Penultimate final straight in the Moroccan desert for 300 women engaged in this 23th edition of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.
Between Lhandar and Oulad Driss, the 16 crews representing the African continent challenge the dunes, rocks, wadis, to reach the bivouac before nightfall.
No major problems for navigation or the driving, just to allow the competitors and their mounts to rest. There was just a small detail not to be overlooked, according to Oskavie and Latifa of the crew 202 from Congo, “the distance and the time have made the problematic of the day. We were very careful because the slightest mechanical problem or sanding up could be a great handicap for us, but in the end everything was all right. “
Not easy to overtake the champion, who pasts from checkpoint to checkpoint. After more than fifty kilometers, the press vehicle allocated to Africa Top Sports could cross the 4 X 4 driven by Syndiely Wade and Florence Pham. A regular at auto racing, Syndiely Wade is the daughter of former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.
And for Syndiely of crew 188 (with Florence Pham), it is pure happiness: “It’s true that I’ve won here with Carole Montillet and the goal this year is to always try new strategies, try new things, and for that I teamed up with Florence Pham who finished in second place last year and we hope to go to the end to win the Africa Top Sports Trophy “.
Before our eyes, scroll the lunar and desert landscapes, particularly at the end of the day. Far away we can see the singer Chris Mayne of crew 195, also competing for the Africa Top Sports Trophy. This is her third participation in the rally. “For the moment, it’s going well. With Eva, we try to hang on; we keep the best for the marathon stage. It is quite challenging but I like it. Syndiely is leading for the moment but we will fight till the end. The important thing is to try to do better than last time, “said Chris Mayne.
For all these gazelles, it is the same goal: sharp its navigation, control its steering, anticipate the pitfalls, ignore the tiredness, and eventually reaching its goal: get straight to the Cape.
And a little further, a cuckoo to the Franco-Nigerian crew, 205 with Anne-Estelle Ajax and Yvonne Enwemadu: “We want to fight till the end. It is true that it is very difficult and we had a lot of problems, but we remain hopeful for the continuation.
Who will win the Africa Top Sports Trophy rewarding the best African rally?
Here is the provisional ranking of the Africa Top Sports Challenge below. Do not hesitate to send us your predictions or to support your favorite team. It remains only one marathon stage of 48 hours before the final whistle of the rally.
From our special reporter in Morocco, Nicolas Négoce.
|Julia LE BORGNE
|JAMILA AIT AKKA
|Zola Alexandra DIAVITA
|Cynthia Andree ETOH
|Sonya LEGNONGO OBAGAYELE