|Aicha des Gazelles: 21st edition of the rally finishes in Essaouira / Morocco.|
A parade of rally vehicles lined the beach in Essaouira this afternoon to celebrate the official finish of the 21st edition of the women´s-rally "Aïcha des Gazelles". The competition was held over nine days across southern Morocco in a test of keen navigation and off-road driving skill. The competitors faced a variety of extreme conditions including sand storms and extensive dune driving.
Two teams comprised of Americans finished strong, with three-time Gazelle and off-road racer, Emily Miller taking home second place overall. "We competed in a stock H3 with no modifications so it was truly a test of vehicle management as a driver, and my co-pilot, Armelle Medard was spot on with the traditional dead reckoning navigation. Many times she used to sun to keep us on target."
The team of sisters, Amy Lerner and Tricia Reina made an impressive showing early in the event by running in twelfth overall by day two. The team ended in fifty-second place after vehicle difficulties and illness. "It was an incredible adventure from start to finish," first time U.S. competitor Amy Lerner said. "More challenging than we anticipated in so many ways. We are really proud of what we accomplished and pushed ourselves each day."
The rankings are official and determined by adding the kilometers (the difference between the actual distance driven and the "as the crow flies" distance of each route) and any penalties earned for missing checkpoints, calling for assistance, or any other rally faults. The team with the least penalty wins the race. The event also held a variety of competitions that included the Logica Eco-Driving Challenge, the Hexis Beauty Car Challenge and the Isuzu Media Challenge.
The 2011 Winners
4x4/Truck Class: Carole Montillet/France / Syndiely Wade/Senegal
Crossover Class: Andrea Spielvogel/Anneke Voss / Germany
Quad/Moto Class: Betty Kraft/Caroline Couet-Lannes / France
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles was created in 1990 by Dominique Serra. The event, held annually in Morocco, is owned and produced by Maïenga Communications, France. In addition to serious competition, the rally is known and respected for extensive humanitarian and environmental efforts.
Focused initiatives combined with staff and competitor support have brought significant improvement to the health and welfare of the region and serve as an environmental example to other rallies being the only off-road event in the world to achieve ISO 14001 certification. To learn more, log on to [ www.rallyaichadesgazelles.com ].
2011/04/04 | 19:32 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/VAN HOESEN