NOTES FROM THE ROAD


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Back in Red Rock Country…



A quick stop in Sedona to soak up some of the energy that seems to emanate from those gorgeous red rocks…


20 FEB 2014: Feeling a bit nostalgic here in Sedona, AZ, as the sunlight makes the rocks glow redder. The landscape has become familiar, but it continues to inspire, and I am returning to some of the first trails I ever drove here. This is my last trip out west prior to the Rally and I will be doing some intense driving over the next few days, but for today, I am being a tourist…


The Rally Jeep is Ready to Go…



The rally Jeep is prepped and waiting for us to add the final details at Indiancars near Paris


19 FEB 2014: Our rally Jeep is ready and waiting at the Indiancars facility near Paris. The configuration is similar to our own Jeep, with a few key differences that should make it perform better in the desert environment. It’s got a snorkel which provides extra protection for the engine against sand and dust. And the diesel engine should be an asset. Otherwise it is quite similar to our own Jeep in terms of lift, tire size and even color!


VIDEO: About the Rally


This beautifully filmed and edited video from USA Gazelles explains what the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles is all about…




2014 Teams Announced



The Rally organization posts the official list of teams competing in the 2014 edition of the race


15 FEB 2014: The list of teams has been posted on the official website of the Rally Aicha des Gazelles with details about each of the teams as well as links to the websites and social media. Perusing the page we see a number of familiar names from previous years as well as our own: Team 171.

Link to the team listings: english | français


PREVIOUS NOTES FROM THE ROAD >

WHERE WE ARE

Isabelle is back in Paris getting equipment installed on the Jeep, while JoMarie continues preparations on the U.S. side before heading west to Arizona for a final intensive training session on the weekend.






TEAM 171 PRESENTATION



USnomads, c’est l’histoire d’une amitié de plus de 20 ans, qui s’est construite à travers le temps, les cultures, les expériences de la vie et des voyages. Seule l’union de deux caractères forts et respectueux l’un de l’autre explique que nous soyons arrivées à nos fins dans chacun de nos défis.

Ceci est notre première participation au Rallye des gazelles et nous ne sommes pas des professionels, mais JoMarie a une certaine expérience de l’Afrique et des situations d’urgence. D’autre part, elle s’est totalement investie dans la préparation de cette course et Isabelle s’est récemment mise à la navigation.

Le Rallye des gazelles dans le désert marocain sera le théâtre d’une nouvelle épreuve pour nous : une Jeep, une boussole, une carte et tout le pouvoir de notre volonté d’y parvenir fera le reste.

Ce défi sportif s’inscrit dans un projet humain plus large, celui de traverser le désert du Sahara d’Ouest en Est dans l’espoir d’accompagner les équipes d’ONG dans leurs micro-projets d’aide aux peuplades nomades locales. JoMarie en produira un film documentaire qui donnera à mieux connaitre les hommes de cette partie du monde.

L’équipe 171 prendra fièrement son envol le 15 mars 2014 avec toutes les autres participantes ! Et que les meilleures gagnent !

Mais quelle valeur et quelle portée aurait cette leçon de vie, si nous n’étions pas soutenues par l’amour de nos proches, de nos amis et de tous ceux qui nous entourent. Merci !


TRACKING THE TEAM



Once the Rally starts, you will be able to track the team here each day to see how well we did compared to the “ideal” route. The team’s track will appear as a white line compared to the “straight line” course, as in this sample. Live tracking in realtime will be available on the official Gazelle Rally site, and we will link to it directly from this space.


ABOUT THE RACE



The Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, a grueling nine-day off-road race across the Moroccan sahara, is one of the toughest motorsport events in the world. Using only a map and compass to navigate (GPS or electronic navigational aids are NOT allowed), the two-women teams must reach a series of checkpoints spread over the harshest desert terrain. The competition is a challenge of endurance and strategy, as teams must decide whether to go over obstacles or around them in an effort to complete the course with the least possible mileage. The winners are the team that reaches all the checkpoints via the shortest total distance. Learn more about the race…



CURRENT WEATHER

Merzouga, Morocco
66°
broken clouds
humidity: 22%
wind: 8mph N
H 71 • L 65
68°
Mon
72°
Tue
70°
Wed
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Detailed weather: Errachida


RALLY COUNTDOWN



MORE NOTES FROM THE ROAD:
8 to 14 Feb 2014
1 to 7 Feb 2014
January 2014
Archive


FEATURE

SOMETHING ABOUT SAND DUNES

There is something mysterious about the vast seas of sand, the great ergs, of the Sahara. They stand intimidating in their magnificence, and the idea of even trying to drive across them seems pure folly. Yet that is exactly what we will have to do during the Gazelle Rally… [read]



A true test of endurance, the Gazelle rally pushes teams to their limits in a struggle to overcome the harshest terrain in the Moroccan Sahara. The key to success is a seamless combination of off-road driving abiility, land navigation skills and strategic thinking. Find out how the rally works…


160 TEAMS FOR THE 2014 RALLY

This year there will be 160 teams competing in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles: 320 women from 24 countries ranging in age from 19 to 64. Nations represented include: France, Canada, USA, Morocco, Norway, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Italy, Colombia, Switzerland, Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Angola, Congo, Nigeria, Gabon, Portugal, UK, Vietnam, Yeman, South Africa, Senegal and French Polynesia.


ROUTE MAP


MORE INFO:
About Team 171 US Nomads
Team Training
Practical Matters — Logistics
In Our Words — Reflections
Team News
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