Newbie Challenge Rules

Challenge South West (CSW) advise that teams who wish to enter events MUST read, and ensure that they comply with, all CSW regulations before entering an event to avoid any possibility of being turned away at event scrutineering. Should you have any queries please contact a CSW Official who will be happy to assist.

‘Newbie’ Rules and Regulations will only apply at specific ‘Newbie’ events as advertised by CSW- at all other events the ‘Full’ CSW Rules and Regulations will apply. CSW will however also consider allowing ‘Newbie’ competitors to compete, under ‘Newbie’ Rule and Regulations at other CSW events on a case by case basis- please contact a CSW Official prior to entering an event if you wish to be allowed to do so. CSW recommends that reference is made to the ‘Full’ CSW Rule and Regulations (Highlighted in BOLD) prior to making any specific modifications or purchases to meet ‘Newbie’ Rules and Regulations; in many cases it may be preferential to modify or purchase to meet the ‘Full’ specifications rather than modify or purchase twice!

This section should be read in conjunction with the technical rules. In the event of a conflict, the technical rules will prevail.

    1. CSW events are designed for individual vehicle teams (unless otherwise stated); each competition vehicle must carry one Driver and one Co-Driver, both of whom must be accommodated in securely fixed seats.
    2. Approved standard seat belts, or full harnesses, and appropriate road legal motorcycle helmets (See section 21.1 ‘Newbie’ Technical Rules and Regulations for Minimum Specification) must be worn by all Competitors in any moving vehicle at all times; this includes transiting between areas or stages. N.B. ‘Full’ Rules and Regulations require higher specification helmets.
    3. The Driver and Co-Driver may swap roles at any time providing they both have a valid driving licence.
    4. All Drivers and Co-Drivers are required to have either an MSA or IOPD Competition License to compete in events. IOPD License’s will be available at all events.
    5. All ‘Newbie’ competition vehicles must comply with all CSW ‘Newbie’ technical rules.
    6. All items must be securely stowed within a vehicle to prevent injury in the event of a rollover.
    7. Competitors are not allowed to smoke whilst actively competing- i.e. within a section or whilst punch hunting.
    8. The use of any prohibited/banned substances is strictly not allowed at any time and will lead to immediate disqualification with a possible future ban from competing at any CSW event; and indeed potentially those organised by other clubs and organisations as well.
    9. Random Alcohol testing of both drivers and co-drivers may take place at any event at any time. Any competitor providing a specimen above the legal drink drive limit (35milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath) will not be allowed to compete until they can provide a specimen below this limit. Should any Competitor exercise their right to refuse a random alcohol test the Organiser reserves the right to disallow that Competitor from continuing with the competition.
    10. A blanket speed limit of 15mph covers all sites unless otherwise stated and any vehicle exceeding this may be disqualified from the competition. This speed limit may only be exceeded within certain sections at certain events as specified by the event Organisers.
    11. The use of wire winch cable is no longer permitted at any CSW events.
    12. Winch sails must be used on every winch line that crosses a recognised track that could realistically be used by another vehicle. Winch sails must NOT be rolled up and permanently attached to the winch line.
    13. The use of appropriate gloves is compulsory when handling all winch/recovery equipment.
    14. There must be no deliberate damage or removal of any fixed object within the competition area (i.e. trees, fences, gates, walls etc.).
    15. Tree strops must not be choked around trees but must be used at all times to prevent damage when using a tree as an anchor point. They must be kept low at all times to prevent unnecessary uprooting of trees. Competitors must not attempt to use an anchor point already being used by another Competitor.
    16. A verbal warning (e.g. “Clear for winching”) must be called out clearly prior to every winching operation if there are spectators present.
    17. Horns will be used to notify of an emergency. On hearing horns Competitors should attempt to assist/locate the problem and notify a Marshal.
    18. Event Organisers may also include any site specific rules as appropriate to the site or conditions; these will be identified as Event Specific Regulations.
    19. Any barrier tape (usually red and white) is to be seen as a solid barrier, and should not therefore be moved, nor any part of the vehicle pass under or over the tape; save for the winch line. Penalties will be awarded for doing so; if in doubt check with a Marshal or Event Organiser before acting.
    20. Punch cards will be attached to Competition vehicles as directed by the Event Organiser. They will be cable tied to a cord of fixed length (90cm) with crimped eyes at either end, which will be cable tied to an appropriate fixed point on the vehicle. At no time will anyone, other than an Event Organiser, remove the cord or punch card at any time during the event.
    21. . If a punch card or cord gets ripped off of a competition vehicle during a punch hunt the team will lose ALL the punches collected on that card; they must return to event control to obtain a new card prior to collecting any further punches or stages.
    22. If a punch card or cord gets ripped off of a competition vehicle whilst competing on a stage the team will automatically DNF that stage. They will score nothing for any punches collected on that stage, and will not be allowed to re-attempt the stage. They must return to event control to obtain a new card prior to attempting any further stages or punches
    23. If any Competitor feels at any time that the severity of the terrain is beyond their, or their vehicles capability, they must stop. No Competitor will be forced into a situation they consider to be potentially dangerous and appropriate advice or assistance will be provided by CSW if required. Should any ‘Newbie’ competitor wish to have an experienced CSW member accompany them throughout the event then CSW will make every effort provide one- subject to availability. Please contact CSW prior to the event to make such a request.
    1. All Competitors will at all times obey the Organisers and Marshals instructions.
    2. In the event of an infringement of any rules, if possible, there will be one verbal warning given before a penalty is applied.
    3. The Organisers or Marshals may award penalties to, or disqualify, a Competitor without first providing a warning if the act carried out was deemed by the Organiser, or Marshal, to be severe or dangerous enough to warrant such an immediate penalty or disqualification. Any and all decisions of this nature shall be notified to the Event Organiser as soon as practicable. Disqualification decisions should be notified to the Event Organiser and confirmed immediately by a minimum of 2 CSW Committee Members.
    4. Should any Competitor wish to appeal any penalty, or disqualification, they must immediately advise a Marshal or Organiser that they wish to do so. Such appeals will be heard by a minimum of 2 CSW Committee members whose agree decision on any such an appeal will be final. All decisions shall become final in any case on completion of the event.
    1. All vehicle repairs must be carried out on a suitable ground sheet and/or oil absorbent pad to prevent ground contamination. Fuel, oil or any other form of contamination should not be spilled on the ground. In the event of accidental spillage all efforts should be made to prevent it from spreading and an Event Organiser or Marshal informed.
    2. All competing vehicles may be subject to noise testing at any time as laid out in the technical regulations.
    3. Competitors, Crew and Spectators are required to remove all waste and litter from the site such that it can be recycled/disposed of correctly.
    1. All Competitors MUST carefully read these rules and regulations and make sure their vehicle complies with the requirements. In the event of any queries please contact a CSW official for advice.
    2. Breaches of safety standards will be noted and if not resolvable on the day may prevent you from competing.
    3. It must be noted that these regulations are not exhaustive and although CSW are not affiliated to the MSA many of the regulations are the same and often refer back to the MSA Blue Book. A copy of this book may be viewed online at www.msauk.org
      These regulations shall be deemed to be correct in the event of any conflict between these rules and the MSA Blue Book.
    1. Driver and Co-driver of all competing, and event recovery vehicles, must present their vehicle (in a clean condition) to the Scrutineer for inspection between the designated times prior to the start of the event. After such time the Scrutineer may inspect any late arrivals at their discretion; no vehicle will be allowed to compete without passing appropriate scrutineering.
    2. Vehicles do not need to be Road Traffic Act Insured, Taxed or MOT’d. Road legal vehicles will still be allowed to compete but there will be no separate classes or prizes awarded.
    3. All Competitors intending to drive in an event must present a current UK or European (or equivalent) Driving Licence.
    4. Competitors will be immediately advised if their vehicle fails scrutineering and be advised of all items that failed. Competitors will be given every opportunity to rectify any defects prior to the event commencing.
    5. Should any vehicle be presented with what is considered by the Event Scrutineer to be a safety critical defect, or indeed be lacking any item of safety critical equipment, then it will not be allowed to compete in that event unless rectified.
    6. Should any vehicle be presented with what is considered by the Event Scrutineer to be a non safety critical defect, or indeed lacking any item of non safety critical equipment, then the decision to allow the vehicle to compete will be at the discretion of the Scruitineer and/or Event Organizer. It will however be expected that such non safety critical issues be rectified prior to the next event; in the event of persistent non safety critical failures consideration will be given to not allowing such vehicles to compete unless rectified.
    7. Any decisions that prevent a vehicle from competing shall be ratified as soon as practicable by at least 2 members of the CSW committee, at which point the decision will become final. In such case there will be NO REFUND of any competition fees paid.
    All winching equipment must be in good serviceable condition, and be appropriately rated for the pulling capacity of all winches fitted. Such ratings of equipment, recovery points and winch ropes must be suitably upgraded in line with any uprated winches where fitted e.g. Winches with uprated motors/pump, fitment of twin motors, reduced diameter winch drums etc.
    1. Winches: All winches must comply with the following regulations:
      • Winches must be securely fitted to the vehicle.
      • The recommended minimum capacity of any winch is 8000 lbs.
      • Each electric winch must be fitted with an individual isolator switch to disconnect all power in the event of an emergency.
      • No metal winch cable/ wire is allowed to be used either in competition or recovery. 5. Winch lines must be in good serviceable condition with no knots- appropriate splicing is acceptable.
      • Winch hooks must be attached by means of an appropriate thimble and splice.
      • Knotting of the winch line, and/or of the hook to the line, will only be acceptable within a stage in order to complete that stage. It must be appropriately re-spliced at the earliest opportunity, and no new section will be commenced unless rectified.
      • All winch hooks must be fitted with appropriate safety gates. Damaged or missing gates must be appropriately repaired, or the hook replaced, at the earliest opportunity, and no new section will be commenced unless rectified.
    2. All Competition vehicles must have the following recovery equipment, which must be presented with the vehicle at scrutineering:
      • Two pairs of appropriate gloves (not woolen).
      • One tree strop/ strap per winch fitted to the vehicle.
      • One winch sail per winch fitted to the vehicle. The sail must not be permanently attached to the cable or hook or permanently rolled up.
      • Suitable recovery/tow points the front and rear of the vehicle. Standard factory fitted towing/lashing points will not be deemed as sufficient. CSW strongly recommend that all recovery points should be of closed loop construction that cannot be pulled straight. We strongly recommend as a minimum 19mm/3/4” solid bar welded internally as well as externally to a substantial mounting point. Tow balls, secured with suitable bolts (NOT welded) will not be deemed as appropriate recovery or tow points. N.B. ‘Full’ Rules and Regulations do NOT allow Tow balls, regardless of how fitted, to be used as recovery/tow points. Additionally they insist that all recovery points SHALL be of closed loop construction that cannot be pulled straight.
    3. Additional advisory recovery equipment includes:
      • An automotive fire extinguisher must be securely carried in a position easily accessible to both vehicle occupants. N.B: ‘Full’ Rules and Regulations require a fire extinguisher containing AFFF extinguishant of at least 2 litres capacity, and minimum 34b rating and CSW would stongly recommend this higher specification to all competitors.
      • All vehicles must carry an emergency first aid kit suitable for a minimum of two people.
      • All items must be securely stowed on or in the vehicle when competing.
    4. BRAKES
      1. The vehicle must be fitted with brakes that are operative and capable of stopping and holding the vehicle as required.
      2. A functioning independent parking brake system must be fitted.
      1. The vehicle must be fitted with sprung suspension between the wheels and the chassis unless originally manufactured otherwise.
      2. Suspension movement must be controlled to avoid fouling of wheels and tyres on chassis or bodywork.
      1. The vehicle must be fitted with bodywork including a driver and passenger compartment isolated from the engine, batteries, gearbox, hydraulic reservoirs, transmission shafts, brakes, road wheels, operating linkages and attachments, petrol tanks, oil tanks, radiator, water header tanks, brake reservoirs and catch tanks.
      2. There must be a protective bulkhead of non-inflammable material between the engine and the driver/passenger compartment capable of preventing the passage of fluid or flame. Gaps must be sealed with GRP or with putty that completely closes the gaps at all times. Magnesium is prohibited for bulkheads.
      3. The vehicle must have a complete floor of adequate strength and rigidity supported within the driver/passenger compartment.
      4. The vehicle must be fitted with a bonnet or casing of metal or solid nonflammable material covering and surrounding the main engine structure that is secured by fasteners of adequate strength and have a positive locking action and a fixed support, strut or strap that holds the engine covering in open position. All moving parts must be covered.
      5. The vehicle must be equipped on all wheels with mudguards, which present no sharp edges and cover the complete wheel (flange + rim + tyre) around an arc of 120 degrees. This must be achieved with a continuous surface of rigid material uninterrupted by any gaps, holes, slots or vents. It must extend forward ahead of the axle line and the tyre must be obscured when viewed from above.
      6. The bodywork must provide a minimum uninterrupted transverse cockpit opening of 810 mm.
      7. The vehicle must be fitted with doors or bodywork giving side protection to the driver and passenger.
      8. If the vehicle is fitted with driver/passenger doors, hatchback doors, sliding doors, opening boots or tailgates, these must be secured in the closed position during competition.
      9. Tailgates may be removed.
      10. The load carrying area must be separated from the passenger compartment by an adequate barrier.
      11. There must be an effective means of ventilation for closed cars.
      12. All recovery equipment must be stored securely in or on the vehicle.
      1. Any batteries in the driver/passenger compartment must be enclosed in a securely located leak-proof container.
      2. Batteries must be securely fastened and the battery earth lead must be identified by a yellow marker if not readily distinguishable.
      3. All live terminals should be suitably covered with non conductive material to prevent short circuiting.
      4. The vehicle must be equipped with an effective horn or other audible warning device emitting a continuous tone.
      5. ‘Newbie’ Competitors vehicles do not require circuit breakers or isolators fitted to general vehicle electrics however CSW would strongly recommend that one is fitted. N.B. ‘Full’ Rules and Regulations require a suitable circuit breaker/ isolator (fitted to the positive side of the batteries) that isolates all electrical circuits * and be easily operable by the Driver whilst in his seated position. (To be introduced in 2019 at * above- ‘,and simultaneously cuts the vehicle engine,’). Where multiple completely independent 12v and 24v electrical systems are installed it is acceptable for one suitable circuit breaker/ isolator to be fitted per independent system; but each must isolate all of the electrical circuits on that system.
      6. For electric winches there must be circuit breakers that isolate the winches from all other electrical circuits and are easily identified and operated from inside or outside the vehicle by a competitor or marshal.
      7. All electrical cut out switches should be clearly marked and easily accessible.
      8. All vehicles must have working brake lights.
      9. Additional lights may be attached for night stages and removed for any daylight elements of the event.
      1. All fluid carrying lines or tubes carrying coolants through the driver/passenger compartment if non-metallic are to be internally or externally metal braided hydraulic hose and covered to prevent the occupants of the vehicle coming into contact with the hot surfaces. Such lines, tubes or coverings should be painted red.
      2. Any radiators, cooling hoses, expansion tanks or reservoirs should be covered or be fitted in a position where if burst the hot fluid cannot come into contact with the occupants of the vehicle.
      1. The exhaust system must be isolated from the driver/passenger compartment (e.g. beneath the floor or secured in casings of solid material).
      2. No part of the exhaust system is allowed to protrude laterally beyond a plane through the outer track of the front and rear wheels, or to the rear of the bodywork more than 150 mm.
      3. If all enveloping body is fitted, supplementary protection must be fitted to exhaust systems that protrude outside the bodywork.
      1. All vehicles must conform to a maximum permitted noise level. The current requirement is a maximum permitted sound level of 100dB with the engine running at 3/4 maximum speed, the sound level meter at a height of 0.5 meters above the ground (± 0.1 meter) located at 45 degrees to and 0.5 meters distant from the exhaust. WARNING: Temporary silencers, bypass pipes and the inclusion of temporary parts to achieve silencing requirements are prohibited. Officials may refuse to carry out noise checks on vehicles utilising temporary parts in exhaust systems.
      1. All fuel lines passing through the driver/passenger compartment shall be protected and, if non-metallic, be formed of internally or externally metal braided hydraulic pressure hose.
      2. Tank fillers and caps must not protrude beyond the bodywork. These must have an efficient locking action to reduce the risk of accidental opening during an accident and ensure closing after re-fuelling.
      3. All engines must be equipped with a positive method of throttle closing by means of external spring/springs so that in the event of failure of any part of the throttle linkage the throttle(s) are sprung closed. Vehicles which are fitted with electronic throttle control as standard original manufacturer’s equipment are exempt from this requirement.
      4. The use of fuel additives and octane boosters and aviation fuel is prohibited.
      5. If using LPG gas, conform to the Construction and Use Regulations and also the LPG Industry Technical Association Code of Practice No. 11.
      6. Air vents must be at least 250mm to the rear of the cockpit and fuel caps and be of the sealed type to prevent spillage.
      7. Tank guards are recommended to prevent potential spills caused by damage from the terrain.
    12. ENGINE
      1. Engine mountings must be secure.
      2. No vehicle may draw induction air from within the driver/passenger compartment. Air intakes must be either forward of the front bulkhead/windscreen or piped through to the rear of the vehicle to draw outside air from behind the rear bulkhead.
      1. Any oil lines passing through the driver/passenger compartment must be protected and, if non-metallic, be formed of internally or externally braided hydraulic pressure hose.
      2. Oil coolers and filters must be fitted in a position where in the event of failure the hot fluid cannot come into contact with the occupants of the vehicle.
    14. STEERING
      1. The vehicle must have a full circumference full diameter steering wheel unless originally manufactured otherwise.
      2. Steering movement must be controlled to avoid fouling of wheels and tyres on the chassis and bodywork.
      3. Full hydro steer is allowed but we strongly recommend a system that utilizes a mechanical link.
      4. All steering joints and couplings must be in serviceable condition with no excess wear.
      1. The vehicle transmission must be outside the cab compartment, beneath the floor or secured in casings or covers of solid material.
      2. The vehicle must be equipped with an operable reverse gear.
      3. Vehicles with automatic gearboxes must be fitted with a starter inhibitor which allows the starting in park/neutral only.
      1. Windscreens (which must be fitted) must be of laminated glass or plastic of a minimum thickness of 4mm. Plastic side screens, where fitted, should also have a minimum thickness of 4mm unless fitted otherwise by the original vehicle manufacturer.
      2. The use of mesh screens instead of a windscreen will not be acceptable and will need to be covered or replaced with a suitable sheet of plastic to afford protection from branches entering the cab. CSW will accept a small opening, a maximum of 6” (150mm) in vertical height across the full horizontal width of the screen in the plastic to allow minimum vision in event of water or mud covering the screen. Drivers and Co-Drivers of vehicles with any such openings in the screen must wear appropriate safety eyewear at all times when a vehicle is in motion. Temporary screens of this type must remain for the entire event and be replaced should they get broken. We would also advise competitors in such cases to carry sufficient water and cleaning material to maintain clear vision.
    17. SEATING
      1. There must be two securely mounted seats that must not tilt unless it is a production seat fitted with a suitable locking mechanism preventing its independent operation and the top of the seat cushions when not compressed must not be less than 150mm below the top edge of any adjacent body sides or doors.
      2. The maximum time for the driver/passenger to get out of the vehicle should not exceed 5 seconds.
    18. SEAT BELTS
      1. Approved seatbelts or harnesses must be worn at all times by both Driver and Co-Driver whilst the vehicle is in motion. They must be complete units as fitted by the manufacturer, or sourced from a recognised manufacturer, and fitted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
      2. The minimum requirement is a three-point belt comprising one diagonal shoulder strap and one lap strap, with three anchor points on the chassis/body shell or rollover bar of the vehicle on either side and to the rear of the seat.
      3. Alternatively a four point harness comprising two shoulder straps and one lap strap with four anchorage points on the chassis/body shell or roll over bar of the vehicle. One either side and two to the rear of the seat. Where harnesses are fitted the whole harness must be worn and not just the lap belt.
      1. The vehicle shall have not less than four road wheels and tyres (excluding the spare) which are fitted with tyres that are compatible with the wheels and acceptable to the organiser.
      2. The use of tyre chains is prohibited.
      3. Tyres must conform to current road use regulations. The use of open tread tyres or dumper tyres is prohibited.
      4. Tyre size must not exceed 40 inches physical diameter when inflated to a minimum of 10psi measured horizontally on level ground.
      5. A spare wheel is advised but not a mandatory requirement but, if carried, must be securely fastened.
      6. Wheel spacers may be used up to a maximum of 30mm in thickness.
      7. Portal axles are permitted.
      1. No vehicle will be allowed to compete without some form of rollover protection, although a manufacturer’s correctly fitted hardtop or Truck-cab shall be deemed sufficient.
      2. It is strongly recommended that all vehicles be fitted with MSA specification roll cage protection.
      3. Vehicles with soft or open tops must fit as a minimum a roll hoop to current MSA standards with the addition of a hard panel above the cab seating area. The hard panel should be of solid flame retardant material and may be made removable but must be permanently and securely fixed for the duration of any event.
    21. HELMETS
      1. Helmets are compulsory for both Driver and Co-Driver and must be worn at all times in a moving vehicle. All helmets must be appropriately fitted and be appropriately secured. We strongly recommend helmets to the standards specified in the current MSA Blue Book but will accept any motorcycle crash helmets that are legally suitable for use on the road. The c current UK standard is that it must meet one of the following:
        • British Standard BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI Kitemark
        • UNECE Regulation 22.05
        • A European Economic Area member standard offering at least the same safety and protection as BS 6658:1985, and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark.

Please protect your helmet from external damage by using a helmet bag or similar, chips within the outer laminate of the helmet may make it unsafe and unusable; this may result in Competitors being prevented from competing until a suitable replacement is obtained. N.B. ‘Full’ Rules and Regulations require helmets to higher specifications.

CSW Rules and Regulations, as detailed above, are the MINIMUM required. If anyone is in any doubt in relation to any Rule or Regulation please seek clarity from CSW prior to Competing.