27 March 2012
Meet the Gazelles: Let's do it!
Result: our American Gazelles are currently in 10th place [after Leg 5] in 4WD/Truck class: a solid performance for their second Rallye!
Daily Report: El Fecht to Mhamid
Today's strategy involved sticking to perfect headings to save on kilometres over the long distance to the next bivouac.
This morning's route [...]
Sleeping at the bivouac tonight...
This is good news for the Gazelles, who will all be st the start line ready to tackle the 6th and final leg of this 22nd edition.
On tomorrow's itinerary: 18 hours of sand and oueds with a chance of sandstorms, which are common in this area.
RALLYE NOTES 14:25 - CP6 has fallen!
The RZR of Team 20 (Dorothée LANGLOIS and France CLEVES - POLARIS BENELUX) has already reached CP6. Further back at CP5, Team 187 (Carole MONTILLET and Julie VERDAGUER - Axecibles), 4WD/Truck class leaders, confirm their strategy which consists of taking their time to avoid taking risks. Under a blazing sun in a milky sky, most of the teams are between CP5 and 6 between immense rocky hillsides.
RALLYE NOTES 13:00 - update on the leaders
Already halfway between CP3 and CP4, the teams are showing their determination to succeed in this leg. In Crossover class, Team 310 (Sylvie HUSSON and Sophie GOSET - La Poste) are leading the pack with a precisely-plotted crow-flies course. Team 311 (Lucie FERNANDEZ and Céline TSALIKIS - La Poste), not far behind them in the rankings, are heading south-west towards CP4.
RALLYE NOTES 10:59 - moving across the oued
On the map displayed on the computer screens, the teams can be seen to be following a straight heading from CP2 to CP3, across oued Assi Bou Haiara. Meanwhile the assistance, media and organization vehicles and helicopters are following the competitors' progress across the desert.
RALLYE NOTES 07:30 - 111, 144 and 225 have reached the bivouac
RALLYE NOTES 06:30 - Start of the second-last leg
At the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, there are as many goals as there are teams. Team 123 (Patricia CICILIANI and Katia BOUEY - Sublimatio), with their colourful 4WD car, are "positive and confident, the essential ingredients for driving a good course!"
As for Team 213 (Mireille MOUNIER and Emmanuelle MOUNIER - SDRTP Forez), who say they are "well rested!", the goal is to not waste any time, to reach the bivouac early and rest up before the Marathon.
RALLYE NOTES 06:00 - a shorter briefing
LEG 5 - Tuesday March 27
EL FECHT / MHAMID - ideal distance 200 km – estimated time 11:15 – Straight route
Little or no sand during this leg, which begins in a wide mountainous area intersected by valleys. Then the route crosses more open terrain with well-marked landscapes. The combination of pink sand and silver-grey rock is a real treat for the eyes. The ground is carpeted with a fine layer of red sand, sprinkled over the Moroccan landscape from time to time by the wind from nearby Algeria, in a gesture of neighbourly friendliness.
Most teams should be able to find all of today’s CPs. In the middle of these wide plains, the best strategy is to stick to a perfectly straight course in order to minimize on kilometres.
After following a long wide trail, and then crossing an immense crater, the Gazelles will need to gather their strength for tomorrow, and the last leg of the competition.