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Spotlight on the Canadians

Around the rally

Teams 126 (Annie DOUCET / Marie-Pier CHAMPAGNE - Famille et amis) and 199 (Marie-Noël RACICOT / Nadia MORENCY - Groupe Boombox) have come straight from Canada. There are 4 Canadian teams in this 29th edition. After a 6-hour flight and a 6,000-kilometre drive to southern Morocco, they reached Erfoud a few days before the other Gazelles. For Gazelles from the other side of the Atlantic, the preparation and logistics are not quite the same as for French Gazelles

For several years, we were looking for a major challenge, an exciting adventure that would push our limits and let us learn from others and from ourselves. We started preparing for the Rallye 4 years ago. Our goal was to do it in 2019, so that’s done. But it takes time to find sponsors and raise money, because the event is less well known back home,” remarks Team 126 (Annie DOUCET / Marie-Pier CHAMPAGNE - Famille et amis).

For Nadia and Marie-Noël of Team 199 (Marie-Noël RACICOT / Nadia MORENCY - Groupe Boombox), this is a long-time dream come true:I went to an information meeting 25 years ago. But we only decided to register last year, without really thinking about it. We like a good challenge!” They recall several Quebec celebrities who have done the Rallye, like actresses Mariloup Wolfe and Jessica Barker, and Louise Bergeron, winner of the 2002 edition…

So far, the Canadians have spent more time in the air than behind the wheel. And, significantly, they were limited to 23 kg of luggage per person on the flight: “Unlike the other teams who drive down, we can’t bring everything we want. And at the same time, we have to fit all the essentials, like sleeping bags, sleeping mats…” explains Marie-Pier of Team 126 (Annie DOUCET / Marie-Pier CHAMPAGNE - Famille et amis).

Our Canadian Gazelles took a 4×4 driving training course in Québec: “It was good, but it’s a bit like doing a ski competition without ever having skied,” laughs Team 199 (Marie-Noël RACICOT / Nadia MORENCY - Groupe Boombox). But that’s ok, they adapt quickly. And the 5 hours of jet-lag are already far behind them. As they were renting their 4×4, they weren’t able to practice: “We caught up once we picked up the truck from our Moroccan rental company. We’ve been to Merzouga several times to train since our arrival. The dunes are really impressive, they’re as high as the mountains back home!Nadia and Marie-Noël had never seen the desert, or even a dromedary!

The Gazelles of Team 126 (Annie DOUCET / Marie-Pier CHAMPAGNE - Famille et amis) have decided to write a different quote on their vehicle every day. To start, they chose Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And do it they will: “Above all, for us. Just being able to be here today, is quite an accomplishment and a source of pride…




Dominique Serra has dedicated this 29th edition to Nasrin Sotoudeh – prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate – who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for “inciting corruption and prostitution” by defending women who took off their headscarves in public.

I encourage everyone to sign the petition for her release.