Daily Report

Video of Leg 1, Neijakh-Neijakh

Vidéo Gazelles 2010 ETAPE01
sent by Rallye-Aicha-des-Gazelles.

Solidarity in time of need

Nadège and Emilie (Team 311 - La Poste) are perched on a tuft of camel grass. Their Kangoo refuses to budge an inch in any direction...! At 7:20, the tires are spinning with no solution in sight...

News flash 18:30 - 33 teams have returned when the sun goes down

As the light starts to fade, 77 teams are still out on the course. For those who have reached the bivouac, exhausted from this first leg, the reactions are varied: some are satisfied with their performance, others are delighted to be back before dark, or simply filled with the beauty of the landscape and by this first day of action in the dust. Whatever the reaction, our Gazelles are far from being finished. On the program this evening: taking care of the vehicle, a good shower and, time permitting, sharing the excitement of the day over a glass of wine in the big tent. Hang in there, Gazelles!

News flash 16:50 - Teams 132 and 193 reach the bivouac

Half an hour after the arrival of Team 132 (Nathalie CAMPAGNA and Nicole TURCOT - ACTIMAX), Isabelle GERMAIN-PAILLARSE and Karine PIERRE of Team 193 - LULU DANS LA PRAIRIE reach the bivouac. For this first participation, their objective is to "have a good time!".
Hesitant when it comes to plotting and following their route, preferring to spend their time keeping close track of their position on the map, it took them 4 hours to find their first CP. After feeling their way along to a first success, they become more self-assured, reaching CP2 in just... 45 minutes!
Satisfied with the progress they have made today in being more and more efficient with their maps, they decide to head back to the bivouac and get some rest. The result of their first leg? "A lot of pleasure and excitement!"

To see the team info sheets, click here

News flash 14:50 - Team 157 reaches CP1

After a very late start this morning, Alexandra and Stéphanie have reached their first CP, 4 hours after starting. They spent 1.5 hours crossing Takhbtit Nemzani, a tricky sandy zone that they could have gone around to the south but that they decided to attack head-on. They then headed straight for the CP, no navigation errors, no problems.

News flash 14:36 - between CP3 and CP4

Most teams are now between CP3 and CP4. Between the two, the competitors have to cross Oued Er Ref Aya, a difficult passage where driving skills and careful strategy are required to avoid getting stuck in the sand. According to the latest information from the Race PC, the last vehicles should reach this area around nightfall, making crossing the Oued even trickier.

News flash 12:44 – Team 192 requests mechanical assistance

Team 192 (Sophie TAKENOUTI and Anne LE GOUAIS - A2B Collections) call for mechanical assistance after a wheel comes loose. As there have been no other calls, the problem is being quickly dealt with at the time of writing. As stated in the Sporting Regulations, any intervention by an assistance vehicle earns the team 200 penalty points...

News flash 11:23 – 2 teams already at CP2

While most of the teams located the first CP without too much difficulty, Team 148 (Elizabeth DART and Christelle LEGER - Toyota) plotted the wrong coordinates and therefore set out in the wrong direction. The competitors realized their plotting error and corrected for the right heading.

Meanwhile, at the head of the race, Teams 164 (Nathalie BENOIT and Isabelle DANJOU - Premalliance) and 130 (Jacqueline and Shaday LAVALLEE - Groupe Charbonneau) have already reached CP2! Next step: CP3, 20 km away!

To read a description of today's leg, click here

Breaking News 10:45 - Team 157 takes the start!

Great news, Team 157 (Stéphanie and Alexandra - Groupe Pujol) take the start for Leg 1 at 10:42! After waiting with bated breath for the results of the mechanics' tests, it appears that the repairs will allow the Gazelles to take the wheel once again. They are able to start Leg 1 on time and avoid being "Unranked": the Sporting Regulations state that teams have until noon to start a leg. Even if they ear penalties for not having enough time to find all of their (the CPs lose at 19:15 this evening), at least they stay in the race!
Their last words before setting out on the course are directed at the mechanics who spent the night working on their vehicle: "Super mechanics! Amazing! Real magicians!"

Bravo to these intrepid chaps who can now finally get some sleep. And now, girls, it's your turn!

News flash 09:02 – Several teams stuck in the sand

The beginning of the competition means the beginning of trouble… Teams 138 (Florence and Corentine - Toyota France), 312 (Emmanuelle and Véronique - La Poste), 136 (Claire and Muriel - Marithé+François Girbaud) and 168 (Elizabeth and Françoise - Idex) hav e got their shovels and sand ladders out, after being surprised by a zone of sand. Dig, push, let's go!

Breaking News 08:30 – Team 146 is on the move again, 157 not going anywhere at the moment

The Patrol belonging to Team 146 (Caroline and Aurore - Sevacrème) was able to continue the race this morning after repairs by the mechanics during the night: according to the Race PC, the Gazelles are following the right heading and are just 6 km from CP1.
Meanwhile Team 157 (Stéphanie and Alexandra - Groupe Pujol)'s Isuzu is sitting immobile in the mechanics area for the time being: the cause, a defective clutch and a lack of replacement parts. But all is not lost: the mechanics are attempting makeshift repairs that will allow Stéphanie and Alexandra to start the leg before 12:00, official start line closing time.

05:00 - Briefing over breakfast

"Yesterday's Prologue went well, but today you are facing your first long leg, very lovely, next to the dunes of Erg Chebbi, better known as the dunes of Merzouga". The Sporting Director announces the character of the day's leg and exact GPS time, so that the participants can know the precise time they reach the checkpoints and the time they close.
The briefing ends with a collective Happy Birthday, at 05:22, in the middle of the desert, to celebrate Vanessa Challiot (Team 196 - AEEN)'s 30th birthday! An original way to celebrate!