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Location: Meknes&Rissani, Morocco, and Boston USA
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc
About Aicha rally
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is a rally which is held in the deserted parts of southern Morocco. The distinctive feature of the rally is that participation is restricted to women only. In 2009, the 20th edition of the rally took place between March 18 and March 26 with the participation of 119 teams of women in the three categories: Quad/Motorbike, 4WD/Truck and Crossover. The rally started in Meknes with the finish-line in Essaouira on the Atlantic coast in southern Morocco.
The Rally consists of one prologue and six legs, all entirely off-road, two of which are marathon legs lasting two days. A total of 2,500 kilometers through dried-out river beds, shock absorber-busting stony plains and the sandy dunes of the Western Sahara desert have to be covered by the teams with only a compass and a 1:100,000 scale map to plot their route between checkpoints. GPS, and any kind of binoculars and cell phones are forbidden items. The winner is not the fastest team but the one which has traveled the least number of kilometers on the onboard odometer between checkpoints within a given time frame (distance driven minus straight-line distance). Penalty kilometers are allocated for missed checkpoints and requests for technical assistance. For safety reasons, the teams are constantly monitored by a satellite tracking system.
Dominique Serrr, head of the operating agency Maïenga, organized the first women’s rally in 1990. Initially planned as an image campaign and to dispel prejudices, today the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is one of the most important motor sport racing events in France. The 2009 rally took place under the patronage of his Majesty, the Moroccan KingMohammed VI on the occasion of his tenth year of reign. For this reason the coat of arms of the Moroccan royal Guard was exceptionally attributed to the event this year.
Source: Description above from the Wikipedia article Rallye Aicha des Gazelles