True Adventure of the 2014 Gazelle Rally of Morocco


Editor’s Note: Have a read of this report filed by Emme Hall of team Indiana Joans (#183) from the 2014 Gazelle Rally and after the first marathon stage.

“We kicked some navigational butt on the first marathon leg! We slept at checkpoint 6 (CP6), checked it off at 6am the next morning, and arrived at the bivouac tonight at 5:30pm with a quarter tank of gas and all our CPs marked off.  The marathon leg consists of 12 checkpoints. You have until 7am on the second day of the marathon leg to get CP5.  However, if you are really good, then you can get CP5, continue to CP6, grab it in the morning, and continue on for the day.  

Everyone sleeps out in the desert instead of the bivouac and most teams bring treats like: pate, pastis, wine, good cheese, chocolate, etc.  Its harder for us to bring the goodies since we have to fly and most are just driving down from France. It’s a fun time out in the desert with the other Gazelles. My navigator, Sabrina Howells, brought a travel guitar.  We had music and some good whiskey.

Emme Hall, Sabrina Howells, Rachelle Croft, Rhonda Cahill, Susanah Hoehn, and JoHanah Hoehn, Image: Nicole Dreon
Emme Hall, Sabrina Howells, Rachelle Croft, Rhonda Cahill, Susanah Hoehn, and JoHanah Hoehn, Image: Nicole Dreon

The only problem we had on the marathon stage was today when I got us a bit stuck in the camel grass.  CG are little dunes with sharp tall grass growing out the top. You have to put one tire on each hump and just kind of surf your way through it.  You have to pick your line carefully, and I couldn’t go any further.  I tried to back up and got stuck. One minute later another Gazelle showed up and pulled us out.  We were off again.
I really feel like we turned a corner in the past few days.  We have gotten all our CPs for three days.  Sabrina is much better at recognizing the features and using the map and the kilometers to figure out where we are.   Today she told me, “No, you know generally where we are. I know exactly where we are!”  I have gotten much better at taking care of the truck.  I keep it generally in second gear, and more importantly, it’s not driving me crazy.  Instead, I feel very comfortable at the slower speeds.

What a different rally this is for us this year.  It’s much less stressful and much more fun. We are getting back earlier, so we can talk to other Gazelles, have a shower, and get to bed early.

Tomorrow is another marathon leg.  Sleeping under the stars again.”