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THE RALLYE AICHA DES GAZELLES
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is an all-female, an old-school navigation rally raid to be held in Morocco in March 2022. Without telephones or GPS and equipped only with a map and a compass, the objective for these“Gazelles” is to rely on checkpoints while covering the least amount of kilometres as possible.
The race is very strategic as each team defines its own route by making the choice each day whether to go around difficult areas and adding kilometres to their counter, or to confront them, with potential peril and risk to their vehicle.
In addition to the adventure aspect, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles carries strong solidarity values. In addition to the race, the organisation Cœur de Gazelles works on several fronts to help local populations:
- As to medical treatment, volunteers provide on average 4,000 free consultations in villages located near the course.
- The organisation is also invested in education and provides schooling assistance for young children as well as literacy courses for adults who are in the process of professional reintegration.
The Gazelles de l'Atlantique team is made up of Marine Fermis-Jeulin and Manon Corneille. This will the first time they participate.
A typical day for a Gazelle will be as follows: the Rallye’s founder wakes participants up at 4 a.m. so they can prepare their route with the help of a compass and map, followed by a sports briefing at 5 a.m. for a 6 a.m. departure. The Gazelles will ride for 10 to 12 hours a day over a variety of terrains, including vast plains, dunes, rocky paths, and, of course, all kinds of mountainous ground!
WHO ARE MANON AND MARINE?
Marine studied management and finance. She finished by getting a specialised master from KEDGE in Wine & Spirits Management. Today she is working in the wine sector. She loves to push herself to the limits through sport. In fact, in 2020 she walked part of the Saint Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage route.
Manon took management courses and then turned towards climate causes. She is now working to adapt our cities to the climate of tomorrow. She is currently a business developer for Ecoten Urban Comfort, based in Prague, Czech Republic. A lover of travel and always ready for adventure, she finished a European cycling tour in 2019.
WHY WE TAKE UP THIS CHALLENGE?
"We like to take on new challenges and most of all... to take them on together! After the consecutive lockdowns, we wanted to take a break and have an adventure in which we could challenge ourselves and prove to all our friends and family that it’s possible to do something extraordinary in our lives despite difficult conditions. We also wanted to kill two birds with one stone: take up a new humanitarian and sporting challenge while celebrating 10 years of friendship.
We’ve admired Rallye participants for several years now, so we decided to put fate into our own hands and become Gazelles, thus making a little girl's dream come true.”
Participating in the Rallye des Gazelles is kind of like running a marathon: there’s a lot of work to do behind the scenes in order to get to the starting line.
We meet every week to make progress on the different aspects of the event: doing administrative tasks, managing social network sites, looking for partners, organising fundraising events, printing marketing material, renting the vehicle, dealing with the media, etc.
This adventure doesn’t consist of a mere nine days in the desert. It started as soon as we pre-registered last March, and we are living it every day through the various activities we are doing.
We live Gazelles, eat Gazelles, sleep Gazelles!
As regards the actual preparation, two training sessions will take place prior to the race to prepare us for the event as much as possible:
- A course in navigation to help us cross in the desert;
- A driving course to familiarise us with driving over dunes and other dangerous terrains.
To join a community of fighting, sporty, determined women. We strongly believe that it’s important to have role models in life to become the best person you can be and, for us, the Gazelles are very inspiring women with whom we share many values.
Apart from the personal development aspect, our goal is to finish the race by testing our physical and mental abilities while learning our limits and overcoming them.
Embark on this extraordinary adventure Marine et Manon on the different social networks @lesgazellesdelatlantique2022: