For the first time since its creation, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles and its 320 participants left Nice March 21, 2015 for a 3,000 km journey through the Moroccan desert in 4×4, quad, motorcycle or crossover.
For its 25th edition – while it usually starts from Paris – the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles departed on the Promenade des Anglais, opposite the Theatre de Verdure. This all-female competition is above all an orienteering – not speed – race.
Celebrities behind the wheel
For the past 25 years, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles has been crossing the Moroccan desert. This year, to celebrate its arrival in the French Riviera, the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur decided to be partner of the event with the crew 215, consisting of Helen Baboulène-Becour, engineer and singer Chris Mayne (from the Native band). They are driving a Toyota HDJ 100 vehicle to support the Monaco Collectif Humanitaire association, in conjunction with Nice Matin.
The car 407 is driven by the ski champion Carole Montillet, the 405 by the former Miss France 2004, Laetitia Bléger. Many are involved in conducting humanitarian activities like the car 420 running for the Hospital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris.
A festive start on the Prom’
Early in the afternoon, the crews, organizers and the public were invited to share a Zumba followed by a Flash Mob hosted by Jean-Marc Généreux (Quebec choreographer who hosts Dancing with the Stars on TF1).
The start of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles and its 165 crews from 15 different countries was officially given at 15h by Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice and President of the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur, in the presence of many personalities.
En route towards Essaouira
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles will start from Rabat to the Moroccan desert on the only off-track entirely female rally in the world on board 4×4, quads, motorcycles or crossovers. Their sporting goal is to report all controls by driving a minimum of kilometers. No GPS, just a compass, a ruler, a map, 1 pencil and geographic coordinates for eight days of competition. The arrival is scheduled for April 4 at the port of Essaouira in Morocco. The winner crew will be the one who traveled the fewer miles while reporting a maximum of 100% off-track controls.
A sports and charitable challenge
Since 2002, the Gazelles, the manufacturers and media associate and run together for a humanitarian cause: the medical care with access to care for people in remote areas of Morocco, childcare with building a better life for the most vulnerable. They help children to grow up in good conditions with support of schooling to fight against illiteracy, and assistance to everyday life through donations of clothing, shoes or hygiene products.
Cœur de Gazelles
As part of this rally, the association Cœur de Gazelles financially supported the Alpes-Maritimes Committee of the League against Cancer.
On this occasion a plaque was affixed to the entrance of the Espace League Against Cancer on the Partners Wall. The plaque was inaugurated in the presence of Christian Estrosi, Marina Vrillacq, President of the association Cœur de Gazelles, Professor Maurice Schneider, President of the League Against Cancer 06 and Dominique Serra, founder and organizer of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles.
About the Rallye
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles was created in 1999 by Dominique Serra. The competition brings together only women from 18 to 65 years from 33 different nationalities. Its values are based on courage, self-improvement, loyalty, mutual aid and solidarity commitment. The race is also the only automotive event in the world to have obtained the ISO 14001 certification.
The main partners of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles are the Company GAN Assurances and the Opticians Atoll.
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