The Eiffel Tower vibrates to the start of the 22nd edition
At the request of the announcer specially delegated by Hexis, the Gazelles enter the starting blocks.
To the sound of horns, applause and cheers of encouragement, the start of the 22nd edition of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is officielly given by Chantal Jouano and Dominique Serra.
As they pass under the starting arch, each Gazelle experiences the excitement of the culmination of months of preparation. Nobody is left unmoved by the emotional departure of these women, as they set out in search of adventure. A rare and unique moment! Only the last vehicle, also unique in its own way, is unable to pass through the inflatable arch, which must be lifted by several Organizers, to let through…the enormous Unimog driven by the three gazelles of Team 217, Myriam, Evelyne and Sandra!
They have crossed the start line, and now the voyage begins: direction Clermont-Ferrand for the 2012 Gazelles where most of them will spend the night before setting out for Almeria in Spain, where they will catch the ferry to Nador! Until we catch up with them in Morocco, we wish them a good trip… and may the adventure begin!
The Departure Village: a Guided Tour
Imagine 500m² of tents with a view over the fountains of the Trocadero and, of course, the Eiffel Tower and L'Hôtel des Invalides! Welcome to the VIP space, accessible only to the Gazelles, Organizers, officials, partners and accredited journalists!
The perfect spot to host the players in this year's 22nd edition under the best conditions. The companies present, Aïcha, Total, La Poste, Gan, Logica, Atol, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Isuzu, Soleil Sucré and Volkswagen, are here with the Gazelles on this momentous occasion, with a showing in keeping with the grandeur of the location!
Atol, rallying against cancer
Dominique Serra decorated by the Legion of Honour
For Chantal Jouanno, this medal is a reward "in the name of all women, for her example and the Rallye that she created. Dominque Serra has shown all women that they can make their dreams come true, that they should never give up their dreams!" The medal, fittingly enough, was pinned onto Mrs Serra's Rallye Organizer vest, in the presence of her loyal event partners.
Visibly moved, Dominique Serra took the floor to emphasize that "This medal is the recognition of my commitment to ethics and solidarity for all women! It also honours everyone who has supported me: my team, my partners and, especially, all of you, the women who have believed in my project!" Before finishing, amidst thunderous applause, she added: "This medal is yours!"
So Colissimo, So Generous...
The race for the verification stations
Throughout the Auditorium, there is a bustle of activity around the various verification stations: administrative checks, installation of safety material (in particular the IRITRACK satellite system, allowing every vehicle to be followed in realtime and located to the nearest metre), distribution of maps, etc… the Gazelles finalize their preparations for the competition...
The Gazelles on M6, video 6
The Auditorium is packed for the 1st briefing!
The Gazelles on M6, video 5
Live from the Trocadéro Gardens: the Launching of the 22nd edition
PARIS hosts the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles
Paris, city of light, attracts millions of tourists every year from around the globe. This year, Paris is also hosting the departure village of the 22nd edition of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, in the Trocadero Gardens, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
Today’s program, dedicated to preparations for the competition, includes the technical, administrative and medical verifications and the long-awaited decoration of the vehicles with the stickers and logos of the Rallye and its partners. The official start will be given at 16:30 in the presence of the media.
The departure village is open to the public: an opportunity to meet some of this year’s 301 Gazelles or chat with the event’s organizers, and to discover 15 of the event partners, set up within the 500 m² of tents that make up the departure village.
We recommend reaching the Trocadero Gardens by 16:00 to watch the start!
After the official start, the teams will drive across France and part of Spain to Almeria, where they will board the ferry for Nador. They will reach Moroccan soil on the morning of Tuesday March 20, and then make their way to Erfoud in the south of Morocco, known as the "gateway to the desert" – a nickname that speaks volumes!