20 March 2012
The calm before the storm
First km on Moroccan soil
Video: Paris and the Trocadero Gardens
Final preparations for the 25 teams in Erfoud
Their first briefing
Mrs. Serra went on to describe the challenge to come. Our Gazelles are warned in an almost Churchillean manner: Sweat and tears await them, especially considering this year's record number of Rallye newcomers: 70% are here for the first time. But it is impossible to ignore the joy of pushing their limits and the proud moment when they will finally drive onto that beach in Essaouira - nothing can compare with that!
RACE NOTES: before the race
3 teams broke down during the long drive from Paris to Almeria, where they were scheduled to board ship for Morocco. Teams 215 and 140 have changed vehicles and will still be able to make it for tomorrow's Prologue. But Team 214 (Bérengère VIANT and Stéphanie ORTLIEB - Groupe Ambulances Mader) won't reach the bivouac until tomorrow afternoon. They will have to launch themselves directly into the action of Leg 1 on Thursday, without the "warm-up" of the Prologue...
The Rallye on M6 - video 8
Les Gazelles on M6 - video 7
ERFOUD, Gateway to the Desert
Today is the big day for the Gazelles taking the boat from Europe: after spending 3 days travelling across France and Spain and a night on the ferry, the teams touch down on Moroccan soil! The competitors are now on their way from Nador to Erfoud, a 600-km drive, where they are expected for their first briefing on Moroccan soil.
Meanwhile, in Erfoud, members of the Organization are already in place to carry out the verifications for the 25 international teams who are starting their adventure directly in Morocco. The rest of the organizers are busy at work putting the finishing touches to this year’s first bivouac, known as the Nejjakh bivouac. Behind the scenes, final preparations are well underway: setting up the course for the Prologue, scouting locations for the radio relay teams, installing technical and satellite equipment... All of the logistics needed to complete the job that began several months ago. Tomorrow, everything will be in place for the start of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc!