According to information from the Race PC, teams 152 and 153 will spend the night in the small dunes of Lahfira. Teams 172, 140 and 102 are still struggling to get back to the bivouac, but may be forced to stop after nightfall. We wish them all a good night, under the discreet surveillance of the organizers positioned in the area.
Contrary to what was previously announced, Team 112 (SDIS 13) will be back in the race tomorrow! Though they had a hard time believing it, the mechanics managed to carry out makeshift repairs that will allow them to continue! A burst of enthusiasm and energy for Sandrine and Céline, who are smiling once again! Once again, hats off to the mechanics!
In front of all of the Gazelles, Jean-Pierre Berthet, Sporting Director of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, paid homage to the sportsmanship of Team 182 (Laure MANENT and Valérie DEFERT - France 24 / Fondation Doga). Stuck in the dunes, Laure and Valérie respected the sporting regulations to the letter, categorically refusing offers of help from local onlookers as they dug their way out of their predicament. Good for you!
At the finish line, the team in second place in the general rankings deliver their first impressions: "I think we really did well today! We stuck to our headings, we had such a bumpy ride!" Corentine explains that, even though "we are keeping cool becase our main competitors are our friends, we will do everything we can to get back in first place!". Bets are on!
The competitors who just reached their 6th checkpoint are now heading for the bivouac, while the race leaders are already back. Team 155, Carole Montillet and Syndiely Wade (Axecibles), leader in the general ranking, appear to have had an excellent day. But so did teams 138 and 167. Who will be first in the day's leg? Will Team 138 regain their position as leaders in the general ranking? We will soon have all the answers!
Despite the day's little "surprise", the competitors continue to advance at a regular pace... under a blazing sun. Teams 135, 121 and 129 have reached CP6... and the others are not far behind. There have been a few calls for mechanical assistance, but no major problems. Only Team 193 decided to exlore the terrain to the east before correcting their heading.
One thing is certain, the Gazelles are extraordinarily adaptable, and they prove it time after time. Navigating with an almost blank map, the large majority of the teams are already... at CP2! The only obstacle on the immense plateau between the first and second checkpoints, the Riah Sidi Ali...
Already having problems the day before yesterday in the dunes, team 112's Defender "fire truck" is stuck at the bivouac. The cause? The cracked motor unit could cause the engine to seize if the vehicle is put to severe test. Impossible to drive on (or off!) trail... so Sandrine and Céline stayed at the bivouac today. They will leave tomorrow for Essaouira, driving carefully to avoid stressing the engine, and will rejoin the other participants for the ceremonial finish. Last words from "Brune" and "Blonde": "If destiny is against us this year, we wll return the favour next year!"
At the briefing for this 4th leg, Jean-Pierre Berthet announced the event's second surprise: "We are giving you a map... which is mostly blank! You have to plot your route in the usual way, except that you will discover the relief as you go along because on your maps we have erased ¾ of the details!"...