
Starts TBC - likely to be late morning for the alumni, guests and B team runners, and lunchtime/early afternoon for the A teams. Afternoon starts for alumni travelling down on Saturday morning may be possible on request.

Relay - Polly Joke - Sun 7 March

Terrain Penhale's little brother, Polly Joke has a smaller area of technical sand dunes and a larger area of fast, grazed hillsides with lots of tricky, vague contour detail.
Courses Three legs of different lengths, in a randomized order, featuring the traditional mixed-ability teams put together by the organizers to make the competition as close as possible.
Long ~6km difficult
Medium ~4.5km difficult
Short ~2.5km less difficult
Starts TBC - mass start likely to be around 10am.
Polly Joke map sample


Accommodation has been secured in Cubert Village Hall, which is about a 5-minute drive from the parking for both days, at a cost of ~£5 per person for both nights combined (including breakfast both mornings). We are hoping to accommodate all of the students plus as many alumni as want space. Pasties will be provided for lunch on Saturday (~£2.50 each), and the Varsity party will take place on Saturday night at The Anvil in Cubert (approx. 150m from the Village Hall), costing £10 per person (plus drinks).
Sadly, it is out-of season at the two caravan parks located on the areas, but plenty of other accommodation is available is available nearby in Newquay and Perranporth.
There are no showers at the accommodation; however, showers will be available in the Individual day assembly area. Ruth strongly encourages you to make use of them.


Entries are now open, and will close on Friday 26th Feb. Student teams will enter via their club captain; alumni entries will be taken by email.
A limited number of guest entries may be possible. Priority will be given to those with a personal association with one of the student or alumni clubs, and to members of KERNO involved with the Tamar Triple in May 2010. Please email the organizer for more information.
As the event is non-profit-making, the entry fees will be calculated after the weekend. At the moment, combined entry for both days looks likely to be between £13 and £16 per person (incl. showers on the Individual day), depending on numbers (and on how much SI kit we need to hire).


The parking for both days is located about 6 miles north of the A30. Take the B3285 turning towards Goonhavern, and follow it until the T-junction in Goonhavern itself. Turn right onto the A3075 towards Newquay, and follow for approximately 2.5miles. Turn left, signed to Cubert and Penhale Camp. Cubert Village Hall is about one mile down this road on the left, just before you enter Cubert village itself. The parking for both events is another two miles along the same road.
For those wish to travel by public transport, Truro rail station is served frequently by direct First Great Western trains from London Paddington and by direct CrossCountry trains from Glasgow Central. Approximate direct journey times with FGW are 1h15 from Plymouth, 3h00 from Taunton, 4h15 from Reading, and 4h45 from Paddington, while with XC it is 3h45 from Bristol, 5h00 from Birmingham, 7h00 from Leeds, 8h30 from Newcastle, 10h00 from Edinburgh and 11h00 from Glasgow. See National Rail Enquiries for full details.
Those arriving by train can catch Western Greyhound bus 587 direct from Truro station to Cubert (the where the accommodation is located) or to Holywell Bay (very close to both assembly areas).
The areas are also reasonably close to Newquay Airport, and it may be possible to fly down on the Saturday morning. Air Southwest fly direct to Newquay from London City, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds Bradford and Bristol (as well as Cork and Dublin), while flybe fly direct from the slightly improbable trio of Gatwick, Aberdeen and Düsseldorf. At the time of writing, both airlines had some fares starting at £30 each way. Public transport connections from Newquay airport aren't great, so please email if you're planning to fly so we can attempt to coordinate transport.