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Verifications before the adventure can begin


This 29th edition of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc begins at Palais Nikaïa in Nice with a day dedicated to technical, administrative and mechanical checks.

Everything in order for the big start

131 teams are present on this Friday March 15 to ensure that everything is in order. The other 20 teams, must of them from non-European countries, will undertake their verifications directly in Erfoud, Morocco on Monday March 18. The teams have a strict schedule to follow before heading for the dunes: stickering, mechanical compliance, safety equipment (Iritrack, Sarsat) distribution and workshop, medical interview, verification of compulsory items & equipment… And to make sure that everything runs smoothly, 106 organizers are on location to guide the Gazelles and help them get into the swing of things.

Medical interview

On the eve of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, nothing is left to chance, especially when it comes to health. The Rallye’s four doctors and one nurse were on hand to reassure the Gazelles and verify their emergency first-aid kits and medical certificates. The participants have many questions, especially about the animals and insects found in the Moroccan desert. The medical team will be stationed in the CBA Informatique medical tent at the bivouac, and a medical helicopter will also be present.

Mechanical compliance and stickers

The 4×4s line up for their mechanical checks in the Palais Nikaïa auditorium, where organizers install an Iritrack terminal in each vehicle. This satellite-based tracking device allows the organization to determine the location of each team and follow their movements and is a cornerstone of Rallye safety. The sticker workshop is another important step in today’s proceedings. The stickers are not merely a decoration: they identify each team by number and provide visibility for event partners such as Koni France. The Gazelles are also given a Bosch Car Service / Kraftwerk mechanics logbook to keep track of problems and repairs made to the vehicle. The Gazelles are then free to leave with their vehicle, the third member of their team for the next 15 days.

Rations and prohibited equipment

Before they can go and rest up for tomorrow’s big day, the Gazelles must collect their food rations. The menu includes salads, soups, tea, shepherd’s pie and nougat… A treat for the participants who will be expending plenty of energy over the next two weeks. At another table, organizers check for prohibited items and equipment because, as specified in the sporting regulations, the Gazelles are not allowed to have mobile phones, binoculars or any devices (e.g. camera) with GPS features in their possession during the competition.

Our Gazelles are finally ready for the ceremonial start, Friday March 16 at 3 p.m. on the famous Promenade des Anglais, Nice, which is hosting the event for the fifth consecutive year.




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.