1967 – present

Class A is the “Blue Riband” event of the Downsman. To win this class a team hikes the whole distance together, approximately 55 miles, in the fastest time. It is an extreme test of skill, fitness & endurance.

From 1967 until 2014, Class A consisted of a team of four (with three walking each section) hiking from Buriton to Eastbourne, approximately 80 miles. Until 2000, all team members had to be under 20. This was raised to 25 until 2006, after which no age restrictions have applied. In 2015, the start was moved to Bignor, reducing the distance to 55 miles. However, the number in the team was reduced from 4 to 3 and all team members then had to hike the entire route together. From 2019, teams may comprise of 3 or 4 people.


14 hours 58 minutes set in 2018 by West Sussex Caving Team


13 hours 44 minutes set in 2007 by Thrust Scout Fellowship


Year Team Name Team Members  Time
2019  Mid Sussex Network Robert Wilson Sam Mitchell William Tampion-Lacey Richard Bliss 15:08
2018 West Sussex Caving Team Dan Kent Dylan Longdon Alistair Smith 14:58
2017 Mid Sussex Network Sam Mitchell Richard Bliss Robert Wooller 17:28
2016 1st & 10th Haywards Heath Leaders Chris Searle Charlotte Polhill Richard Peers 16:38
2015 No winner
2014 No winner
2013 No winner
2012 Battle Hursecarls Matthew Lock Jonathan Platten David Honeysett Aaron Millar 23:15
2011 Tullis ESU Max Waters Chris Somers Matt Shaw Charlie Jones 23:18
2010 Europa ESU Ben Kent Alistair Smith Nick Fincham Michael McGearty 20:18
2009 Larrikin David McDougall Robert Banyard Stephen Slater Daniel Pitt 22:08
2008 Larrikin Edward Casey James Head Niall Gorton David McDougall 22:02
2007 Thrust Allan Clarke Louise Collings Dan Stuart Derrick Foster 13:44
2006 No winner
2005 Larrikin ESU Andrew Casey Timothy Casey James Banyard Domonic Godfrey 21:08
2004 No winner
2003 No winner
2002 New Anzac VSU G Merchant A Ruck L Shepherd D Woodall 21:13
2001 Not contested
2000 No winner
1999 No winner
1998 4th Uckfield Explorer VSU M Riley A Paisey A Dean D Jackson 20:06
1997 4th Uckfield Explorer VSU M Sherlock A Paisey A Dean D Jackson 20:29
1996 No winner
1995 4th Uckfield Explorer Unit N Conway R Davis D MacFarlane S Wright 18:29
1994 29th Brighton VSU D Goodall Jonathan Howard D Parfitt Morgan Roberts 17:24
1993 29th Brighton VSU Dominic Harrex Jonathan Howard Ian Reeve Morgan Roberts 18:52
1992 2nd Steyning VSU Hannah White Robert Sawyer Glyn Pullen Neal Taylor 22:10
1991 1st Lewes VSU Owen Shaw Roderick Warren Peter Sanders Simon Walker 17:43
1990 Harveys VSU Richard Peers Trevor Oakes T Baker Jamie Howson 21:00
1989 1st Lewes VSU N Blake N Duc P Salvage R Sanders 16:01
1988 1st Lewes VSU N Blake G Campbell S Fuller R Sanders 17:46
1987 1st Lewes VSU G Campbell W Lane R Sanders P Willis 17:21
1986 4th Uckfield Explorer Unit D Munn A Gibbard J Pearson I Pert 18:20
1985 1st Lewes VSU J Botting R Chapman S Funnell W Lane 16:12
1984 Christ’s Hospital VSU A Steane M Rolph T Darling N Bucknall 15:47
1983 Christ’s Hospital VSU A Green S Pritchard A Steane ? Teale 17:17
1982 Christ’s Hospital VSU E Adams M Anderson T Parsons A Steane 20:03
1981 Christ’s Hospital VSU I Anderson M Bricknell M Cullingford A Henneberg 15:02
1980 Harveys VSU Cameron Bell Anthony Radmall Simon Russell Richard Sullivan 15:39
1979 Christ’s Hospital VSU I Anderson J Hill M Bryant N Maidment 19:42
1978 1st Rustington Venture Scouts G Burridge S Lawrence J Monger D Pearson 19:32
1977 Crawley West Venture Scouts Martin Flegg Keith Ford Keith Prior Peter Smith 23:03
1976 Downsway Unit W Ducharme R Oglieve D Leeves J Potter 15:18
1975 Uckfield Venture Scouts C Diplock D Olive S Barrow J Witherden 16:02
1974 Downsway Unit 14th Brighton VSU C Atkins C Corpe K Charman Barry Morris
1973 14th Brighton Venture Scouts C Atkins K Charman Barry Morris Steve Valder
1972 14th Brighton Venture Scouts C Atkins K Charman Barry Morris Steve Valder 19:16
1971 West Side Venture Scouts Clive Lipscombe Richard Walden John Fisher Edward Allingham 18:10
1970 West Side Venture Scouts S Hill Clive Lipscombe D Smith K Murphy 20:32
1969 1st Petersfield Venture Scouts A Smallbone D Gosling K Wiggins P Wheatley 21:14
1968 1st Henfield Venture Scouts K Lyons T Lyons B Skilton D Saunders
1967 11/56th Brighton Senior Scouts R Browning D Harris M Paine P Witcomb 01:02:50