06:38 - first Gazelles briefing of 2010!
Palm trees, umbrella pines, the scent of iodine in the air... welcome to Sète!
Unlike last year, it is cold this morning in Sète. But the icy wind has no effect on the sense of excitement inside Ecole Victor Hugo. Dominique Serra, the event's creator and organizer, extends a warm welcome to her 2010 Gazelles as they enjoy an early-morning café au lait before the sun rises...
On the program: a concise and informal presentation of the day's events, for this first day of technical and administrative verifications that await 91 of the 110 teams of this year's anniversary edition. The Moroccan and Canadian teams will join the rally tomorrow in Tangiers.
Intimidated glances on some faces, wide smiles on most, and everywhere hugs and excited greetings in French and English: the hive is buzzing with activity! First things first: the Gazelles line up for their famous Rallye vest created by Marithé and François Girbaud, white this year, symbol of the many months of intense effort that went into getting here.
In a fitting conclusion to this early morning meeting, a booming "Ok, let's go, girls!" from one of the Gazelles can be heard throughout the room. Let the race begin: we all share the Gazelles' excitement as the procedures get under way.