|Silk Way Rally: Reconnaissance Team in the starting blocks - strong logistics.|
In one week, the crew headed by Sergey Gyria will start from Moscow to cross Russia from North to south for a 15 days trip to reach Gelendzhik on the Black Sea shores.
This general reconnaissance will be the result of the work already done during the various checks of the itinerary. This year, the route was deeply modified and it's a real journey towards "unknown earth" which awaits for the competitors of the Rally in July 2012.
Known for their specialized skills, Stéphane Le Bail, collaborating with the Organizing Committee of Silk Way Rally since 2009 and the famous rally driver, four-time World Champion in Rally-Raid, three-time winner of the Dakar, Pierre Lartigue will be in charge of writing the road book.
A precious road book that will be of course kept secret until the start. The participation of these professionals in the reconnaissance is a guarantee that the route will comply with the highest sports standards of the discipline.
As logistics co-ordinator between Russia and Europe, François Habib-Deloncle is a vital member of the Silk Way organisation team and is the best person who can answer to logistic questions :
MR: Hello Francois, how have you organised the visa request formalities this year?
François Habib-Deloncle: "It is very simple! Once the applications have been received, a request for a visa is automatically made in Moscow. Two weeks after, we receive an invitation letter. We send this precious document as well as the certification of repatriation supplied by Mutuaide Assistance to the competitors.
Then all they have to do is complete the application (downloadable on line) and provide the three documents to the Russian embassy in their home country to obtain the visa. The procedure is really easy! For the competitors who are still not sure to enter, they should still go through the visa request process. This will save a lot of time."
MR: Do the competitors have several solutions for transporting their vehicles?
François Habib-Deloncle: "The competitors can choose to use the transportation set up by the organisation or they can head directly to Russia, either in a convoy or by their own means. In the case of the convoy, the vehicles are required to board the ferry headed from Travemuende (Germany) to Helsinki (Finland) on July 3 at 20h00.
Upon arrival in Helsinki on the morning of July 5, the vehicles head by convoy to the border between Finland and Russia (175km).
At the border, they will be looked after by the organisers, who will prepare all the documents to simplify customs after which they will convoy to Moscow and arrive in the afternoon of July 6.
For the return trip, the vehicles will convoy to Gelendjik to the Russian - Finland border to board on the Ferry from Helsinki (Finland) to Travemünde (Germany) on July 18. During the early evening hours of July 19 they will be back in Germany. I want to assure everyone that the convoy is totally safe and the customs formalities are easy!"
MR: Can you give us more information about the transportation offered by the organisation?
François Habib-Deloncle: "The organisation offers vehicle transport for 2.600 Euros per vehicle thanks to support from one of the rally sponsors, this fee is really exceptional and is only valid for racing vehicles.
The vehicles will be loaded in Paris on June 29. Once loaded, the trucks will head to Travemünde (Germany) to join the other vehicles entered in the rally and follow the same route as the convoy to Moscow.
In the same vein, for the return trip, the vehicles will be loaded on the same truck used for the first convoy and return to Europe with the rest of the race vehicles. The unloading of the vehicles is schedule for the afternoon of July 23 in Paris. Barely ten 10 days after the finish!"
MR: Tell us about your role in the organisation?
François Habib-Deloncle: "I look after the coordination with the European providers and the Russian teams, principally the logistic side. Happily, our providers are very experienced and they know the Silk Way very well! We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Mutuaide Assistance that will be on hand to assure medical assistance during the rally.
TDcom will continue to oversee all transmissions as well as following the competitors using the "Iritrack" positioning system. As for GPS, the competitors will have equipment from ERTF. Many of them are familiar with the material and use it on many races. Patrick Soft will provide the classifications for the fourth consecutive year."
2012/05/10 | 17:46 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SWR