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Gazelle rally: when Biba and Charlotte want to become the queens of the desert

The adventure of a lifetime.

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Gazelle rally: when Biba and Charlotte want to become the queens of the desert

The adventure of a lifetime. A dream as burning as crazy. Biba, the pretty brunette from Paris, and Charlotte, the pretty blonde from Lille, decided at the beginning of the year, after a conversation. Chick? Chick! And to register for the next Gazelles rally, which will be held from April 12 to 27, 2024 in the Moroccan desert. A test with many particularities. Like having only female crews (190 at the start). Or to classify the competitors, not on their speed in reaching the finish of a stage, but according to the distance covered. The best duo being the one who has totaled the fewest kilometres.

Not easy on rarely marked tracks, in the middle of dunes that all look alike. And with only a compass and a compass to guide you, GPS (just like mobile phones) being prohibited in the race. “It is for these reasons that the adventure is unique. We will find ourselves alone in the desert, cut off from everything, disconnected from the world. To rack your brains to take as soon as possible after a simple two-day course to familiarize yourself with the use of these two instruments from another era. Other mandatory training, a mechanical workshop to know how to change a wheel or (re) do the levels, the rest being provided by the team of mechanics.

A rally that has one last particularity. He wants to be an environmentalist. It is forbidden to leave anything lying around on the immaculate sand. “Not even the popo”, grimaces the Parisian. Who will have to force their nature between natural needs in the great outdoors, the impossibility of washing their hair on a daily basis and the "fear of critters", including (or especially?) insects. “I have never spent a night outside, not even at a campsite. I thought we could arrange our bed on the roof of the car, but it is prohibited by the regulations. Fortunately, there are raised tents…” Metal feet so as not to touch the ground, even more essential during the two marathon stages with nights outside the bivouac…

“We have never done a rally, neither one nor the other. So we will both have to manage, not to overturn the car on a dune. They will take turns driving. Fatigue helping, the slightest annoyance is a potential quarrel. "We're going to fight a little I think," admit the two friends, laughing. Before returning to their seriousness to display an ambition to match their determination: to grab the podium from their first participation. A sporting goal and a certainty. “When we get out of there, we are no longer the same…”

The dream is marked. It remains to materialize it. To do this, you have to find a car - rent it or, better, get it lent by a manufacturer... - and bring together an estimated budget of 30,000 euros. So the two young ladies - forbidden to give their age, "a woman doesn't ask..." - canvass companies, activate their networks to try to collect subsidies. The most complicated part they assure, hoping that this account of their quest will seduce some additional bosses always welcome.

In exchange, these benefactors will obviously obtain visibility on the car and the equipment of the two future queens of the desert. Who do not forget to be generous. Charlotte and Biba take the Aïda association on their adventure. Donors will thus be able to add a little to the pot to provide space for this charitable organization which brings together volunteers aged 15 to 25 wishing to break the isolation of young people of the same age hospitalized for cancer treatment. And all that they have collected above the budget will be donated to Aïda.

And it is promised, if they find the partners and the funds to realize their dream, they will share it on the Figaro site every evening. History to prove that this challenge is not a mirage.

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