1st Leg - El Hazbane / El Hazbane
Dominique Serra wakes the competitors up herself at 4:00 in the morning, at the bivouac, every day of the Rallye (with the exception of Marathon mornings). The briefing takes place at 5:00 in the restaurant tent over breakfast. Jean-Pierre Berthet,
Sporting Director, emphasizes safety
(seat belts, speed...) and gives a brief description of this first leg: a 188 km loop (ideally...), returning to the El Hazbane bivouac.
Estimated minimum time:10.5 hours, 6 CPs to find. To prevent teams from following each other, the Gazelles are distributed along 5 different routes. Today's route should drive well, no difficult terrain to cross, fairly straightforward navigation. There will be a bit of sand, the first dunes of the competition, which could pose problems for the novice Gazelles.
The leg is long and the Gazelles will need to keep an eye on their watches if they want to attempt the last CP. The less experienced teams may choose to return to the bivouac after CP5; in any event, the CPs close at 19:10. A theatrical start was signalled by Taekwondo champion Pascal Gentil. At the finish line, the Gazelles are greeted with a glass of mint tea and snacks by Karine and Christiane in the Total tent.
MAGAZINE / TOYOTA / ASSOCIATION LES ENFANTS D'ARLEQUIN 138 Florence
MIGRAINE BOURGNON and Corentine QUINIOU in a TOYOTA LAND CRUISER
Corentine dricves the odd legs, and Florence the even legs. "I did the start, she'll do the finish" explains Corentine. The two professional pilots look extremely relaxed out on the course: music in their helmets, tapping their feet... but beneath their nonchalant demeanour, they perform and return to the bivouac with 6 CPs and just 7.46 extra km! They are navigating "as the crow flies"! They finish in first place for the leg, and are full of smiles.
ELLE MAGAZINE / TOYOTA / ASSOCIATION FORCEFEMMES.COM 139 Aude BARREAU AIRIEV and Nathalie PELLERIN in a TOYOTA HILUX
Despite their Rallye experience, Aude and Nathalie drove a bad prologue. Stuck in a mini dune, they deplored their 4WD's lack of power. Last night the mechanics detected a
problem with the flowmeter. But this morning, the vehicle doesn't seem to have 4WD, or it works only in low gear... They reach all 6 CPs but are concerned about tackling the sand under these conditions. Another rendezvous with the mechanics this evening...
EUROSPORT / NISSAN / ASSOCIATION IKDC 185 Clémence and Olivia JOYEUX in a NISSAN PATROL
Pascal Gentil came close to taking off with "Les Joyeuses" at the start line this morning! Off like a bullet, sure of their heading, the Gazelles
are the first to reach most of the CPs. They arrive exhausted but with all 6 CPs, and are among the first in the showers! They fumbled around a bit on the return to the bivouac, adding kilometres and costing them a few places in the leg's ranking.
QUESTIONS DE FEMMES / TOYOTA / JEVEUXAIDER.COM 188 Cindy FABRE and Isabelle LAMANT in a TOYOTA LAND CRUISER
Somewhat disoriented at CP1, the Gazelles decided to exchange roles, pilot-navigator, for this leg... You have to start somewhere! But their problems were not over, they got stuck in the sand between CP2 and CP3, but they managed to get out without outside help. They ended up finding all 6 CPs.
ACTUELLE / TOYOTA / ASSOCIATION LES JARDINS DE LA MONTAGNE VERTE 191
Nathalie VINCENT and Anne-Gaëlle RICCIO in a TOYOTA HILUX
The two actresses/TV hosts had some difficulties navigating during this first leg. Admittedly, landmarks were difficult to pinpoint on the horizon through the mist. At 19:30 they had not yet reached the bivouac. Wherever they are safe and under constant surveillance by the organization, who can quickly go to their aid if they need it.
TV MAGAZINE/ ISUZU / ASSOCIATION
ELA 192 Valérie BEGUE Miss France and Alexandra ROSENFELD Miss
France / Miss Europe in an ISUZU D-MAX
A bad day for our two "misses": photographers and journalists were waiting for them at CP4, and they got stuck in the sand a few kilometres before the CP... Unable to get free, they called for assistance, earning 200 penalty points. But their problems didn't stop there: the Gazelles had to change a wheel once they got out of the sand. And there was still a long way to get to the bivouac...
CITADINE / ISUZU /ASSOCIATION AFAK 194 Silvina PINEIRO ARAMBURU and Stéphanie FENESTRAZ in an ISUZU D-MAX
The team started the day with problems in finding CP1... Today's
road book was handed out at the first CP... The girls didn't want to drive through the village of El Fecht! They then
progressed well until the first dunes blocked their way... They got stuck but ended up getting out with the help of some Bedouins. They decided to backtrack and go around the obstacle... They won't be early getting back to the bivouac!
FRANCE 24 / NISSAN / ASSOCIATION AZEKKA 202 Laure MANENT and Valérie DEFERT in a NISSAN PATROL
These two journalists and first-time Gazelles follow their heading slowly but surely but still finish with 200 penalty points...