But that is not all. As if it wasn't enough to have the trio from "Caméra Café", French actress and television host Nathalie Vincent also arrived during the night. Not much sleep for Nathalie tonight; she will need to be at tomorrow's 5 o'clock briefing: with her teammate, she will be taking over Team 199, relaying our two Guy Gazelles Eric Loizeau and David Casteu for the next three days. Casteau, on leaving for the first challenge of the of the "Championnat du Monde": "It's been a real treat: I'll be back next year, if you'll have me!"
The morning briefings occur day after day but are not always the same at the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc...
Emotional and excited, Nathalie Benoît and her trainer and teammate Isabelle Danjou rush to thank their "saviour", Brigitte Dasseux, Communications Manager for La Poste. Of course, it is also thanks to La Poste that the team has been flooded with emails of encouragement!
It is time to take stock of this second leg. At 20:30, 86 teams have returned to the bivouac, 24 are still out on the course. Not all of these are intending to spend the night off the bivouac: only Teams 130, 140, 143 and 131 plan to pitch their tents... in the middle of nowhere!
Located just west of a plateau, CP7 has been reached by teams 135, 151 and 112. Before returning to the bivouac, our Gazelles need to head back south to CP8, which is to the east of the bivouac.
The information has just been confirmed by the Race PC: Team 138 (Corentine Quiniou and Florence Migraine Bourgnon - Questions de Femmes) had trouble finding their fifth checkpoint. The pilot and her navigator deviated east of CP5 before doubling around to the west to reach it. Now they are heading for CP6. This detour could cost them their position at the head of the general ranking. Florence Bourgnon and Corentine Quiniou are the only three-time winning team of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles.
While half of the teams are somewhere between CP4 and CP5, most of the rest spread out between CP5 and CP6, heading towards various other checkpoints.
On the Race PC's satellite tracking system (Iritrack), it can be seen that most of the competitors have adapted well to today's little "surprise".
Team 156 (Christa VOLKE et Suzanne KUNZ - Volke Compagny Group) seems to have strayed off course; after their 5th checkpoint, they are headed too far north, away from their CP6 which lies to the west.
In order to reach their 6th checkpoint, Team 125 (Claudine AMAT and Christine LALOUE - Coiffure Elle et Lui) will have to take the Tabridia Fault which leads to a second plateau about forty metres lower.
Team 167 continues to stick to their headings, in spite of a temporary deviation, quickly rectified. But most impressive of all is Team 155 (Syndiely WADE and Carole MONTILLET - Axecibles Vicat), ranked 3rd after yesterday's leg, who are driving as the crow flies... straight towards their CP5.
Almost 4 hours after the start of the leg, most of the competitors have reached CP1 and CP2 without too much difficulty. Team 167 (Sophie and Céline GASTINE - Catherine Parra), first in the 4x4 class general ranking, seem to be following an excellent heading and are about to reach CP3. While the quads 22 (Karine CANDES and Valérie DOT - Thierry Transports) (1st in the Quad general ranking) are only at CP2, the pilots are clearly in control of their navigation.
Team 129 (Stéphany MAILLERY and Edith ROBILLARD - Globocam) aren't wasting any time: they are moving rapidly from CP to CP and are only 6km from CP5!
There have been several navigation errors this morning: Teams 163 (Dorianne SCHILLACI and Fabienne GALIDIE - SNEI Lempdes), 198 (Caroline PEREZ and Régine MAITREL - Abysse Automobile) and 130 (Jacqueline and Shaday LAVALLEE - Groupe Charbonneau) headed for CP6... without stoppng first at CP4 and CP5. After heading south-east, Team 187 (Maryon CREZE and Dominique DUFIEUX - Adonis Technologie) have corrected their error and are now heading in the right direction.
As yet, no calls for assistance have been made.
Six teams spent the night out in the desert. At dawn, Teams 148, 119, 114, 126, 20 and 187 took a heading for the bivouac. As soon as they arrived, Team 114 - Heliatech adjusted the tire pessure on their Isuzu D Max and took the start for Leg 2 without further delay.
Team 148 - Toyota is still at the bivouac, getting ready to leave. Things look a little more complicated for Team 119 - C10 Nuget-Naveau; the mechanics are checking their vehicle.
Still not back: Team 20 - Normandeau Nathalie, 126 - Nurun and 187 - Adonis Technologie who are still on their way to the bivouac. Our Gazelles have a time limit: they have to take the start for Leg 2 before noon in order to stay in the race and avoid being "Unranked".