Do as it-girls Kiera Chaplin and Oona Chanel have put something truly different on your bucket list this year – the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc. A true adventure, this rally is a pioneer, never ceasing to grow, constantly developing and evolving with the times, always faithful to its founding values: courage, the desire to push one’s limits, loyalty, solidarity and social commitment. 2017 marks the 27th annual event, which takes place between March 17 and April 1, 2017 in the unspoiled beauty of the Moroccan desert. Here are 5 reasons why you should add the rallye to your 2017 bucket list…
#1 AN UNMATCHED ADVENTURE
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is a human adventure that is one of a kind. It is the only international off-road Rallye race for women only. Since 1990, it has been bringing together women between the ages of 18 and 71, from more than 30 different countries, who embark on an adventure of a lifetime from the French city of Nice on March 18th, 2017 and onward to the start of the Rallye in the Moroccan desert. The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is developing a new vision of automobile competition: no speed and no GPS, just old-fashioned navigation, completely off-road.
#2 EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF AFRICA
Morocco is the host country of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles since its inception. Gazelles in search of nature and the great outdoors will be seduced by the magnificent and varied landscapes of Morocco, with its sand dunes, Rocky Mountains, green valleys, fertile plains, arid plateaus and lush oases. The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc takes place under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, who has authorized the use of the Royal Coat of Arms on the Gazelles’ vests. This is the only event that has ever been granted this honor. Many Moroccans come out to welcome and assist the competition at every step of the way, from the dunes of Merzouga to Essaouira.
#3 RACE FOR CHARITY
The Rallye respects its scenic host country and its people through the actions of the Rallye’s non-profit, Cœur de Gazelles. By attending the rallye, you support the charity’s motivated volunteers who work daily to provide the Moroccan people with sustainable aid through concrete actions. A registered non-profit organization since 2001, Coeur de Gazelles works on projects that meet the needs of Morocco’s remote populations: medical care, education, the environment and sustainable development, job training for women, improving living conditions and a desire to spread joy by distributing donations.
#4 AN EMPOWERING EXPERIENCE
All Rallye participants, known as “Gazelles”, leave this adventure marked forever by the experience: they push their limits, have to face themselves, far from their sometimes difficult daily lives as women; there is also a strong element of sharing and mutual aid with their teammate as well as with the other “Gazelles”. Free to choose their own route, they face a challenge every day: to study the map and the day’s geographical coordinates, analyze the risks and difficulties of the terrain and choose the shortest path. They have the choice of driving around a mountain or crossing over it, driving through the dunes or avoiding them…
#5 CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY
While the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is a return to the roots of adventure, it is also, with its satellite system for tracking the teams, on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to safety. This duality is the strength of this unusual competition. With its unique concept, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is changing the way people view automobile use. The Rallye is also launching a new electric vehicle category in 2017, which will call its participants “E-Gazelles”. This trailblazing Rallye already boasts an ISO 14001 Environment Management System (EMS) standard. During the recent Climate Conference, COP22 in Marrakech, it was announced that Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is the Rallye which will set the standard for future rallies around the world, based on its high environmental principles.
TO WIN THE COMPETITION
Every morning the Gazelles receive a «Road Book». This document contains only the geographic coordinates or headings and distances of the day’s checkpoints and finish line. Forget about GPS, phones and other modern communication tools: using a compass, a navigational plotter and maps, they plot their route and plan their itinerary.
The rankings are determined by calculating the extra kilometers driven (distance driven between check points minus crow flies distance) and penalty kilometers for any check points not reached.
The winning team is the one that finds the greatest number of checkpoints while driving the least number of kilometers.
WHEN: March 17 – April 1, 2017
WHERE: The Moroccan desert
See you there!!