UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF HIS MAJESTY KING MOHAMMED VI
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THE ORIGINAL
UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF HIS MAJESTY KING MOHAMMED VI
10 Étape 62019-03-15T12:18:11+02:00

LEG 6 – MARATHON

OULAD DRISS – FOUMZGUID

LEG 6 – MARATHON

OULAD DRISS – FOUMZGUID

CHECKPOINTS 11

IDEAL KM 220km

ESTIMATED 16h45

TERRAIN barcans, sandy areas (Erg Chegaga), dry lake and great reliefs

Marathon legs are like trains … there may be a second one hidden behind the first.
With barely time to catch their breath, the Gazelles set off for the final marathon leg.

This region known as CHEGAGA features sand, hills Djebel Bani, Oued Draa … and public enemy number 1, strong winds! Navigation is already a challenge here, and uncooperative weather just makes things worse.

In addition to poor visibility, there is an endless stretch of small dunes. Impossible to stick to a heading… up, down, up, down… for kilometres on end… Or hours on end, as distance is measured in time rather than kilometres. The navigators will have to keep a sharp eye out for features that appear and disappear as they drive up and down… It’s their only hope of keeping their heading, but if the wind rises, they will have to resort to dead reckoning… like on the open sea!

The strongest teams will tackle the dunes towards the end of this first day. Chegaga is less impressive than Merzouga, but you shouldn’t trust appearances alone. The feeling of “surfing” the dunes could quickly be slowed down by an unstable or more exposed dune. And the wind has also done its best to complicate the lives of our Gazelles.

In any case, this will be their last night alone among Gazelle in the muffled calm of the dunes.

The following morning, the goal will be to get out of the sand. Whichever route they choose, the Gazelles will have to cross the Erg, a relatively difficult task. There is no time to be wasted getting stuck in the sand… it would be a pity to mess things up so close to the end.

Once they have exited the sandy hills of Chegaga, the Gazelles will head for the last bivouac. But not in a straight line: that would be too easy. Challenges include Lake IRIQUI and its baseless mountain, dinosaur crests and impassable passes, the cliffs of M’daouer jealously guarded by its Sumerian soldier… And they reach the final bivouac, an emotional moment filled with pride, joy and a touch of regret… that the adventure is already over.

One last night at the bivouac before tomorrow’s long drive to the coast where another world awaits…

CHECKPOINTS 11

IDEAL KM 220km

ESTIMATED 16h45

TERRAIN barcans, sandy areas (Erg Chegaga), dry lake and great reliefs

The last Gazelles have just reached the bivouac and will be able to enjoy a last evening in the desert.
8 p.m.: let the party begin! 8 teams are still out in the desert.
Rush hour at the finish line! The Gazelles are arriving one after the other, huge smiles on their faces!
On the finish line, Rallye regular Catherine of Team 20 (Catherine KERAMIDAS / Alexandra CHAPUIS - EIFFAGE - CBA) can't hide her pleasure!
The Gazelles have just broken down... 4 km from the finish line! They may have to call for mechanical assistance and accept a penalty.
54 teams have crossed the finish line.
Bad news for the Gazelles of Team 202 (Virginie DUEDAL / Fabienne GALIDIE - FRANCE ENVIRONNEMENT), fourth in the general ranking, who have just called for mechanical assistance just before CP10. This call will cost them in penalty points... and places in the ranking.
One would think that the Gazelles of Team 149 (Jessica VANAKER / Micheline DELAUNAY - CLAAS FRANCE) wanted to complicate their lives one last time...
Teams 131, 164, and 220 have gone around the erg to the north and are lagging behind...
The Gazelles signal their joy at reaching the end of a nine-day adventure.
The Gazelles of Team 600 are singing as they cross the finish line after getting all the day's checkpoints.
"We're so happy to be back!" exclaims Emilie of Team 507.
Team 117 has been called to order: Rallye HQ contacted them to tell them to head north.
Teams 154, 110, 206 and 222 have crossed the finish line.
In 4x4 Class, top team Team 200 is still at the head of the pack.
Karima and Dounia of Team 222 are also back at the bivouac! Accustomed to finishing in the TOP 10, the two gazelles are Unranked this year but enjoyed themselves, and that"s the important thing!
Géraldine and Sylvie were the first to cross the finish line, at 1 p.m. The two Gazelles were not able to do the final marathon leg because of mechanical problems.
Instead of going west towards the bivouac, Sandrine and Isabelle are heading north into the mountains. You'd think they didn't want to get back!
Bad news for teams that didn't get to CP4 in time and have to drive straight to the bivouac... They are Teams 145, 146, 160, 183 and 227.
They seem to be in a hurry to reach the finish line!
The Gazelles have reached CP7 and all is well. Problem fixed, their fans and loved ones can follow them once again.
Cloé and Mélanie have not disappeared in the dunes. The Gazelles are simply having a small problem with their Iritrack, which will soon be fixed. They reached CP6 at 7:26 this morning.
The Gazelles have 50 more minutes to reach CP4.
The Gazelles planned ahead and many slept at CP6 to be ready when it opened at 7 a.m.
Fifteen teams who spent the night at CP4 have decided not to take on the dunes. Caution is the watchword for this final day of competition!
GAZELLES TV

Leg 6 | Marathon Day 2

REPORT

En route to Essaouira

SUMMARY - COMPETITION

And the winners of this 29th edition are…

LEG SUMMARY

Rankings Leg 6

PHOTOS

Best photos of Leg 6

REPORT

One last night in the desert for the Gazelles

SUMMARY - ADVENTURE

It’s all over!

GAZELLES TV

Leg 6 | Marathon Day 1

SUMMARY - ADVENTURE

Ending on a high note in the dunes of Chegaga

SUMMARY - BRIEFING

Ending with a second marathon leg

PARTNERS

#FreeNasrin

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.