Stage 6 MARATHON
28 March 2012 - 29 March 2012
LEG 6 - Wednesday March 28 and Thursday March 29
MHAMID / FOUM-ZGUID - ideal distance 255 km – minimum time 18:00 – Marathon leg
In this region of sandstorms, a quick prayer to the gods may be in order. Because today’s leg, probably the most challenging leg of the Rallye, is all the more difficult under stormy conditions.
The navigator has few landmarks to work with, and the path is blocked by mounds of sand with few ways around them, causing the Gazelles to twist and turn around the bends of the Oued DRAA. Once a vigorous river, today it is rare to find the smallest trickle of water there. However, caution is still advisable because even without water, the old riverbed is not easy to approach or to cross… The dunes may not be high, no more than 2 or 3 metres, but they are so close together and over such a long distance… Time rather than distance will be of the essence in getting through this region.
For this two-day marathon, the teams can once again play their trump card by choosing their level of difficulty. Nobody will be left behind during this last leg: the organizers have placed more value on the willingness to go all the way than on the level of difficulty. The vehicles pitch on the crests of infinite mineral waves. Once again the competitors will sleep in the shelter of the dunes, alone or in a group if they are lucky enough to cross paths with other “Gazelles”.
Then back to the roller coaster, as far as the eye can see! Dune follows dune, until suddenly they end in a large dried-up lake. It is a strange sensation, after so many hours spent rocking through the sands: suddenly the vehicle cruises along so silently and smoothly. More hills at the end of the course. No great difficulties here, but the end of the leg will only be reached by those who haven’t lost too much time in the dunes.
This last leg ends early to allow the teams to reach the bivouac before dark. One last night of celebration, where the magic of the desert will certainly find its way into memories that will last a lifetime...