Women’s Only Off-Road Rally? Tell me more!
Year after year, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc has been 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. The 29th annual event will take place between March 15-30, 2019 among the rolling dunes of the stunning Moroccan desert.
A unique concept with thoughtful and impeccable execution, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is the first international off-road rally race of its kind exclusively for women. Since 1990, it has brought together women between the ages of 18 and 71 from more than 30 different countries, who will embark on an adventure of a lifetime from Nice in the South of France on March 15th, 2019 and onward to the beginning of a nine-day rally competition in the Moroccan desert.
Each vehicle is equipped with satellite tracking system, powerful enough to provide minute by minute tracking, so even without seeing a vehicle for hours, the women are never alone. By the end of the experience, participants—known as “Gazelles”—have created adventure-filled new memories, deepened their bonds with their teammates, and pushed themselves further than they ever thought they could.
The rally also features an electric vehicle “E-Gazelle Vinci Immobilier” category, with participants called “E-Gazelle.” The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc boasts an ISO 14001 Environment Management System (EMS) certification, an internationally recognized environmental management standard taking into consideration the immediate and long term environmental impacts of an organization’s products, services, and processes.
Through the actions of its non-profit, Coeur de Gazelles, the rally also respects its scenic host country and its people. 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.
The Freedom of Adventure
The Gazelles’ goal is to drive the shortest possible distance to reach a series of predefined checkpoints. Free to choose their own route, they face a challenge each 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…
What you Need to Race
Every morning the Gazelles receive a «Road Book». This document contains only the geographic coordinates or headings and distances of the day’s initial checkpoints. 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.
How to Win the Rallye
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.
Experience the Magic of Africa
Morocco, host country of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles since its inception. Gazelles in search of challenging terrain 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.
Where: March 15-30, 2019
Where: The Moroccan desert, Morocco
ABOUT Cœur de Gazelles:
The Coeur de Gazelles are a group of highly motivated volunteers working daily to provide the people of Marocco with the help they need. A registered non-profit organization since 2001, Coeur de Gazelles is committed to providing sustainable aid through concrete actions. Our cross-border efforts must remain strong to allow us to uphold our values and continue to help those who are the most in need.
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. Our actions are established on a “human scale”: we work with the local population to address the source of the problem. We work with and for the most disadvantaged: our actions enable people to become agents of their own development. We work in a spirit of partnership: we do not create alternative structures; we strengthen and develop existing local ones. We work with low operating costs: all donations are used for the direct benefit of the population. Our actions are recognized by the Moroccan government: we work on legitimate projects in collaboration with local authorities.